At this time of year, showjumpers are often heading to Florida ahead of the Wellington showjumping season. However, this journey, plus the need to adapt to the environment in Florida, can be very physically demanding.
Most showjumpers have just come through a busy summer season of back-to-back competitions and now have just a few short months to recover, before gearing up for a season of intense competition. This coupled with the sudden exposure to the extreme heat and humidity in Florida, along with all the many new bugs that go with it, can mean that your horse struggles to adjust.
For many horses, this transition can really take a lot out of them. Most drop off in body weight and topline, their coats can become dull, they can become more lethargic and fatigue more easily. Yes, they will adjust in time, but by that stage the season is already upon you and your horse may not have had the time they need to catch up properly. A nutritional boost can really help through this transition period, thereby ensuring that your horse is in top form when competitions commence.
Top dressing with a balancer
Adding Connolly’s RED MILLS PerformaCare Balancer as a topdress is a fantastic way of giving your horse a nutritional boost. Usually fed at approx. 500g/day (one coffee mug morning and evening), it a very easy way of enhancing the diet with a full range of additional amino acids, vitamins and minerals. It also contains antioxidants, prebiotics, probiotics and a long-lasting natural gastric acid buffer to help promote muscle function and digestive health. PerformaCare Balancer is cereal-grain free and very low starch so is ideal for all horses including those prone to being fizzy, stressed or anxious.
PerformaCare Balancer can be fed short-term for a much needed nutritional boost or pick-me-up, or it can be fed long-term as part of your daily feeding program. It will work wonders in bringing on coat condition and topline and will greatly help your horse in recovery and performance. An excellent addition to any feed room! Find out more on feeding a balancer here.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids plays an important role in immune health. Grass is a natural source of omega 3’s but most performance horses have very limited access to good pasture, especially so when they are in Florida, so supplementation is extremely beneficial. Foran Equine Kentucky Karron Oil is a flaxseed oil, rich in omega 3 fatty acids. It is emulsified, which helps to ensure that the oil is easily digestible. Feeding Kentucky Karron Oil will also help to protect and strengthen the skin and coat from all the clipping, but also from all the products that are used while in Florida (e.g. fly spray, show sheens and shampoos), which can really dry out and damage the coat and skin. Find out more about about feeding an oil here.
Copper is a key element in many metabolic processes within the body and is often overlooked. Key signs of a possible deficiency include; a dry dull poor coat, poor hair condition, uneven hair growth/ shedding, long stringy/ fuzzy hairs and poor hoof quality. Classic signs of a deficiency would be an orange coppery tinge to a normally dark coat, or loss of pigmentation or mottling (white/pink spots) around the muzzle and/ or eyes. It is always a good idea to supplement with copper during this transitional period, especially if the classic signs of deficiency are evident e.g. poor coat. Supplementing will help replenish depleted stores, provide for potentially increased requirements seen during this period, and help to nutritionally prepare the horse for the season ahead. Foran Equine Copper Max is an easy to use copper supplement in paste form.
These next few months are a key time for your horse to recover from the season just gone, get some rest, and prepare for the season ahead, so it’s far from ideal when your horse loses most of this time struggling with the adjustment in the transition to Florida. Assisting your horse nutritionally can really help get them through this critical transition period and prepare them for the busy season ahead!
If you’ve got any nutrition queries, get in touch with our expert team.