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MY HORSES SUMMER MORNING ROUTINE

All horses need sugar to stay healthy and perform well. Sugar provides the energy that muscles need to function properly. No sugar, no performance. For healthy horses, normal amounts of sugar are not a problem. But too much sugar is not good for anyone. Moderation is essential. In this blog post, we will cover this topic in detail.
Sugar is found in all rations, including those made up of only forage, because sugar is present in the grass. So any type of forage or concentrate feed will contain sugar. Sugars are short-chain carbohydrates, just like starch. Carbohydrates are the horse’s primary natural energy source.

All horses need sugar

So what about sugar and horse feed?


The horse’s body converts sugar (carbohydrates) into energy in several ways. Sugar is made up of fructose and glucose. Fructose is broken down in the liver, while glucose goes into the bloodstream. Glucose is used as fuel for the muscles. Thus, we know that horses need sugar to provide them with energy for physical activity.

Sugar itself is not harmful to horses. The presence of carbohydrates in your horse’s feed is therefore normal and natural, but an excess of sugar can lead to health problems. The golden rule: don’t give your horse more energy than it needs.

What are the sources of sugar for my horse?


One of the main sources of sugar for horses is the grain in concentrated feeds. These are rich in starch that is converted to glucose. Another source of sugar in concentrated feeds is molasses, which can be a source of glucose depending on the amount added (5 – 10%). Don’t forget that forage also contains sugar.

The most important part of your horse’s diet is forage. The sugar and starch content of the forage is an often overlooked variable when trying to design low sugar rations. In reality, the basic sugar requirements of horses are covered by the forage.

Many horses do not require additional sugar for their normal work. However, if your goal is for your horse to achieve optimum athletic performance, you may need to add concentrates to his ration. Concentrates are an integral part of a high performance sport horse’s diet.

Feed a maximum of 2 grams of sugar and starch per kilogram of body weight per ration – don’t give your horse more energy than he needs.

How much sugar should my horse eat?


Most sport horses can eat a certain amount of sugar and starch – in fact, they even need this energy source. Studies show that 1 to 2 grams per kg body weight per ration can be easily digested in the small intestine. This means that a healthy 600 kg horse should receive a maximum of 1.2 kg of sugar and starch per concentrated feed ration.

It should also be noted that a horse can digest a relatively large amount of nutrients without any problems. However, digestion takes time, so give your horse’s small intestine time to absorb all the nutrients, including sugar and starch. You can guarantee this by feeding your horse several small meals a day.

Example:

A healthy horse (half-blood) weighing 600 kg who trains in dressage at an average level. He receives 9 kg of hay (2% starch, 10% sugar), 1 kg of Cavalor FiberForce and 1 kg of Cavalor Endurix, divided into five rations (hay – concentrate – hay – concentrate – hay). How many grams of sugar and starch does this rider give his horse per ration?

Would you like to know how much forage / concentrate feed your horse needs according to the intensity of his training? Go to www.mycavalor.com. With just a few clicks, you can find the feed ration that suits you best.

When to worry about sugar?


If your horse is healthy, there’s no need to worry. Just make sure the energy intake matches his energy needs.

Which horses can benefit from a low sugar diet?

Horses prone to gastrointestinal disorders, including ulcers, colic and loose stools
Horses with metabolic disorders such as
Insulin dysregulation
Obesity
laminitis
EMS
Muscle disorders (PSSM, RER)
Obesity and associated metabolic disorders such as laminitis are primarily caused by excessive sugar intake relative to physical activity. You can help these horses with a low sugar diet and more exercise!

All horses need sugar to stay healthy and perform well. Sugar provides the energy that muscles need to function properly. No sugar, no performance. For healthy horses, normal amounts of sugar are not a problem. But too much sugar is not good for anyone. Moderation is essential. In this blog post, we will cover this topic in detail.
Sugar is found in all rations, including those made up of only forage, because sugar is present in the grass. So any type of forage or concentrate feed will contain sugar. Sugars are short-chain carbohydrates, just like starch. Carbohydrates are the horse’s primary natural energy source.

All horses need sugar

So what about sugar and horse feed?


The horse’s body converts sugar (carbohydrates) into energy in several ways. Sugar is made up of fructose and glucose. Fructose is broken down in the liver, while glucose goes into the bloodstream. Glucose is used as fuel for the muscles. Thus, we know that horses need sugar to provide them with energy for physical activity.

Sugar itself is not harmful to horses. The presence of carbohydrates in your horse’s feed is therefore normal and natural, but an excess of sugar can lead to health problems. The golden rule: don’t give your horse more energy than it needs.

What are the sources of sugar for my horse?


One of the main sources of sugar for horses is the grain in concentrated feeds. These are rich in starch that is converted to glucose. Another source of sugar in concentrated feeds is molasses, which can be a source of glucose depending on the amount added (5 – 10%). Don’t forget that forage also contains sugar.

The most important part of your horse’s diet is forage. The sugar and starch content of the forage is an often overlooked variable when trying to design low sugar rations. In reality, the basic sugar requirements of horses are covered by the forage.

Sugar Starch Sugar and fructans
Cereals (oats, corn, wheat, barley)

0,5 – 4%
35-70%
Molasses

40 – 50%
Hay
0,2 – 3% 7 – 16%

Pre-crop 0.6 – 2.5

7 – 11 %

Fresh grass 0.03 – 4 % > depending on season

4 -14% > depending on the season
Many horses do not need extra sugar for their regular work. However, if your goal is for your horse to achieve optimum athletic performance, you may need to add concentrates to his ration. Concentrates are an integral part of a high performance sport horse’s diet.

Feed a maximum of 2 grams of sugar and starch per kilogram of body weight per ration – don’t give your horse more energy than he needs.

How much sugar should my horse eat?


Most sport horses can eat a certain amount of sugar and starch – in fact, they even need this energy source. Studies show that 1 to 2 grams per kg body weight per ration can be easily digested in the small intestine. This means that a healthy 600 kg horse should receive a maximum of 1.2 kg of sugar and starch per concentrated feed ration.

It should also be noted that a horse can digest a relatively large amount of nutrients without any problems. However, digestion takes time, so give your horse’s small intestine time to absorb all the nutrients, including sugar and starch. You can guarantee this by feeding your horse several small meals a day.