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A survey on the feeding of eventing horses during competition


Brunner, J; Wichert, B; Burger, D; von Peinen, K; Liesegang, A (2012). A survey on the feeding of eventing horses during competition. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, 96(5):878-884.

Abstract

This study aims at the comparison of the actual feeding of horses with the recommendations from the literature, and it studies the effects of feeding and exercise on several blood metabolic parameters before and after exercise. Blood samples were collected from 25 horses during one-star eventing competitions and evaluated for blood glucose, insulin, lactate, free fatty acids and triglyceride levels. Questionnaires on the feeding practices of the horses were evaluated. The questionnaires revealed that during training, and on tournament days, horses received on average 4.3 kg of concentrate per day (min. 1.54 kg, max. 8 kg). The statistical analysis showed no significant effect of the amount of concentrate fed before exercise on the measured blood values. Oil was supplied as a supplementary energy source to 30% of the horses, but most of them only received very small quantities (0.02-0.4 l/day). Five horses (20%) had no access to salt supplements at all, and eleven horses (45%) had no access to salt on tournament days. Fifteen horses (60%) were supplied with mineral feed. Twenty-one horses (84%) had daily access to pasture during the training period. During competition, 55% of the horses received roughage ad libitum, compared with 37% during training. The majority of the horses received less roughage on days before the cross-country competition. It could not be ascertained whether feeding a large amounts of roughage had a beneficial effect on performance, because only a few horses in this study were fed with very restrictive roughage. Feeding of most of the horses was in agreement with the recommendations from the literature, except the need for sodium and chloride. The sodium and chloride need for sport horses may be overestimated in literature and needs to be re-evaluated.

Abstract

This study aims at the comparison of the actual feeding of horses with the recommendations from the literature, and it studies the effects of feeding and exercise on several blood metabolic parameters before and after exercise. Blood samples were collected from 25 horses during one-star eventing competitions and evaluated for blood glucose, insulin, lactate, free fatty acids and triglyceride levels. Questionnaires on the feeding practices of the horses were evaluated. The questionnaires revealed that during training, and on tournament days, horses received on average 4.3 kg of concentrate per day (min. 1.54 kg, max. 8 kg). The statistical analysis showed no significant effect of the amount of concentrate fed before exercise on the measured blood values. Oil was supplied as a supplementary energy source to 30% of the horses, but most of them only received very small quantities (0.02-0.4 l/day). Five horses (20%) had no access to salt supplements at all, and eleven horses (45%) had no access to salt on tournament days. Fifteen horses (60%) were supplied with mineral feed. Twenty-one horses (84%) had daily access to pasture during the training period. During competition, 55% of the horses received roughage ad libitum, compared with 37% during training. The majority of the horses received less roughage on days before the cross-country competition. It could not be ascertained whether feeding a large amounts of roughage had a beneficial effect on performance, because only a few horses in this study were fed with very restrictive roughage. Feeding of most of the horses was in agreement with the recommendations from the literature, except the need for sodium and chloride. The sodium and chloride need for sport horses may be overestimated in literature and needs to be re-evaluated.

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3 citations in Web of Science®
2 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Animal Nutrition
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Language:English
Date:October 2012
Deposited On:27 Mar 2015 15:24
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:11
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0931-2439
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0396.2012.01324.x
PubMed ID:22809115

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