Nutritional Needs of the Endurance Horse

Due to domestication, stabling and riding, we have to feed our horse with an adapted ration of food, to compensate for his decreased grazing time and increased burning of energy.

When the horse moves forward for several hours, the repeated muscle contractions require energy provided by the burning of fat. It needs obviously more than the grass he has eaten between the trainings and the eventual fat we have fed him in the form of (vegetable) oil during the day before the ride! He definitely needs quite a bit of stored body-fat that can be burnt all along the trail. But where do we find the different nutrients needed by our future endurance-champion?
The energy needed for working comes from the combustion of body-fat. Body-fat is produced by the digestion of the different nutrients we offer a horse in his daily ration. These nutrients are broken-down in the successive parts of the gut and chemically transformed and stored as body-fat. A classical daily ratio contains: carbohydrates, proteins, fat and fibres.

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Part I: The Eye of the Owner Feeds the Horse