“Veterinarians, horse breeders, professional horse trainers and owners can benefit from using an Equine Nutritionist to better understand their horses exact nutritional needs, resulting in higher performance capability, sounder and more healthier horses and increased dollars for the weanling sales.” – Erin Lohec, Andalusian Dressage Partners, LLC
Those who breed horses, whether for personal pleasure, commercial interest or both have the same end goal in mind: a healthy foal that will grow into a strong, vibrant, athletic adult horse, able to perform the tasks that will be asked of him. Additionally, the health and well being of the mare is critical. In fact, mares are the foundation of any breeding program, and the success of your foals through to weaning is in large part the result of sound broodmare nutrition and management.
The goal of a broodmare nutrition program is not only to nourish fetal development, but also to ensure the mare is in sufficient condition once the foal is born to amply lactate without compromising her own health.
Traditionally, nutritional changes were not made until the ninth month of gestation. However, we now know that the mare’s requirement for some nutrients increases far earlier. From the start of the second trimester, the mare steadily requires more energy and protein as first the support tissues of pregnancy, and then later the foal itself, develop. Then, she will need more calcium, phosphorous, copper and zinc. The need for these and other nutrients increases still further during lactation.
More and more research is proving that the nutrition received during prenatal development has a significant impact on the foal’s future health and soundness. For example, the mare’s body condition can affect colostrum and milk production, which may in turn influence the foal’s passive immunity and growth rate. A copper deficiency in the mare may increase the foal’s risk of developmental orthopedic disease.
Summit Equine Nutrition is here to support you and your breeding program from conception to weaning and beyond with nutritional strategies created specifically for each step of the process. Our goal is to help prevent medical complications that may occur as a result of sub-par nutrition. We also have experience partnering with veterinarians to assist in resolving existing complications in both the broodmare and the foal.
We will work with to select the correct horse feeds and equine supplements to ensure that at any given time your mares and foals are receiving precisely the nutrients they need to insure your foals are given the best chance of a healthy, athletic future.
We have a specialist program called Strong Start specifically designed with the needs of the breeder in mind. To learn about Strong Start click here. To find out more about how Summit Equine Nutrition can help support your specific breeding program, click here to have Dr. Thunes contact you.