A Practical Guide to Sales Prep – Supplementing for Sales Success

The aim of yearling sales preparation is to produce an athletic, well-mannered, sound individual in good body condition to shine in the sales ring. Nutrition plays an important role in preparing yearlings for the sales ring, helping to ensure they achieve their maximum potential.  Planning is critical, from selecting the most suitable forage and hard feed to tailoring supplements to the individual needs. 

1. How can I best support my yearlings developing joints throughout the sales prep period and hopefully avoid undesirable problems? 

In an ideal world, having a steady and consistent growth rate from foal to fully-grown is the best way to avoid problems.  However, complications are common and the need to supplement youngstock can arise, especially during sales prep. Copper is integral to bone and joint development; lysol-oxidase, an enzyme  fundamental to collagen formation and turnover, is reliant upon copper to function normally.  Adequate copper intake may therefore have a role in avoiding Developmental Orthopaedic Disorders. Foran Equine Coppervit is a daily supplement best used throughout the prepping period to supply the most bioavailable form of copper to your youngstock.  Coppervit also provides the additional benefits of chelated manganese, involved in the synthesis of chondroitin sulphate and therefore important for joint integrity, and vitamin E, a potent antioxidant to help support the immune system. 

2. My yearling’s coat is flat, lacking depth and shine. What can I do to help ahead of the sales? 

This is a common problem and can be related to copper deficiency and low levels of oil in the diet.  Coat colour is dependent on melanin pigments, and melanin production relies upon an enzyme directly affected by copper levels.  A yellow tone or bleached appearance to darker coatsoften coupled with a brittleness due to poor keratinization, could be linked to copper and zinc status.  For youngstock not already receiving a copper supplement Foran Equine Copper Max Paste is extremely effective in improving coat appearance quickly. This convenient syringe can be used anytime throughout the sales prep period and provides a readily absorbed concentrated amount of copper and zinc. To further enhance coat shine we recommend using Foran Equine Kentucky Karron Oil, a high quality and easily absorbed oil, rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, daily throughout prepping. 

3. One of our fillies is very highly strung and becomes anxious when there is a lot going on around her, is there something I can give her to ease her stress without losing her ability to concentrate? 

Undesirable behaviour can impact on the selling potential of your youngstock, as well as creating safety concerns for handlers and buyers. Providing a supplement designed to alleviate stress, while promoting concentration, can be very beneficial to behaviour and help to maximise sales potential. Foran Equine Nutri-Calm is a combination of L-tryptophan, B vitamins and magnesium,  providing key nutrients to support the nervous system and promote the production of serotonin, commonly referred to as the “happy hormone”. Nutri-Calm can be added to the feed daily leading up to the sales or you can use the convenient one-off syringes on the day. We advise you try this product at home and decide what will work best for you and your yearling to maximise effectiveness at the sales. 

4. I have a few yearlings going through sales prep and they have a snotty nose, they are well in themselves but is there anything I can do to help clear their airways a bit? 

First and foremost, any snotty nose should be investigated by your vet to rule out any infection. If there are no concerns, then it is most likely due to the intensive housing environment that sales prep youngstock are often kept in. Foran Equine Airvent is an excellent product to support respiratory health, as it is rich in immune enhancing vitamin C. Although the horse produces vitamin C by itself, additional dietary intake can be beneficial during stressful periods. Airvent also contains decongesting aromatic oils, including eucalyptus, well known to help clear airways and ease breathing. 

5. I have a few weak looking yearlings that are slightly fussy feeders and their topline development is behind some of the others.  What can I do to help them catch them up; the sales are coming up quickly and I need something that will give me quick results? 

Getting your feeding regime just right so that condition peaks by the start of the sales is a major challenge and even the best producers in the world lose a few nights sleep as the sales get ever closer. When prepping yearlings, you are potentially dealing with youngstock at various stages of development; some may be “good doers” while others are just a bit backwards and need extra support to achieve peak condition. Foran Equine Muscle Prep is the ideal addition to your daily feeding regime for when you need quick and powerful results. Muscle Prep contains readily absorbed essential and non-essential amino acids from a hydrolysed plant protein source; these amino acids support rapid muscle development to promote topline. Muscle Prep also provides vitamin E to support muscle health, as well as a range of B vitamins to promote appetite and optimise protein and energy utilisation, allowing your yearling to get the most out of its diet whilst achieving quick and striking conditioning results. 

Find out more about nutrition during sales prep in these articles:

Practical Guide to Sales Prep – Forage

Practical Guide to Sales Prep – Feeding

 If you’ve got any queries on feeding or supplementing your youngstock, get in touch with our expert team