Home' Breeding and Racing : Issue 115 March-April Contents FOR DAILY INDUSTRY NEWS UPDATES VISIT WWW.BREEDINGRACING.COM 37
Barley, Whole or crushed
Corn, Whole or cracked
Barley, Steam rolled
Steam Extruded Grain
n % Fermented in Hindgut
n % Digested in the Small Intestine
to the muscle, tendons and ligaments, where
they are needed to repair and rebuild. Ideally
the protein should be broken down in the
stomach and small intestine into amino acids
where it is absorbed readily across the small
intestinal wall. If the protein is not absorbed
in the small intestine it passes through to the
large intestine where it is fermented, producing
ammonia, becoming a waste to the horse.
Providing a steam extruded concentrate will
increase the digestion of the feed to over 90
percent in the small intestine.
The graph to the right shows the variability
in digestibility of common horse feeds.
Provide the nutrients to repair,
remodel and maintain good strong
bone and cartilage
Injuries to the bone and cartilage of a horse
generally require a longer spell so the bone can
repair and remodel. Musculoskeletal injuries
are a primary cause of ‘time off ’ for racehorses.
Fractures of the carpel or cannon bone, a
bone chip in the knee or fetlock or cartilage
damage may require surgery and months of
convalescing and rebuilding.
Exercise has a positive effect on bone
density and during a spell, short or long, it is
important to maintain the density of the bone
of the horse.
Providing the correct levels of bone
building nutrients such as protein, calcium,
phosphorous, magnesium, zinc, copper
and Vitamin K1 and K2 will optimise the
remodelling, geometry, density and strength of
the bone and cartilage.
Composition of Bone
Studies on bone growth in horses has
revealed that a protein, osteocalcin needs
Vitamin K1 and K2 to bind the minerals and
protein in bones together, helping to improve
bone density. Recent research suggests that
supplementing with Vitamin K1 and K2 at
recommended levels may have a positive
impact on bone density, building stronger
bones. We strongly suggest that spelling horses
are fed a concentrate such as Athlete Plus,
Impacta or Breeda that contains Bonafide to
maintain the integrity of bone and provide a
ration that is balanced for all nutrients, when
fed with correct levels of roughage.
Provide a ration that is balanced for
all nutrients, is palatable, easy to
feed, well digested and will maintain
the condition and well being of the
horse throughout the spell
For optimal recovery, spelling horses should be
fed a ration that is balanced for all nutrients.
There is a delicate interaction between nutrients.
Some nutrients can be antagonist towards
others and therefore optimum, not maximum
or minimum levels of nutrients need to be fed.
Mitavite provide minerals at the correct level,
that are chelated and vitamins in their natural
form increasing bioavailability and absorption.
The steam extruded nuts or muesli style
mixes of Mitavite feeds are palatable and easy
to feed. The steam-extruded nuts can be fed
alone, and a dipper or two of chaff can be
added to the muesli mixes.
As the nutrients are provided in a steam
extruded nut they are well digested in the
small intestine, providing the energy, protein,
vitamins and minerals spelling horses need to
To enhance recovery, Super Amino 66,
a protein, vitamin and mineral, bone and
muscle-building supplement can be added to
the ration. The amino acid profile in Super
Amino 66 is closely matched to the needs of
the horse, accelerating the repair of injured
muscle, tendons, ligaments and bone.
Understand the nutrient levels in
pasture species and adjust the
feeding regime accordingly.
Pasture will make up the bulk of the roughage
for horses that are spelling. A sudden change
from a chaff, hay, concentrate diet to a pasture
and concentrate diet may cause the horse
to lose condition even though ample feed is
available. The microbes in the hind gut of the
horse need to become accustomed to the new
pasture based ration. Therefore, it is prudent
to feed additional roughage during the first
week or two of the spell to slowly accustom the
microbes in the hindgut to the predominantly
It is a good idea to find out what pasture
species are available while the horse is spelling.
Some tropical grasses and kikuyu contain a
chemical called oxalate. This chemical binds
calcium in the gut, forming a compound, which
cannot be absorbed by the horse. Low levels
of Calcium in the blood stimulate a hormone
to be released by the parathyroid gland, which
dissolves Calcium in the bones, so Calcium is
then available for heart and muscle function.
The removal of Calcium from the bones
can cause them to become weakened. The
extent of the damage will depend on the age of
the horse and the degree and duration of the
deficiency. If horses are spelled on pastures that
contain oxalate containing species, your equine
nutritionist will be able to assess the ration
and the level of calcium needed, to correctly
balance the ration.
Introduce the race feed while the
horse is spelling
Once the racehorse has repaired, refreshed and
recovered, it is ideal to incorporate the racing
diet into the horses feeding regime before
resuming training. This is generally introduced
during the last 2-3 weeks of spelling. Horses
can become finicky eaters during work, and
by introducing new feeds to the horses diet
while it is spelling and not under the stress
of training and stabling, new feeds are more
readily accepted, allowing the horse to settle
into training more smoothly.
Feeding proven concentrates such as
Breeda, Athlete Plus or Impacta and a protein
and bone building supplement such as
Super Amino 66 to provide optimal levels
of protein, amino acids and nutrients in a
highly digestible, bioavailable form enhances
rebuilding, recovery and repair during a
spelling period. If you require any information
on feeding Mitavite feeds or feeding horses we
can be contacted on 1800-025-487 or email:
Trace mineral 1%
Digestibility of Feeds
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