THE PONY CLUB ASSOCIATION OF NSW

NEWS

Feeding Horses in Hot Weather

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Posted: Thu, 26th Nov 2020

Our Official Nutrition Partner Ranvet gives us some advice ahead of the predicted heatwave across the State.

Feeding to minimise heat waste

In a hard working horse or those horses working over long distance, additional digestive heat increases the ‘heat load’ which needs to be lost for effective cooling. If this heat load is not lost, severe repercussions such as elevated heart rate, increased respiratory rate and poor postexercisve recovery may be experienced. Certain individuals, such as hyper-energetic horses or those with a disposition to be nervous or excitable, have a propensity to be more severely affected by hot, humid environmental conditions.

General feeding principles in hot and humid Climates

Adjusting feed is useful in hot climates whereby horses are subject to performance stress, dehydration, excessive electrolyte loss and premature fatigue.

1. Minimise Heat Waste

q In a horse that is heavily exercised, the amount of fibrous feed may be reduced to a MINIMUM SAFE LEVEL in order to ensure maintenance of gastro-intestinal health (0.5-1% of bodyweight daily). This will ensure adequate gut health and function whilst simultaneously storing adequate water and electrolyte reserves to prevent dehydration, in the absence of unnecessary heat production.

2. Tailor Dietary Requirements

3. Feeding Practices

General Management Guidelines

The following points outline some general management steps for better recovery when in hot and humid climates;

Supplements to include in hot and humid conditions?

Salkavite provides all essential electrolytes that a horse in work loses including sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, phosphate and sulfate as well as additional B-group vitamins.

Racing Oil supplies a palatable supplementary source of energy with Linolenic (Omega 3) and Linoleic (Omega 6) fatty acids in appropriate balance. Additionally, the supplementation of dietary oil has beneficial effects to aerobic performance, whereby the use of dietary fats spare muscle glycogen stores, thus extending endurance and minimising lactic acid build-up.

Electro Paste provides a concentrated, portable source of B-group vitamins, electrolytes and anti-oxidants including Vitamin E, to rapidly replenish body stores depleted by hard exericise or transportation.

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Feeding Horses in Hot Weather

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PCA Hot Weather Policy

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