Preparing Your Horse’s Feed for the Competitive Season

Preparing Your Horse’s Feed for the Competitive Season

Among the various factors that contribute to your horse’s preparation for the season, proper feeding practices play a significant role. To maintain your horse's digestive comfort coming up to the competitive season, it is imperative to avoid sudden dietary changes. Horses’ digestive systems take approximately 10-14 days to adapt to feed changes. Abruptly introducing new feeds at shows or competitions can disrupt their gut microbiome, leading to stomach discomfort, gastric ulceration, or even colic. Therefore, it is crucial to plan gradual changes to their diet well in advance of any events.

The competitive season can be a high-stress period for your horse. To support their overall well-being and performance, maintaining consistency in their diet becomes paramount. Horses aren’t humans, they thrive on consistent, fresh, natural, high-fibre diets, and sticking to a regular feeding regime is essential.
If you're looking to modify your horse's fibre intake, whether it involves exploring different Fiber Fresh options, or even switching your fibre to Fiber Fresh, we suggest transitioning gradually. Fiber Fresh recommends incorporating 0.5kg increments or less each day until the desired amount of fibre is reached. This gradual adjustment allows your horse's digestive system to adapt safely, minimizing the risk of killing off the healthy microorganisms that help digest their feed.

Horses’ hindgut microorganisms ferment their fibre, converting it into short-chain fatty acids. These fatty acids provide a significant portion of the horse's daily energy needs. Any abrupt feed alterations can lead to changes in fermentation patterns and, consequently, the development of metabolic disorders. Maintaining a healthy and balanced microbiome is crucial for the overall well-being of horses and their ability to utilize their nutrients effectively (Kauter et al., 2019).

When adjusting your horse's diet, it is important to prioritize increasing fibre before increasing grain. Incorporating Fiber Fresh into their diet increases the digestibility of grains and serves as a valuable source of slow-release, non-heating, energy that is required for the needs of competitive horses. By providing this sustained energy, Fiber Fresh can reduce the reliance on grain, which maintains healthy gut function in horses.
Remember, a healthy horse performs at their best, and carefully managing their diet plays a significant role in their success.

As you prepare your horse’s diet for the upcoming competitive season, remember:
- Consistency (don't abruptly change your feed before or during shows)
- Gradual changes
- Allow sufficient time for their digestive system to adapt to new feeds.

By following these practices and prioritizing their well-being, you are laying the foundation for a successful and fulfilling season ahead.

Kauter, A., Epping, L., Semmler, T., Antao, E., Kannapin, D., Stoeckle, S. D., Gehlen, H., Lübke-Becker, A., Günther, S., Wieler, L. H., & Walther, B. (2019). The gut microbiome of horses: current research on equine enteral microbiota and future perspectives. Animal Microbiome, 1(1).