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Re: concentrated calories (was conditioned hay)

> Yeah, that would be my guess but it seems that my actual experience is
> proving me wrong in my thinking :)

Well, there are alot of other things not apparent to the naked eye that can
make one grass tastier than the next.  I couldnt tell you exactly what the
difference was that made your ponies like the neighbor's hay more than
yours, but I do know that the greenest and prettiest isn't necessarily the
most nutritious.  Or, it could something having to do with protein content
(because protein tastes good), or differing mineral contents, or just the
novelty of something new.

> Me either...since he's never done a ride ;).  However, I would expect that
> would need to feed him as many calories as he was taking in before the
> so was wondering how to do that without the excessive amounts of grain.

The calories you feed actually during a ride aren't necessarily those that
go directly towards fueling the exercise.  You do need to maintain a certain
amount of blood glucose, but the majority of the fuel expended is coming
from existing sources within different cells.  Mostly during a ride, you
want to feed to maintain hydration, gut motility and as a distant third, to
supply energy.  That doesn't really come down to X number of calories during
a ride, just a general rule of thumb to keep him eating throughout the day.
No matter what you do, you won't be able to feed him as many calories as
he's expending during the day, so he'll have to play catch-up afterwards to
one extent or another.  Anyway, don't worry too much about exact calories
and pounds and things, just keep him eating. :-)

> But, feeding that amount of grain would be bad news r/t blood flow to the
> organs to digest while working so hard (to mention one reason).

Actually, that's kind of an urban legend that isn't quite true.  Yes, eating
does route blood to the digestive system, but it doesn't do so at the
expense of the muscles during exercise.  There was some research looking at
that a few years ago, and it turned out that blood flow after eating not
only increases going to the GI tract, but also the muscles, by about 20%.
So there *are* some good reasons not to feed really large grain meals
sporadically during a ride, but that's not one of them.  :-)  If you did
want to feed grain during the day/during a ride, you can just split it up
into small meals every hour or two and do just fine.  Same rule goes for
forage, lots of snacks and quick meals all day long rather than just one or
two gorges at vet checks will do a lot more towards maintaining gut
motility.  :-))

Good luck!

Susan G

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