Off Track Thoroughbreds or OTTBs are becoming a common mount of choice for many riding disciplines, as they are athletic and easy to come by. However, due to their former lives as racehorses, special care needs to be taken to transition them from the stressful track environment, to a pleasure or show environment – particularly when it comes to diet. Online guide to equine health care, the Horse.com, highlights the important elements to take into consideration when developing your new OTTB’s feeding regiment.
Horses working on the track typically have a body condition score between four and five out of nine. Once their career is shifted to pleasure or lower level performance, owners should consider adding more fat to the diet to increase body condition. Additional protein in the diet also provide the benefit of muscle building amino acids, which are great for top line development. To further balance and supplement the nutrients from forage, low calorie, high fiber feeds in minimal quantities are recommended to help your thoroughbred make the transition into their new career.
There are many different supplements and grains on the market, often making it overwhelming to decide on the perfect feeding program. Chia seeds perfectly address the needs outlined by the Horse.com, making for an easy, natural, all-in-one feed option. With high amounts of protein, fiber and Omega-3, incorporating these tiny seeds into your OTTB’s diet will help them safely improve condition without having to feed large amounts of grain. For horses suffering from gastro-intestinal issues related to the high-grain diets and stress associated with a racing career, the anti-inflammatory properties and fiber content of Chia will be particularly beneficial in relieving discomfort and promoting better gut function.