Young horses need a properly balanced diet that supplies optimal amounts of energy and nutrients in order to help them achieve their genetic potential for sound growth. Because nutrition of the young, growing horse actually starts with the mare, please review the recommendations for feeding late pregnant mares and ensure that your mare is well fed. An adequate amount of energy, protein, amino acids (especially lysine), and required vitamins and minerals need to be supplied at the correct levels to reduce the risk of developmental problems.
Growing horses can encounter various management situations that may derail proper growth, such as long periods of stalling, poor pasture, feeding below the recommended amount of formulated feed, and even overfeeding (or overconsumption of calories). In these situations careful nutritional management and supplementation may aid in supporting healthy growth progress.
Young horses are at a particularly high risk for problems at key points in their development and management. These times include foaling, weaning, sales prep, sales, travel, and the onset of training.
Foaling is a very stressful time and a traumatic event for the foal. Supplementation with the antioxidant vitamin E will help support the immune system and guard against oxidative damage, and has been recommended by veterinarians for foals that suffer oxygen deficits at birth. Additionally, foals often experience bouts of diarrhea, for which a hindgut buffer may be recommended.
Weaning, sales prep, travel, and sale are all significant transitional periods that place young horses at risk for a multitude of problems that may include gastric ulcers, brought on by stress and change in management or diet. Gastric ulcers often contribute to growth slumps, as they can impact appetite as well as digestive efficiency. Young horses are also at increased risk for illness as they are under greater stress and may also have to adapt to new environments.
Young horses entering into training may be transitioned quickly from pasture with free-choice exercise to the restriction of a stall. This change can cause a decrease in bone mineralisation that can be reversed with bone health supplementation. The changes in management and stress of travel and the new environment may also predispose the young athlete to gastric ulcers or hindgut acidosis.
Which solution is right for your horse?
Bone Food Plus® Mineral and vitamin supplement to support bone health. Bone Food Plus is formulated to supply equine diets with vital bone-building nutrients and supplies the essential building blocks to optimise bone development, health, and strength.
EO-3™ Concentrated direct source of DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids. EO-3 is a rich source of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA in a palatable liquid form. EO-3 can be fed to all classes of horses including foals, breeding stock, and performance horses to improve the critical ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in the diet.
EquiShure® Time-released hindgut balancer. EquiShure promotes normal digestive function by aiding in the maintenance of an optimal hindgut environment and is designed for horses suspected of suffering from or that are at risk of developing hindgut acidosis.
Glucos-A-Flex® Help maintain joint health for long term performance. Glucos-A-Flex contains a blend of glucosamine hydrochloride (HCl), vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants. This blend of nutrients is vital for cartilage and bone development, maintenance of elastic connective tissue, support of skin and mucous membranes, along with coat and hoof integrity.
Nano-E® Liquid natural-source vitamin E with superior bioavailability. Nano-E is a revolutionary natural-source vitamin E supplement for horses. Liposome encapsulation and nanodispersion ensures rapid and superior bioavailability for all horses.
Neigh-Lox® Antacid and coating supplement for horses at risk of gastric ulcers. Prolonged exposure of the stomach to gastric acid can cause damage to the stomach lining, resulting in a painful condition for the horse. Neigh-Lox contains a combination of rapidly acting antacids.
Triacton® Bone and digestive health support. Triacton is a research-proven, triple-action supplement designed to improve bone density and support digestive health in horses.
- The Young Years: Nutrition from Birth to Two Years of Age
- Healthy Foals: Supporting the Intestinal Microbiome
- Skeletal Issues in Older Foals: Angular Limb Deformities
- Feeding the Weanling Requires Careful Consideration
Successful Weaning of Foals: Keep Them Eating
- Managing Yearlings During Sales Season
- Preventing and Treating Bone Cysts in Horses
- Bone Bruises in Young Equine Athletes
- Athletic Horses: Supplements to Maximize Bone Health