Sales Prep: Equine Nutrition for Quality Topline & Sales Ring Shine

A successful sales prep will see your yearling arrive at the sales complex bright-eyed, with a healthy horse coat, and in good body condition with a well-defined topline. While most yearlings sail through the necessary preparations, others fail to hold condition, struggle with the added pressures of exercise, or suffer with coughs and colds when stabled in close confinement with other horses. Nutrition is just one cog in the wheel of getting your yearling successfully to the sales. Ensuring key dietary requirements are met will be key to your horse looking and feeling its best when it walks into the ring. 

Key Considerations for Best Type of Horse Feed for Your Young Horse during Sales Prep

We have a number of different feeds formulated to suit the needs of yougstock being prepared for the sale. While some consignors chose to use a multi-purpose stud feed for sales preparation, many others opt for lower starch option such as our Horse Care 14 Mix or Cubes. Regardless of which feed you choose rest assured it will have been specifically formulated to provide top-quality nutrition including high-quality protein and essential amino acids to meet the requirements of young developing horses that are adapting to exercise for the first time, balanced levels of essential vitamins and minerals to support immune function, bone & joint health, and post exercise muscle recovery. We used advanced cooking techniques to make all our feeds. This helps to maximise digestive efficiency, which is essential to achieve sales ring condition. 


Stress in your Yearling Can Cause Digestive Issues during Sales Prep

Stress levels are evidently high in many horses coming in for sales prep and being stabled individually for the first time. Careful management during this period will reduce the chances of injuries to the yearling and to those caring for them. While many yearlings will quickly settle into a routine, others may begin to lose condition, become more difficult to handle, and be more prone to ulcers, soft droppings and digestive upsets as feed rates increase with workload.

Low Starch Horse Feeds to Manage Temperament in Young Horses

Horse Care 14 Cubes & Mix are high in calories but lower in fast-release energy sources, which may help to keep your young horse more level-headed during Sales prep while also providing beneficial additives such as prebiotics, probiotics, and a gastric acid buffer for digestive health, along with antioxidants to support immune function and high levels of biotin, chelated copper and zinc for optimal hoof and horse coat condition of your yearling. Horse Care Ultra Cubes also include the aforementioned extras in an ultra-low starch format for horses with known digestive issues or those with hot temperaments that are becoming hotter as feed rates increase. 


The Benefits of Top Line Development in Your Young Horse

Achieving a healthy and well-developed topline and muscle tone in young horses will not only have a positive impact in the sales ring, but also on a horse’s future soundness and athletic ability. Research has shown that low-intensity exercise during the early years of a Thoroughbred yearling’s life induces muscle adaptations which can positively influence athletic performance in later life. 


Exercise and Nutrition Work Hand-in-Hand to Achieve a Well-Defined Topline in your Sales Horse

Exercise will activate muscle conditioning, while a balanced diet containing high quality proteins will provide amino acid building blocks to build and repair a healthy muscular system. No two horses are the same and some require more support than others. Weak or backward individuals struggling to develop topline will often benefit from adding a pre-digested equine protein supplement such as Foran Equine’s Muscle Prep. A daily measure of Muscle Prep contains amino acids to support rapid muscle development in combination with vitamin E to support muscle recovery and a range of B-vitamins to promote appetite and increase protein and energy utilisation – supporting your yearling to achieve improved digestibility from all components of his diet.


Topline and Muscle Conditioning In Young Horses Cannot be Achieved If They Are Not Holding the Appropriate Condition

Yearlings that come in for prep at lower body condition scores, or those that are struggling to maintain condition as the workload increases will benefit from a high fat conditioner. Define & Shine is a horse feed specifically formulated to support weight gain and topline in horses. Define & Shine’s amino acid profile uniquely mirrors the ratio of horse muscle, providing optimal proportions to support growth and development. The high levels of omega-3-rich oils increase the calorie density of meals while supporting coat condition and overall well-being. Introduce slowly and feed 200-400g daily throughout prep on top of a balanced diet. 

Copper Deficiencies in Young Horses Should be Addressed with Equine Copper Supplements

Rich summer grazing will often meet the calorie requirements of yearlings, so it is likely that many have not received supplementary feeding in the months prior to sales preparation. Irish grazing alone will not contain enough copper to meet the daily requirements of growing horses so if your youngstock have not been given an equine copper supplement while turned out it will be important to address this as soon as they are brought in for prepping. Copper in horses plays a role in several key functions in the body. A copper deficiency in horses can often be identified by a dull, orange-tinged coat. Because of its involvement in new bone formation, a copper deficiency may also cause an increased incidence of OCD lesions in young horses. 


Foran Equine's Coppervit is an Excellent way of addressing Equine Copper Deficiencies

Foran Equine’s CopperVit , our copper supplement for horses has a multitude of benefits for yearlings. As well as supplying a fully chelated source of highly available copper, it also contains antioxidants to support a challenged immune system and key vitamins and chelated minerals to support healthy joints, coat and hooves in these young horses. 

A short course of CopperVit at the beginning of sales prep will help to rectify present copper deficiencies and a second course closer to the sales may be beneficial to improve appetite and optimum depth of colour and shine to the coat.