Endurance horses need to sustain energy levels over long distances. They require slow release energy and protein levels that will effect repair to muscle and tissue that may be damaged during their arduous events.
They also have a high water intake and high electrolyte requirement i.e. calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium.
Most complementary feeds do not provide sodium and chloride (salt) at the levels needed by horses in hard work.
Useful Supplements include:
- Methyl sulphurnyl methane (MSM), when fed to racehorses reduced stress. It has also been found to reduce inflammation, enhance circulation and help to alleviate pain. It is therefore a natural alternative to steroids and it may be that this supplement could be a useful prophylactic and preventative supplement for horses susceptible to tying up or azoturia.
- Vitamin E and selenium are essential for muscle activity, helping to protect against free-radical induced cellular damage. Organic sources of these nutrients are more available to the horse.
- Garlic is an effective anti-microbial plant acting on bacteria, viruses and alimentary parasites. It lowers blood pressure and improves cardio-vascular health and stimulates cell growth.
- Cayenne benefits circulation and is effective in the treatment of muscular pain. It also stimulates the action of other herbs.
- Ginger is useful for strengthening the respiratory system and for aiding digestion.
- Elite performers frequently suffer from reduced immunity due to the stress of travelling, performing and exposure to other horses. Supplementation with Echinacea boosts the immune system.