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  • April 18, 2024 3 min read

    Helping Horses in Exercise Recovery

    There is no doubt that horse’s are athletes, and hence recovery after exercise should be prioritised to maintain health and performance. Proper recovery strategies can help prevent injuries, support muscle repair, and enhance overall well-being. This article discusses various techniques to assist horses in their recovery process, focusing on nutrition, physical therapies, and the innovative use of fermented yeast.

    Understanding the Recovery Needs of Horses

    Sport horses, like human athletes, undergo significant physical stress during training and competition. This stress can lead to muscle fatigue, depletion of energy stores, and micro-damage to muscle fibres. Effective recovery strategies are essential to restore these energy stores, repair damaged tissues, and prepare the horse for future activities.

    The primary aspects of recovery include rehydration, replenishment of energy reserves, and muscle repair. Each aspect requires a targeted approach that considers the horse's overall health, the intensity of the exercise, and the specific demands of the sport.

    Nutritional Strategies for Recovery

    1. Rehydration

    Rehydration is the first step in recovery. Horses lose a significant amount of fluids and electrolytes through sweat, and replenishing these is critical. Providing clean, fresh water and electrolyte supplements after intense workouts can help restore fluid balance and prevent dehydration-related issues.

    2. Energy Replenishment

    Carbohydrates are crucial for replenishing glycogen stores in muscles. Feeds high in digestible carbohydrates, such as oats or barley, can be effective. However, the timing and quantity of feed must be carefully managed to avoid digestive issues.

    3.Protein for Muscle Repair

    Proteins are essential for muscle repair and growth. High-quality protein sources, such as lucerne or soybean meal, should be part of the diet. These help in rebuilding muscle fibres and supporting the overall protein synthesis in the body.

    The Role of Fermented Yeast

    Fermented yeast is gaining popularity as a supplement for horse recovery. Yeast fermentation products are known to support gut health, improve feed efficiency, and enhance the immune system. Fermented yeast can also have direct benefits in recovery processes:

    - Enhanced Nutrient Absorption: Fermented yeast can improve the digestibility of the diet, ensuring that horses get the maximum benefit from the nutrients they consume. This is particularly important for the absorption of proteins and minerals essential for muscle repair.

    - Anti-inflammatory Properties: Some studies suggest that fermented yeast products can help reduce inflammation. This is beneficial for muscle recovery, as it can decrease muscle soreness and speed up the repair process.

    - Immune System Support: By bolstering the immune system, fermented yeast can help the horse fend off infections, which is crucial when the body is in a stressed and vulnerable state after intense exercise.

    Implementing fermented yeast into a horse's diet should be done with the guidance of a veterinarian or an equine nutritionist to ensure it complements the existing diet and fulfills the specific needs of the horse.

    Physical Therapies for Recovery

    Beyond nutrition, physical therapies play a significant role in helping horses recover. These therapies can relieve muscle tension, promote blood flow, and aid in overall recovery.

    1. Cooling Down

    A proper cool-down period is essential after intense exercise. This gradual reduction in activity helps maintain blood circulation, which aids in the removal of waste products from the muscles and reduces the chances of muscle stiffness.

    2. Massage and Physiotherapy

    Massage can enhance blood flow to muscles, which supports quicker recovery by increasing oxygen and nutrient delivery and speeding up the removal of metabolic wastes. Physiotherapy exercises can also help maintain flexibility and prevent the stiffness that can follow hard workouts.

    3. Hydrotherapy

    Water therapies, such as swimming or walking in a water treadmill, are excellent for recovery. They allow muscles to relax and rebuild without the added stress of body weight, reducing the risk of injury during the recovery phase.

    Recovery is as important as the training itself in the life of a sport horse. Effective recovery strategies, encompassing proper nutrition, hydration, and physical care, are critical for the health and performance of these equine athletes. Fermented yeast emerges as a beneficial addition to the diet, supporting gut health, improving nutrient absorption, and possibly reducing inflammation. By incorporating these strategies, horse owners and trainers can ensure their horses return to training in optimal condition and maintain peak performance throughout their careers.

    If you would like to add a yeast product to your horse’s diet then you can try:

    • Yea-Saac
    • EAC Inside-Out
    • Brewers Yeast

    To see our range of products, visit us in-store or online, we are here to help!

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