Whether you are gearing up for competition season or you have an ex-performance horse enjoying its retirement, issues like tying up or muscle loss can be common and frustrating. And because all horses use their muscles extensively during every ride, giving them the proper care is essential. Follow these tips to keep your horse’s muscles in tip top condition.
The right kind of exercise – include varied work but ensure that you concentrate on the area that relates to the type of discipline you are training for.
Warm up & cool down – always include walk and trot work as well as some circle work for the lateral muscles. Allow the horse to stretch out as much as possible and loosen the girth prior to removing the saddle so the back muscles can also relax.
R&R – rest and recovery is important but look out for muscle wastage. You can help reduce it by allowing as much free movement as possible.
Nutritional supplements - if there is muscle damage or wastage, consider a supplement that can provide additional amino-acids, like Muscle Maintenance for Horses.
Provide the right diet
Protein - rather than looking for high protein feeds, look for feed with higher levels of the required amino acids - vital for repair and regeneration.
Vitamins, minerals, trace elements and antioxidants - horses undergoing higher levels of work may require an additional supply.
Digestible glucose - sugar and starch levels are an area of concern for many horse owners, but a working horse will fatigue quicker without a suitable source of energy.
Omega 3 fatty acids – important for helping to moderate the breakdown of muscle tissue.