The show season is in full swing and horses are subjected to the stress of going down the road on a regular basis. This travel schedule imposes additional requirements for managing the feeding program. Horses like consistency. Changes can cause emotional and physical stress. The more we can keep the routines the same, the easier it is for the horses to cope with the challenges of travel and competition. The following are some suggestions that may be useful to help maintain the body condition, appearance and performance that is required to maintain the competitive status of the horse.
First and foremost, it is critical to maintain water intake while traveling and while stabled away from home. The water may taste different at different locations. Horses should have fresh clean water available at all times when stabled at shows and should be offered water as needed between classes.
Second, maintain your feeding schedule as close as possible to routine followed at home. You may have to adjust slightly to accommodate classes.
Third, monitor body condition carefully and adjust feeding rates to avoid excess weight loss while traveling. A horse can tuck up badly if it goes off feed and water.
Fourth, select a horse feed that will help reduce the risk of metabolic issues and will help maintain intake to maintain body condition and bloom. Added fat, controlled starch & sugar products with balanced amino acids and added key vitamins work well for virtually all classes of show horses.
Pre-season preparation involves achieving desired body condition, coat condition, hoof condition and the required training. Managing the horse during competition is essential to maintain the competitive edge!