4 ways to create energy without fizz in your horse

Giving your horse energy without overfeeding or making him 'fizzy' can be a difficult balance.

Here with advice is independent equine nutritionist, Clare Macleod MSc Nutr

1. Keep your horse fit

By far the most important factor for energy in your horse is to have him physically fit, so make sure you have a progressive, specific fitness programme in place and if you're unsure how to do this, seek expert advice.

It's important you develop your riding skills to direct this increased energy so that it doesn't turn into unwanted behaviour. 


Fitness programme

For event horses

2. Check your horse's body fat 

The second most important factor is to check your horse isn't carrying excess body fat, which can make him less energetic in his work and reduce efficiency of heat loss.

Find out how to assess body fat levels, monitor your horse regularly and keep a record.

In terms of condition scoring, you should always be able to feel your horse's ribs. 


Body condition score

Here's how to do it

3. Avoid feeding your horse too much starch

Choose 'superfibre' concentrate feeds rather than starchy grain-based concentrate rations, as some horses become too excitable on moderate-to-high intakes of starch.

Look for feeds containing high digestible fibre and oil, most of which are targeted at endurance exercise, but are just as suitable for all disciplines. 


Feeding your horse oil

What you need to know

4. Feed your horse quality forage 

Make the most of grass as excess starchy concentrates can fizz up most horses.

Feed quality forage with an added vitamin and mineral supplement. 

Only add concentrates if your horse can't maintain weight and condition on forage,

Watch for excess weight gain and low fibre intake if your horse is on well-grazed pasture and eating only grass 'sprouts'. 


Feeding forage

5 simple tips