A healthy, radiant horse with good musculature. Isn’t that what we all want? One of the most common misunderstandings regarding muscle development is that it can only be achieved through training. But did you know that your horse can only build up muscle through good condition and feed containing the right components? Good muscle development depends on the right feeding strategy. Here are three steps for obtaining strong musculature in your horse: from no muscle tone to a real powerhouse.
Step 1: Get your horse in shape
We often see that horses with difficulty building up muscle are frequently a little too thin. Your horse can’t build muscle if it doesn’t have sufficient body mass.
The first step is therefore getting your horse in good physical shape. One practical method for determining physical condition is Body Condition Scoring (BCS). To build muscle, a horse must have a Body Condition Score (BCS) of at least 5. If the BCS is higher, the horse is too fat. If the BCS is lower, the horse is too thin. A healthy body weight determines the general health and reproduction but also has an important influence on the sport performances.
Is your horse too thin (BCS of 4 or lower)? Then start giving him Cavalor WholeGain for a maximum period of 12 weeks. Cavalor WholeGain is a balancer that you mix in with your horse’s feed ration. This muesli contains many plant-based fats and raises the fat content of your horse’s feed. It stimulates weight gain and ensures extra vitality. After just a few weeks of giving your horse WholeGain, your horse will be fit with a shiny coat and a proper weight. It also has energy that is easily absorbable. This energy is released gradually so that the horse can build up strength and endurance. The feed ration’s increased fat content allows the muscles to process glucose more efficiently during anaerobic exercise. This forms the basis for building muscle. Is your horse in good shape? Then you can start work on building muscle.
Step 2: Give your horse the right nutrients
Your horse is in good shape (BCS 5) and you want him to develop more muscle. What’s good to know in any case is that all horses can develop strong muscles. For muscle development, it is important that your horse’s feed contains the right amino acids and adequate energy. Muscles consist of muscle fibres, which in turn are made of proteins. Proteins are made up of amino acids. A horse therefore needs protein to build muscle. A crucial factor is the quality of the amino acids. Therefore, the second step to building muscle is to supplement your horse’s feed ration.
Want to know why high-quality proteins and amino acids are so important? Read our Science Sunday article on strong muscles here.
The right feed for building muscle? Supplement your horse’s normal feed ration with Cavalor Vitamino. Cavalor Vitamino is a protein balancer specially designed to support muscle development. This pellet feed is a high-quality protein source with good digestibility and an amino acid profile specifically formulated for optimum development of muscle mass. The standard dosage of Cavalor VitAmino should be given for no longer than 12 weeks. This dosage may be halved for extended feeding.
Now that all the basic requirements have been met (good physical fitness and an optimum feed), you can start to work on your horse’s muscle development. Naturally, this calls for training. In this second step, you can work specifically on building up muscle. A good training programme is essential for this and must be balanced in both intensity and type of training. It is important to maintain sufficient recovery intervals between intense workouts so that the muscle fibres can recover and develop properly.
Step 3: From muscle to strong muscles
Your horse is in good physical shape and has good muscle tone. Well-developed, healthy muscles are extremely important. They tell you something about your horse’s physical health. Strong muscles are therefore essential for the long-term health and performance of a sport horse. You can give your horse extra support to maintain strong muscles with the right feed – for example when your horse returns to work after a period of recovery or reduced work, or for young horses at the beginning of their careers as sport horses. We also wrote an article about the routine you can build with the future sport horse. You can read that here.
For strong, powerful muscles, give your horse Cavalor Muscle Force. Our muscle feed supplement powerhouse is Cavalor Muscle Force. In combination with training, its 100% natural ingredients stimulate the sustained development of muscle power. This complementary feed consists of the essential amino acids necessary for the synthesis of muscle protein. It also contains active and inactive yeasts and a blend of herbs to support muscle cell distribution, inhibit muscle breakdown and promote muscle growth. Use Cavalor Muscle Force to support training and to help muscles gain a bit more strength, increasing performance. You’ll see a difference after just 45 days of using Cavalor Muscle Force, and this result will hold for a good 3 to 4 months. After an interval of 2 to 3 months, you can resume administering Cavalor Muscle Force.
In our ‘From Zero to Hero’ video, we explain again how to make your horse a radiant powerhorse.