The young horse should be fed a continuous, quality, forage (grass and hay) diet:
- Adding in an appropriate fat in the diet is beneficial (Duren et al., 1987), as a beneficial source of energy, i.e. 20g micronized linseed per day. This will also benefit coat/skin/joint health as well.
- Increasing Calcium levels by 5-10g can benefit the loading on the skeletal system and peripheral soreness (Nunamaker et al., 1991). We include an additional 5g calcium in our EquiVitaYoungstock blend.
- This means we need to balance the Phosphorous and Magnesium, so we've increased the Phosphorous to 7.5g for the Calcium:Phosphorous ratio, and the magnesium (for the Calcium: Magnesium ratio) by an extra 2.5g.
- If horses are exercising hard and producing a lot of sweat, sodium and chloride (salt) are excreted significantly so Salt should always be added independently to the diet regardless, around 5g/100kg bodyweight.
- Copper, zinc and selenium levels are adequately compensated for.
- Studies aren’t showing any drastic need for changes in vitamin requirements for the young exercising horse, other than one exception, the B-Vitamins. The B-vits are necessary for catalysing dietary energy, so if young horses undertake a new training schedule and develop a lethargic, depressed condition, usually accompanied by loss of appetite, they could be B-deficient. We include Brewers Yeast across our EquiVita range as standard to provide the B-complex vitamins.