Having put huge efforts into selecting pedigrees and animals for the sales the next step is to ensure that your yearling looks as well as possible. Topline and shine are the key words when preparing yearlings for sale.
Unlike boots and furniture, a horse’s coat will not shine with hours of brushing and polishing alone. A good balanced diet and supplementing with oil high in omega 3 and omega 6, essential fatty acids will give the horse a dazzling coat. Kentucky Karron Oil added daily will provide both omega 3 and 6. Kentucky Karron Oil is flaxseed oil that is emulsified. Flaxseed and linseed are the same! The emulsifying process ensures that the horse can digest more of it than unprocessed flaxseed oil and so the effect is greater.
Sales prep and indeed the sales can be a time of stress for these young horses who to this point have enjoyed the freedom of green pastures with their friends. Stress can lead to reduced feed intake which in turn has a negative impact on body condition and indeed temperament. B vitamins are made up in the horse’s gut, except B12, and so most horse feeds do not provide 100% of the horse’s daily requirement. The horse provides the deficit.
Stressed yearlings reduce the amount of B vitamins being produced in their digestive system which can lead to further digestive problems such as diarrhoea, weight loss and decreased efficiency absorbing feed. Reduced B vitamins and the disturbance of the normal bacteria in the gut this can become a vicious cycle of stress creating more stress and a horse may become very “hot” or excitable. Adding Shy Feeder to the diet provides vitamins B1, B6 and B12 and is presented in a sweet base to entice horses with poor appetite or under stress. Read our previous article about B vitamins in horses.
Developing Topline in Yearlings
Topline is a much used term in all aspects of the equine industry referring to the muscle along the horses back and neck. Muscle is developed by exercise. There is no short cut that can be used in place of exercise but providing the right nutrition can certainly make the task a lot easier. Protein in particular is essential when preparing yearlings for sale. Protein is made up of amino acids, are the building blocks for muscles. Some of the amino acids are actually made in the horse’s body and are not necessarily required in the diet. The amino acids that are not made by the horse are described as “essential”, because they must be in the diet. Lysine is one of these essential amino acids and is the true cornerstone for muscle development.
Vitamin E and selenium are also connected with muscle health and development. Using a supplement that combines these nutrients such as V.S.L. (vitamin E – selenium – lysine) which is available in liquid or powder form can really boost a yearling during the prep. Most concentrate feeds for yearlings are balanced with these nutrients in mind, but the short timescale to prepare a yearling for sales means that supplementing can pay dividends.
For the yearling that could benefit from the muscle improving qualities of V.S.L. and needs the destressing properties of the B vitamins, Muscle Max is the ideal choice. Muscle Max combines vitamin E, selenium and lysine with B group vitamins.
Used in combination lysine should build muscle, vitamin E and selenium will keep it healthy and aid recovery so that the yearling walks well on all days of the sales and the B vitamins should ensure that the feed is efficiently digested and that the yearling is less likely to boil over at the sales.
Helping Special Yearlings
For that extra special yearling or the one that’s just not as forward as the rest of the bunch the ultimate in supplements is Pro-Am Prep. Pro-Am Prep is a unique liquid pre-digested protein with B vitamins and vitamin E to support muscle growth. Hydrolysed protein is pre-digested so that its amino acids can be rapidly absorbed and used within the body.
Pro-Am Prep also provides all ten essential amino acids in an easy to utilise form. Lysine and threonine, growth-limiting amino acids in the horse, are also provided in Pro-Am Prep. It also provides some of the non-essential amino acids such as glutamine, which can be reduced in periods of stress. Glutamine is used as an energy source, supports the immune system, maintains gut health and aids gut absorption. Pro-Am Prep also contains vitamin E and B vitamins.
We at Foran Equine wish you the very best of luck in preparing yearlings for sale and achieving high performance on sales day.
If you need further advice regarding your sales yearlings or any other queries please contact the team.