Preparing breeze-up horses for sale requires experience and knowledge of the sales process, optimal nutrition, and of course the appropriate training regimes. The right management at this stage can help your horses sell well and continue in successful racing careers.
Once you have decided the breeze-up sale is right for your two year old then prepping becomes your priority. Many factors play a part in getting the breeze-up horse ready, correct nutrition being very high on that list. Since the 1970’s when the Americans first started the concept of the breeze-up they have become an increasingly popular way of selling 2 year olds, like taking a car for a test drive, it gives buyers a chance to see what the horse may be capable of prior to purchase.
Here we take a look at what you can you do to ensure you have well developed, healthy, sound horses at the sales, capable of quick breezing times. These horses need to be fit enough to gallop two to three furlongs, stay sound and strut out of the box in optimal condition for the sales ring.
Nutritional factors to consider:
– Bone health
– Antioxidants and electrolytes
When it comes to nutrition, energy intake is vital but this has to be balanced with the potential impact on the temperament of certain two year olds, and also the risks of tying up. High starch feeds are common for breeze up horses due to the fast release energy that cereals provide. However, if your horse can be overly keen or has a history of tying up then high starch feeds will not be the best option. Concentrate feeds higher in oil and fibre will need to be considered for these horses. The large quantities of feed required by a breeze-up horse can also cause problems if not managed well; small frequent meals across the day are the best option, while maximising forage intake to maintain gut health. Read more about tying up.
Adding oil to the diet is a great way to provide energy without increasing starch. Kentucky Karron Oil is a superior quality source of readily absorbed omega 3 fatty acids. Providing a concentrated source of energy, Kentucky Karron Oil offers added support for joint and immune health, digestive function, and skin and coat condition, all of which are vital for young breeze-up horses, throughout their prepping period.
High-quality protein in the diet is essential to provide the building blocks for musculoskeletal growth ensuring bone integrity, muscle development, repair and recovery during training. Human athletes are discovering the benefits of high-quality, easily digested protein, as seen with the protein bars and shakes that are now widely available. Muscle Prep is a pre-digested protein supplement with Vitamin E and B vitamins in a liquid form; designed with breeze-up horses in mind. This unique formulation is highly bioavailable, so it is rapidly absorbed and utilised for optimal muscle development and health throughout the breeze-up prepping period.
Supporting bone health is vital for potential breeze-up candidates, not only due to their age but also due to the stress placed on the skeleton during training. Keeping the skeleton strong and sound and able to endure the demands of fast work can help to achieve a successful breeze-up horse. Providing a product like Osteoglycan to two-year-olds during prepping will support them through the bone conditioning period, especially in the early stages of work when feed intake may be less and problems are most likely to occur.
Antioxidants and electrolytes are vital components to the horse’s recovery from intense work and adding both to your horse’s diet will ensure you have a supple, bouncing two year old throughout training and across the sale. Optimising muscle health by using Muscle Max and Equi-Salts electrolytes will support muscle function, recovery and repair. Muscle Max contains the powerful antioxidants Vitamin E and selenium, well known for their role in maintaining muscle health along with lysine and B Vitamins. If you suspect your horse might have a tendency to tighten up or even tie up, then the use of products like Muscle Max and Equi-Salts should be a necessity, not a luxury.
Horses in hard work and in new, potentially stressful, environments such as the sales yard, often lose their appetite. This is not ideal in a breeze-up horse and products such as B-Complete, a highly palatable liquid B Vitamin supplement, with added prebiotics, will promote appetite whilst also supporting protein and energy metabolism and overall feed efficiency.
At some sales the horses are required to breeze twice. This increases the demands on the horse significantly. Not only do they need to breeze in a good time, they also need to recover and do it all over again within a very short period. Even after a single breeze, the horse needs to recover well in order to impress in the sales ring. The key to success is to prepare well and then maximise recovery rates.
Pre-fuel and Refuel Gel are designed to be the ultimate pre-work and recovery combination. Pre-Fuel Gel provides extra support for the breeze-up horse when they need it most. With hydrolysed plant protein to provide essential amino acids, the antioxidant Vitamin E, and B Vitamins plus key minerals to support muscle function, this easy-to-administer energy boost can help maximise athletic performance on the day.
Optimal hydration status is a key component of recovery. Sweating horses lose both electrolytes and water, so electrolytes post-exercise are very important. Refuel Gel delivers optimum quantities of electrolytes, as well as antioxidants Vitamin C and E, in an easy to administer, single dose oral syringe. Remember, it is essential when giving a horse electrolytes, or any other product containing electrolytes, that the horse has free access to water.
The breeze-up horse also has to shine in the sales ring. Read more about supplementing for sales success.
For more information about supporting your breeze-up horse, please contact the Foran Equine Team.