Do you have enough or too much energy? – keyflow UK
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The relationship with energy is always a tricky one. Dietary energy is basically a measure of the calories consumed which can be in different forms, water soluble (sugars) and structural or non-soluble. Many of us may find that during the summer our horses and ponies have either too much energy, and can show fizzy behaviour, or sometimes the opposite and not have enough energy.
Whilst diet is often implicated there are many other factors to consider, including your horses level of fitness, having variety in their work and training, their management regime and their overall health and well-being.
One of our most commonly asked questions on our advice line during the summer months is how to ensure the good doer on a restricted diet for weight control, has enough energy for the work it is doing. As with our own bodies, we cannot directly control whether the calories we eat are used for exercise or condition! What we can do to is to provide the correct source of energy at the correct time.
We often underestimate the level of fitness our horse or pony has and the amount of work it is doing. For example a two hour hack for a native pony, living on a small paddock or pen for restricted grazing would still cover less mileage than the same pony would cover on a daily basis in a free living natural environment. Therefore at a steady walk trot hack the level of fitness for competition will not be significantly increased and the calories utilised will still be low.
Horses and ponies on restricted diets will often be lacking in micronutrients as they no longer have the freedom to browse and graze on a variety of forage and it’s likely that you will have reduced or removed any hard feed. These individuals will definitely benefit from a suitable balancer, such as Keyflow Perfect Balance™ or high specification vitamin or mineral supplement. It is important that the balancer or supplement contains high enough levels of the essential amino acids for muscle function and performance, and vitamins and minerals for example B vitamins for energy production and metabolism.
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The Keyflow Advice and Support Team