If you are one of the many riders who enjoy hunting at this time of year you will need to make sure that your horse or pony is at optimum fitness before undertaking the season. Though there are regular breaks and periods of standing still on the field your horse does need to be fit enough to undertake an extended duration of work, be able to canter both up and down hills and undertake jumping efforts. Although you are of course entitled to retire from the hunting field at any time you like, if your horse is fit and supple enough you can continue to enjoy the full day and avoid the risk of injury, maximising the experience for both rider and horse alike.
Ensuring your horse is fit enough requires sufficient preparation. If your hunter has been out of work during the summer months make sure you start slowly and gradually to prevent the risk of muscle damage. Start with walk work and build up until you are hacking out for over an hour. When building on your fitness programme include canter work in your routine to build cardiovascular fitness and prepare him for what will be expected of him out hunting including adding in jumping efforts to your work.
In regards to diet a highly nutritious but balanced diet is crucial for the hunting horse who will be working hard during the season.
Energy sources such as oil, starch, fibre and good quality protein will all help to aid muscle development. As hunting requires quite extensive hard work over a lengthy period of time the majority of your horse’s energy should be slow releasing so it may be wise to aim for fibre and oil based products. Feeding a Joint Supplement during hunting will help to limit any negative affects caused by the effects of hard ground, fast work or when when wet- boggy going! If your horse is a bit older a Joint Supplement can help to counteract these affects and if he is younger it can help to protect him from developing these issues in the first place.
Scientific Nutritional Products offer Horse Joint Right Supreme which is perfect for supplementing your hunter’s diet. It contains high levels of Glucoasmine, Chondroitin and MSM – all of which are beneficial in building cartilage, ligaments, tendons and developing synovial fluid found in horse’s joints. Joint Right Supreme also contains Hyaluronic Acid which is a natural substance within the horse’s body that aids in cushioning and lubricating joints. The addition of Omega 3 also helps to provide an anti-inflammatory which soothes and comforts aching joints. Brand new for the autumn season the Horse Joint Right Supreme Supplement also includes Green Lipped Muscle a highly acclaimed joint supplement ingredient.
Green Lipped Muscle, also know as Perna Canaliculusis a nutritional supplement taken from perna canaliculus, a bivalve mollusc (mussel) native to New Zealand. Studies have found that Green Lipped Mussel has resulted in a soothing effect on joints. The natural extract encourages synovial fluid production that lubricates and cushions joints by providing critical nutrients for the maintenance of joint cartilage and connective tissue optimising joint function.