The summer season is beautiful. Long evenings, plenty of competitions, and more time to enjoy horsesports. However, the warm weather affects the performances that you and your horse can deliver. In this blog, we’ll share 4 tips to appear in optimal condition at the start.
1. Consider the weather
Hot weather! Good for us, but how does your horse feel about this? When the temperatures begin to rise above your horse’s thermo neutral zone, your horse will need extra support to be able to lose this excess heat. Within the thermo neutral zone (TNZ) your horse does not need to actively work to maintain his core body temperature (36-37 °C). The TNZ is dependent on, among others, your horse’s age and condition, as well as clipping. For unclipped horses, this zone is between -5 and +15 degrees Celsius. A clipped horse feels best between 10 and 20°C. This goes for adult horses, that are used to average temperatures. Build condition carefully, acclimatise your horse to the rising temperatures (train in the early morning or late in the evening) and ensure a proper cooling down! Add Cavalor CoolSens to the water during cooling down for an increased and extended cooling effect.
2. Adapt your horse’s ration and do not forget the electrolytes!
Got a busy summer season ahead? Take a close look at the feeding ration. No matter what goal you have in mind: your horse can’t exert efforts without the right nutrients. With increased training intensity, your horse requires ample energy and proteins for conditioning and muscle recovery. Due to more intense training, your horse will also sweat more frequently and in larger amounts. And it depletes electrolytes rapidly, especially on hot days!
Cavalor Electroliq Balance or Cavalor Electrolyte Balance will replenish the lost electrolytes and help your horse recover well. The ideal time to offer these electrolytes is directly after training. You could also feed them a maximum of 1,5 hours before training, but immediately afterwards has the best effect. No minerals will be lost that way, and your horse’s reserves are quickly replenished. Do you want to be sure your horse receives enough hydration and electrolytes on hot days? Use Cavalor Mash & Mix – mash to mix the electrolytes through. It tastes great, and definitely helps your horse recover.
3. Establish a grooming routine
This may sound like an open door, but a fixed routine in your horse’s grooming offers a lot of support and a better sense of any subtle changes in your horse’s health. For instance, check your horse’s manure every day as a measure of his intestinal health. If the digestion is good, the horse will have smooth, rounded balls of manure without any visible long stems of roughage: abnormal manure could indicate digestion problems. Also check your horse’s temperature regularly. It is the only way to know their regular temperature under normal circumstances, and to determine if at any time there is a fever. Just like in us humans, the horse’s base body temperature will vary per individual. In addition, regularly check how the nose, ears, legs, coronet band and hooves feel to the touch; so you have a clear sense of how the temperature of for instance the legs feels in case of a tendon injury, for instance. Do you have a fixed routine in your horse’s health checks?
4. Don’t forget yourself!
All the tips we have for horses naturally apply to you as a rider as well. Don’t start too quickly so that your body can acclimate to the heat. Eat and drink sufficiently and exercise in moderation. If you expect your horse to get back into peak performance, your horse may expect nothing less of you. Right? PS: Did you know that you can also use Cavalor FreeBute Gel on yourself, against sore muscles?
Nutritional advice from our experts: increasing training on hot days
Busy season ahead? Adjusting the feeding ration might be necessary. Gradually build up your horse’s feeding ration over the course of about a month. First and foremost, make sure your horse has access to plenty of fresh, clean water and good quality roughage.
Horses that are going to be trained more have an increased need for energy and protein, to aid conditioning and muscle recovery. You can supplement your horse’s diet with a balancer that is high in fats such as Cavalor WholeGain. Nutrition that is rich in fats provides long-term energy, so your horse will not have to dig into its reserves during training. This allows you to build up fitness and muscle at the same time.
Is your horse lacking the muscle build up you would like? Supplement the diet with Cavalor Muscle Force to support healthy muscle development. During a period of intensifying training, your horse’s tendons and joints will also experience more stress. Does your horse have sensitive tendons and joints? Cavalor Arti Matrix may help. Each horse is unique. And each horse has their own unique needs. Would you like tailored advice on which nutrition would suit your horse best? Ask us! You can reach us via the Cavalor Consumerline 0032(0)92202525 or simply create your own tailored rations on MyCavalor.com.
Happy and healthy athlete? Cool down properly!
Whether you are training for Grand Prix or just riding for yourself at home, a proper cooling down (at least 10 minutes of slow trot) is just as important as the warming up. After your training, your horse’s body gradually has to return to a state of rest. This will prevent a lot of injuries and ensures your horse can stay a happy athlete. During exertion, your horse’s heart rate, body temperature, and in case of any exertion above the anaerobic threshold, lactic acid levels in the blood will all go up. A proper cooling down will allow your horse to break down this lactic acid, bring his muscles back into relaxation, catch his breath and lower his body temperature again.
You can see tips for a proper cooling down in this video ‘Why It’s Important to Let Your Horse Cool Down’