Statistics show that 5.4% of the horses in Canada are involved in the racing industry. With so many equine athletes populating the nation, it's important that owners take the time to understand the unique nutritional needs of their racehorses. Minerals play an essential role in helping horses maintain a healthy body, but racehorses often don't get the right amount of minerals through diet alone.
Here are three minerals you should ensure your equine athlete receives on a daily basis.
Competitive racehorses begin training at a young age. Strenuous exercise can have a negative effect on the growth and development of a young horse's bones. Research shows that a racehorse's legs are particularly prone to injury, with 65-90% of all racing Thoroughbreds in the United States showing signs of bucked shins during the early stages of their training.
If you don't want bone problems to plague your racehorses, it can be beneficial to provide them with a daily calcium supplement. Calcium is a mineral that is essential for proper bone growth, so ask a veterinarian, like Belle River Animal Clinic, to recommend a calcium supplement that will help your horses withstand their training schedules without sustaining injuries.
Horses produce energy to power their bodily functions through a process known as oxidation. As fats, carbohydrates, and proteins are oxidized to create energy, free radicals are released into the body. These free radicals can attack a racehorse's lipids, compromising the integrity of the horse's cell membranes.
Selenium is a mineral that plays a crucial role in mitigating the negative effects of the oxidation process on a horse's body. By working with a veterinarian to ensure that your racehorses are receiving enough selenium each day, you can prevent your equine athletes from developing cancer and experiencing immune problems that might sideline them in the future.
When it comes to helping your racehorses access the enzymes necessary for proper blood clotting and wound healing after sustaining an injury, it's essential that you are feeding a diet that provides enough zinc. Fortunately, it's fairly easy to find feed materials that provide the recommended 40 mg/kg of zinc a horse should be ingesting each day.
Horses can tolerate up to 10 times the recommended level when it comes to zinc, so incorporating a little extra into your racehorses' diet to help with the healing process can be beneficial. Be sure to work with your veterinarian to create a feeding schedule that will help your racehorses quickly overcome injuries by providing adequate levels of zinc.
Paying close attention to the minerals your racehorses are receiving can be a simple way to ensure your equine athletes stay healthy and perform their best on the track.