Supporting Horses Post Exercise
As riders we all have our post-exercise routines. Whether this is simply walking the horse off and a basic wash down, or whether you’re washing down with warm water, or maybe the application of a massage rug. However, it isn’t just what riders do on the outside that matters, how we support our horses from the inside is where the magic really happens.
A balanced exercise plan, combined with regular turnout will help keep your horse moving their best. That combined with a balanced diet of nutritional hard feed and good quality forage, will give you the best chance of keeping your horses happy and healthy, and performing their best.
A balanced feed diet may, however, not be enough to provide the right level of key nutrients your horse needs to maintain their performance levels through the changing season and variable workloads. Whether you are feeding for power, speed, condition or slow-release energy, there is a case to feed a base supplement that adds the right mix of vitamins and minerals to a horse’s diet.
The impact of exercise on muscles and joints is significant. Exercise releases oxidative challenges which will in turn affect muscles and joints.
Joints – in joints we see exercise start to breakdown the cartilage, increasing the wear and tear on the joints, as well as increasing the risk of injury or lameness.
Muscles – unless maintained correctly changes in exercise rate can lead to poor recovery rates for muscles. Whether this is through build-up of lactic acid, or whether this is through muscle stiffness on colder days.
When muscles are exercised the muscle breaks down, to later reform stronger. Due to inefficiencies in the horse’s body amino acids are lost from the muscle matrix at this point, leading to a release of inflammatory cues. These cues stimulate the release of protein breakdowns and free radicals, which are normally characterised as a build-up of lactic acid. The body needs antioxidants at this point to go in and ‘eat’ the free radicals for the muscles to recover at an optimal rate.
It is these antioxidants, combined with support for the horse’s own anti-inflammatory process, that can provide significant benefits for rapid recovery post exercise.
How can a supplement help?
Rosehip is a natural plant bioactive and source of Vitamins C, E, D and A – all of which have strong antioxidant properties that work hard to eat up the free radicals released during exercise.
In addition to the antioxidant properties, rosehip has been proven to support the horse’s own anti-inflammatory process, making it a go to supplement for supporting muscle recovery post exercise.
The information provided on this site is for information purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician, veterinarian, or other healthcare provider.