RedMareRunning Blog - Full Article
February 4 2016
First in my convention-note lineup is a talk given by Dr. Susan Garlinghouse. She is fairly well known in the endurance world for her articles on equine nutrition and other salient topics regarding the health and fitness of our horses.
During this talk she essentially rounded up some of the more interesting things she had found from scientific research, and the practical applications of this recent research. Everything she talked about comes from her reading peer-reviewed research journals (so we don't have to?).
There were several points that are very applicable to Deli and I. I hope making my notes available will be helpful for other riders and horse lovers.
1. How to Feed Feet
There are tons of factors go into growing a good foot – bio-mechanics, genetics, age, breed, metabolic rate, temperature, and moisture (so the season and climate in general matter quite a bit for what a foot needs). Nutrition is a big deal but there is no one thing that is a silver bullet.
The key points from the nutrition standpoint are:
• Feed enough calories – the quality of their feed might not be high enough. In a positive energy balance they will grow foot 50% faster than horses on a restricted diet (not meaning the horse is on a “diet” for weight control, jut that the horse might be working more than the calorie intake received).
• Provide a good amino acid profile – don’t just supplement one amino acid and expect it to make a difference (for example, don’t just add methionine).
• Should you add minerals? If the mineral profile is already adequate, adding more is not going to help (and it might hurt). What’s more important that adding in single minerals is BALANCE. Don’t add a specific mineral unless you have a shown deficiency...
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