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Supplementing the dressage horse

While the foundation diet of every dressage horse should be a plentiful supply of high-quality forage and an appropriate concentrate, there are specific elements of performance and health that can be targeted to gain that extra margin. We can split these in to sections and take a look at some products that can target these areas –


This is an area that can be affected by management regimes, nutrition, and genetics.  Inappropriate nutrition can negatively impact muscle health, welfare, and ultimately performance, especially for those with diagnosed muscle disorders such as PSSM and RER. Nutritional supplementation of key nutrients can support horses in developing strong, lean muscle while optimising recovery post exercise.

Amino acids

Having a readily absorbable, high quality supply of amino acids in your horses diet is essential for developing and maintaining strong, well-defined muscle to make your horse perform and look at their absolute best.  Training regimes can be hard on the dressage horse and supplying these key amino acids particularly in the early stages of your training regime can be hard to achieve as feed intake may be lower during this time. Offering these amino acids via a supplement can be advantageous and Muscle Prep can supply all the essential amino acids in a hydrolysed protein formulation ensuring optimal absorption.  Muscle Prep also provides the potent antioxidant vitamin E to support muscle function and recovery, plus B vitamins to promote efficient protein metabolism.


Most riders have heard of antioxidants but don’t always understand what they do.  Oxidative stress is a normal part of all physiological processes but it can have detrimental effects; antioxidants are required to combat excessive oxidative stress and keep the balance just right.  Vitamin E and selenium are two of the most commonly used antioxidants to optimise recovery in dressage horses. Depending on your horse’s diet they may benefit from additional levels of these key nutrients.  Muscle Max provides Vitamin E, Selenium and the key amino acid lysine all designed to promote muscle function during exercise and optimal recovery post exercise.  Muscle Max also makes a great follow on product, after Muscle Prep has supported your horse in reaching optimal musculature, Muscle Max works to maintain it.


An equine specific formulation such as Equi-Lyte G or Refuel both provide a complete electrolyte package, with added antioxidants to optimise your horse’s recovery from training, minimising muscle stiffness post-exercise.  Refuel comes in a handy single use syringe (available in a pack of 3) and also provides a range of B vitamins to help get your horse eating well again after exercise.


The highly skilled and precise movements required by dressage horses place significant demands on the skeletal system and in particular on the joints.  Providing targeted nutrition to support joint health in these powerful horses is essential and Ost-O-Flex is a great way to do this.  Providing tried and tested ingredients including glucosamine and MSM, plus marine collagen as a source of hyaluronic acid and chondroitin, Ost-O-Flex is an effective all round joint supplement formulated to keep your horse supple and moving freely from the early stages of training up to and throughout advanced level.


The stresses and day to day regime of the competition season leave all performance horses with a certain degree of vulnerability to poor digestive health.  We’re always striving to achieve optimal digestive health and avoid issues such as ulcers and hind gut upsets and our understanding of how to do so is advancing all the time.  Forage is key to digestive health and providing an excellent source of forage, grass or conserved, on an ad libitum basis is essential.  Avoiding stress is almost impossible, and with travel, competition, environment changes, and training all being part of normal life for dressage horses, providing additional support for the digestive tract is essential.  Nutri-Gard can offer this support to your horse through proven and effective ingredients including;

  • Postbiotic – promote optimal gut and immune health
  • Prebiotic – support a healthy hindgut microbiome
  • B-vitamins – promote appetite and optimise feed utilisation
  • Pectin – helps to buffer stomach acid
  • L-Threonine – essential for mucin production which lines and protects the digestive tract
  • DL-Methionine – aids intestinal enzyme activity
  • Oat fibre – naturally rich in beta-glucans
  • Apple flavour – highly palatable


Pre-Fuel – this is a gel provided in a convenient single use syringe and is for horses that require extra support to sustain energy levels.  Pre-Fuel contains the branched chain amino acids valine, leucine, and isoleucine highly regarded for their ability to delay the onset of muscle fatigue; B vitamins to promote energy metabolism; Vitamin E for its potent antioxidant benefits and key minerals to support muscle function.

Re-Fuel – keeping a syringe of Re-Fuel at the ready to provide key electrolytes post exercise to promote recovery from competition and ensure your horse is ready and happy to start work the following day

B-Complete – is specially formulated to support and promote appetite in horses that may go off their feed either leading up to or throughout the competition.

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