The competition season is almost here again! Is everyone excited? I know I am excited for a fresh start on the season and to meet some new faces. One concern we all have as the season approaches is “What do we feed our performance partners?” I hope this article helps in your decision making.
Best of Luck in the 2014 Season,
We all have a desire to win but winning doesn’t always mean first place. It could be a personal best, shaving a few seconds off your barrel racing time or making a perfect jump. But what do we do to ensure that we win? I know I do a lot of things but most importantly I make sure my horse is eating right. There are many things to consider when deciding what is nutritionally right for your horse. How old is he? Does he have health problems? What kind of exercise does he get? How competitive do you want to be?
Regardless of the special needs your horse may possess, all hardworking performance horses need energy. For the competitive horse, straight hay just doesn’t quite cut it! It is up to the owner to decide what kind of energy is given to their horses. Will you choose cool energy or hot energy? And by that, we mean cool energy derived from oils and proteins vs. hot energy derived from cereal grains high in carbohydrates. Our performance partners benefit more from “cool energy” because it is easier to digest and also provides additional benefits than the traditional hot feed of oats and corn. Cool energy feeds are slow to digest; thereby giving the horse little amounts of energy throughout the day instead of the instant burst of energy that comes from eating oats.
A feed that gives your horse cool energy and has Omega-3s doubles up on benefits. Omega-3s give your horse a healthy and shiny coat while improving his performance. Other benefits include things such as decreasing inflammation and increasing immune response. What does an increased immune system mean for your horse? It could mean fewer chances of getting sick on the road or picking up a nasty bug at the barn. Everybody wins when your horse is healthy, especially your pocketbook! The high ability of Omega-3s decreasing inflammation helps avoid the cost and side effects of giving your horse Bute, Flunixin or other pain killers. If you have a horse that is suffering from lameness or old age arthritis, Omega-3s can be a safe and natural treatment.
The article entitled, “Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation for Athletic Horses”, illustrates a study done to show the effects of Omega-3s on arthritis. It included:
- A study of 16 horses with arthritis.
- Investigated the effects of Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on arthritis.
- Horses supplemented with Omega-3 fatty acids had a significant and continuing reduction in joint fluid white blood cell concentrations. (White blood cells means there is an infection so a reduction is a good thing!)
- Supplementation with Omega-3 fatty acids also significantly decreased plasma concentrations of prostaglandin E2, an important inflammatory mediator. (A mediator is a catalyst or a cause, in this case prostaglandin E2 causes inflammation.)
Where can you find Omega-3s?
Omega-3s are typically found in oils such as flaxseed oil, linseed oil and fish oil. Green grass is also a great source that is high in Omega-3s. Don’t confuse fresh grass with cut hay! Hay contains little to no Omega-3s. Winter time cuts out the best source of Omega-3s for most horses so a supplement that contains Omega-3s is a great idea for winter time feeding. You could consider adding EquinePOWER to your daily feeding because of its high oil content and great source of Omega-3s. Your horse will love the cool energy.