The showing season is in full swing at the moment and so far most shows have benefitted from the uncharacteristically glorious summer weather that we are enjoying. The Dublin Horse Show is the highlight of the showing season for many enthusiasts.
With the timing of the Olympics in Rio this year from 5 – 21 August the Dublin Horse Show has moved from its traditional August date to the 20 – 24 July.
For anybody planning on competing at the show the countdown is on for the horses to be in tip top condition. Feeding show horses can be a tricky task. The ridden horses need to be in show condition while still maintaining fitness so that movement isn’t impeded by excessive weight, and certainly in the hunter ring a good gallop is a key part of the performance.
For young horses, whether in the ridden classes, the young eventers showcase or the led rings, they can find the Dublin Horse Show experience quite stressful and tiring. It’s a new environment with masses of people, noises, smells and other horses to get used to. The stabling areas are generally a hive of activity meaning that the horse don’t get any real down time. Even at night the sounds of the city are alien to most of the equines at the show, and some of the people too.
What Should I Feed My Horse
Arriving with your perfectly schooled and produced horse only to find that come competition time he is exhausted by the experience of the showgrounds and has lost his sparkle is expensive and very disappointing for competitors that have worked hard to get to that arena.
Getting the horse’s diet right for these occasions can reap great rewards. Energy is key to a dazzling performance, but too much energy may mean muddy jodhpurs when the Aga Khan commentary starts or the child’s balloon wanders into the ring at the right wrong time!
Feeds that provide energy slowly released during the day, and the week of the show, will provide plenty of zest in the ring but without the high energy peaks of the more cereal based feeds. High energy peaks combined with stilt walkers usually results in nervous rider moments! Slow release energy does not mean slow horses, just more level headed ones.
Horse Care 10
Horse Care 10 is designed for performance horses, showing, showjumping, eventing and racing. It contains super fibres and added oils for the energy and stamina needed for performance without the higher sugar content of other feeds. It also contains high spec vitamins, minerals, highly digestible proteins and natural oils ensure great skin condition and excellent topline.
For extra topline, add a mug of GROCARE Balancer to the feed twice daily. GROCARE Balancer is a balancer high in readily digestible protein. In simplest nutrition terms protein is the main ingredient for muscle and muscle, not fat, is topline.
Younger horses, and that can be any age that is still growing, need a higher protein diet to support growth. For these horses use Horse Care 14 is also based on slow releasing energy and high spec vitamins and minerals but he increased protein content maintains healthy growth for muscle and bone.
Both Horse Care 10 and Horse Care 14 are particularly designed to maximise muscle health and recovery post exercise. So, after winning your class the horse will bounce back to be able to produce a stunning performance in the Championships too.
Always remember the golden rules of feeding, feed little and often and make changes slowly. This is particularly important when changing to a diet of Horse Care, it takes time for the enzymes and the bacteria of the digestive system to adapt to the new ingredients.
Good luck for the showing season. The team will be on-site at the Dublin Horse Show in Simmonscourt. We would love you to come visit us and have a chat.
If you have any questions about preparing for the Dublin Horse Show in the meantime, please contact a member of the Connolly’s RED MILLS equine team.
- Dublin Horse Show
- Horse Care 10
- Horses Diet
- Performance Nutrition