Struggling with the transition to Florida?
Written by Nia O’Malley
Poor dull coat, poor topline, listless, lethargic?
A nutritional boost can really help as many horses struggle with the transition to Florida
Most have just come through a busy summer season of back to back horse shows and are heading into a rest period for a month or two to recover before gearing up for a season of intense showing starting in January. Most at this time of year will also have come from the cooler climate of the North and are now suddenly faced with the extreme heat and humidity of the South, along with all of the many new bugs that go with it! And for most the water can also be questionable.
For many horses this transition can really take a lot out of them. Most drop off in body weight and topline, coat condition and shine, and most get lethargic and listless and fatigue easily. Yes, they will catch up in time but at that stage season is upon you and your horse hasn’t really had the time to catch up properly and to be in top form for the start of season.
These few months are a key time for your horse to recover from the season just gone, get some rest, and prepare for the season ahead, so it’s far from ideal when your horse loses most of this time struggling with the adjustment in the transition to Florida. Assisting your horse nutritionally can really help him get through this period.
Adding Red Mills PerformaCare Balancer as a topdress is a fantastic way of giving your horse a nutritional boost! Usually fed at approx. 1lb/day (one coffee mug am and one coffee mug pm), it a very easy way of enhancing the diet with a full range of additional amino acids and vitamins and minerals. It also contains prebiotics, probiotics, alkalizers and acid buffers, helping promote good gut health and muscle function. PerformaCare Balancer can be fed short term for a much needed nutritional boost or pick-me-up, or it can be fed long term as part of your daily feeding program. It will work wonders in bringing on coat condition and topline and will greatly help your horse in recovery and performance. An excellent addition to any feed room! As it is cereal grain free it will not make your horse excitable. Read more about top dressing with a balancer
Omega 3 plays an important role in immune health. Grass is a natural source of omega 3 but most performance horses have very limited access to good pasture, and especially so when in Florida, so supplementation is essential. Foran Equine Kentucky Karron Oil is an emulsified flaxseed oil rich in omega 3. Being emulsified ensures that the oil is easily digestible. Feeding an oil will also help protect and strengthen the skin and coat from all the clipping, but also from all the products that are used while in Florida eg fly spray, show sheens, shampoos, that can really dry out and damage the coat and skin. Read more about what oils to feed…
Copper is a key element in many metabolic processes within the body and is often overlooked. Key signs of a possible deficiency include: a dry dull poor coat, poor hair condition, uneven hair growth/shedding, long stringy/fuzzy hairs, a dry and dull coat when clipped out, and poor hoof quality.
Classic signs of a deficiency would be an orange coppery tinge to a normally dark coat, or loss of pigmentation or mottling (white/pink spots) around the muzzle and/or eyes. It is always a good idea to supplement with copper during this transitional period, especially if the classic signs of deficiency are evident eg poor coat. Supplementing will help replenish depleted stores, provide for current increase in requirements seen during this period, and help prepare the horse nutritionally for the season ahead. Foran Equine Copper Max is an easy to use copper supplement in paste form.
These three key additions to your feeding program will greatly help the horse adjust to the winter season in Florida and prepare them for the busy season ahead! Read more about copper supplementation….
For more information contact our expert team