No matter the season, horse owners are busy with their horse(s) year round. In this article, you will find various tips on winter routines for sport horses. We have divided these into:
- The young horse in training
- The sport horse in international competition
- And a tip!
The eve of a sporting career
Winter is a good time for young horses to start their training. They have had lots of time to develop in their first years of life. Now it is time to get them ready for sport. In this start-up phase, a young horse may need a little support. Like with any other horses, the philosophy here is ‘feed as you need’. A horse’s ration is based on roughage. In winter, most horses spend more time in the barn than at pasture. This is a big change, especially for young horses that until now have been turned out full time. So always make sure they have enough roughage available to them.
All horses need a good basic roughage as well as concentrates that are high in fibre, herbs, and probiotics. For young horses, we recommend Strucomix Original. This contains no oats and is therefore well suited to young horses. The young horse is not yet used to work, and this may lead to stress. Stress results in increased lactate production, which causes acidification. To prevent this, build up gradually. You can also regulate muscle acidosis with Muscle Motion and LactaTec. Not all horses start their careers as sport horses right away. Stallions are usually first prepared for their stallion inspections. In this case, faster muscle development may be desired. Cavalor Muscle Force supports muscles and provides enough protein to develop muscle mass. Important: a horse must first have sufficient body mass before it can develop muscles. Read more about this on our blog post “From Zero to Hero”.
Keeping the body in good condition is only possible if the foundation is solid. For horses, that foundation means a strong immune system. Strong natural resistance is especially important when you take your horses to southern European competitions such as the MET Oliva or the Sunshine Tour. The Rhinopneumonia outbreak in the spring of 2021 put minds on edge about natural defences. With large numbers of horses together, there is always a high chance of a virus outbreak. Add reduced resistance to that (e.g. from travelling) and your horse will be extremely susceptible to external influences. To avoid this, there’s a lot you can do before you travel. Cavalor Resist + Vit C boosts immunity. Start at least 10 days before departure. Cavalor Peak Performance can help keep your horse fit and in good condition for the duration of the competition. Start administering seven days before departure.
Did you know that a horse loses as much as 5% of its weight during a 24-hour journey? So always leave in good shape and make sure you have extra energy when you arrive. We recommend having Cavalor Emergency 911 with you in transport. Cavalor Emergency 911 prevents intestinal problems such as colic. Administer one tube per day in travel. Some horses don’t like to drink whilst on the road. Cavalor Mash & Mix is a tasty mash that also ensures they take in fluids. Did you know that carrots are 90% water? Carrots are an ideal way to help your horse maintain its moisture levels during the journey. During the trip, keep a hay net available. If the horse wants to eat, it can.
And lastly, we have a detox tip for you. The Christmas holidays allow us all to have a break. We enjoy time with friends and family, we travel less and, logically, there are fewer competitions. Make smart use of this time with a detox and give your digestive system a break. Getting back to basics will help you come back stronger. Want to know more about the power of detox for your horse? Then watch this informative video.