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Re: [RC] Nutrition - Diane Trefethen

I agree with Bob's comments about "additives", especially during a ride, primarily because no matter what goes in your equine's mouth, it is of no use to the horse until it hits the bloodstream. In a horse, the stomach is relatively small and accounts for only about 10% of the digestive process. The bulk of digestion occurs in the small intestine. It takes an average of 4 hours for food to pass through the stomach. Although the small intestine can take as little as 30 minutes to start passing nutrients to the bloodstream, the whole process may range up to 7 hours. The quieter the animal, the more bodily effort is devoted to digestion. Trotting along interferes with digestion. The more energy that is devoted to moving, the less the body allocates to digesting. Ironically, the faster moving horses that could benefit the most from a RAPID transfer from mouth to bloodstream take the longest due to their higher levels of performance. So bottom line, with the exception of the Glycogen Loaders which start increasing blood glucose within 15 minutes of ingestion, most feeds won't impact the animal for many hours. This renders them useless as performance boosters in LDs, not helpful to 50s till well after the Top Ten have finished and most useful to 100 milers though even they still require "down time" to effectively process hay, grain, etc.

Here is a good article on the basics of a horse's digestive tract:


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RE: [RC] Nutrition, Bob Morris