<% appTitle="Ridecamp Archives" %> Ridecamp: Re: [RC] Fat/Dietary Questions Part1

[Archives Index]   [Date Index]   [Thread Index]   [Author Index]   [Subject Index]
Current to Wed Jul 23 17:38:23 GMT 2003
  • Next by Date: Re: [RC] Ringers ?
  • - Drin Becker
  • Prev by Date: Re: [RC] Very Young Children in AERC Riding
  • - Ed and Wendy Hauser

    Re: [RC] Fat/Dietary Questions Part1 - Susan Garlinghouse

     Her heart rate was bouncing around at the 38 mile check so,
    > not wanted to over stress her, I pulled her.  She's been getting a fat
    > supplement in moderation along with equine senior, advantage, and beet
    > about 3 times a week.  She's fed equal amounts of Alfalfa and an Oat,
    > Milo and alfalfa mix hay.
    > So my question for you is, what is the best way to feed fat; supplement,
    > grain, etc.???
    Geez, Audrey, your next question will be to explain the meaning of life,
    sparing no details <vbg>.
    The short answer as to how to feed the best way is *whatever works for you
    and your horse, regardless of what the textbooks and 'experts' say*.  There
    are very few hard and fast rules, just guidelines.  Fudge's HR may have been
    hanging a bit because she was excited, not quite conditioned yet, because
    she's getting a bit more alfalfa than she might do best with (though that
    wouldn't be my first guess unless more than 50% of her hay ration is
    alfalfa), because her electrolytes are off, or because she's getting too
    much fat too close to ride day.  Or other disease-associated reasons, but
    we;ll assume those aren't the case for now.  LOTS of choices there and
    you'll only find the right answer by experimenting.  Welcome to endurance
    nutrition. :-)
    Having said all that, let's get back to your how to feed fat question.
    Which fat source you choose depends on how much your horse will voluntarily
    eat, primarily.  If she'll eat vegetable oil in her beet pulp/grain, fine,
    then you can feed her however much it takes to maintain a good weight.  As
    for oil sources, I like a combination of fanatically FRESH canola oil, corn
    oil and a dab of extra virgin olive oil.  Good combination of omega threes
    and EFAs, plus some antioxidants.  Stabilized rice bran in reasonable
    amounts (I prefer two pounds or less a day) is fine as long as you're paying
    attention to the calcium-phosphorus issues.  The dry prilled fats are very
    convenient if your horse doesn't like the slimy texture of vegetable oils.
    There are a lot of arguments against the use of animal fats (which is what
    is used in the dry fats), but in reality, they aren't a relevant nutritional
    concern from your horse's point of view, just a preference choice for you.
    If you use the dry fats in a very hot summer area of the country, the dry
    fats tend to congeal at around 120 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes them hard
    to work with.
    As for amounts and frequency of fats---you can feed pretty much as much as
    your horse will eats and needs for the calories.  The "rules" about not
    feeding more than two cups a day or whatever aren't based on any clinical
    data.  In fact, horses have been fed some pretty stunning amounts of oil for
    extended periods of time and done fine on it.  The limiting factor is
    generally what the horse will eat.
    Split the fat rations into as many meals as you can.  Animals emulsify fats
    prior to aborption through the production of bile from the liver and horses
    don't have a gall bladder to store a ready supply.  They just sort of
    dribble it continually and so you'll get better fat absorption if you also
    'dribble' fats into the system rather than bombard it all at once with a
    big, gooey meal of it.
    Don't feed fats either at or for a few days before a ride.  Fats won't help
    provide useful energy during the ride itself.  More importantly, fats slow
    gastric emptying, which may also decrease gut motility, plus it provides a
    'satiety factor'.  That just means it decreases appetite for longer
    afterwards and so may decrease the amount of forage your horse is hungry for
    during the rest of the ride (it's the same reason why you're hungry again an
    hour after eating a salad, but satisfied all afternoon after a burger and
    And last, NEVER NEVER NEVER feed a horse liquid oil via oral syringe.  Even
    if he's thin as a rail and won't touch the stuff, orally syringing is NOT an
    option EVER.  The reason is because oil doesn't produce a swallowing reflex
    the same way that watery liquids and feedstuff does, and it's very possible
    for the oil to be aspirated into the lungs instead, and a horse with oil in
    the lungs is a dead horse.  NEVER NEVER NEVER.
    This is getting a little long, so I'll talk about antioxidants in a separate
    post.  Hope this is helpful so far.
    Susan G
     Ridecamp is a service of Endurance Net, http://www.endurance.net.
     Information, Policy, Disclaimer: http://www.endurance.net/Ridecamp
     Subscribe/Unsubscribe http://www.endurance.net/ridecamp/logon.asp
     If you are an AERC member - PLEASE VOTE in the upcoming By-Laws 
     Election!!!! (it takes 2/3rds to tango!!)