Tag Archive for: barrel horse nutrition

How to Use the Glycemic Index to Increase Health and Performance

How to Use the Glycemic Index to Increase Health and Performance

Listen to this article in audio form! It’s #2 on the Barrel Racing Tips podcast.
For the latest episodes subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Play.


There are many ways in which low glycemic feeds can improve our horse’s health and I’m happy to have guest Mark DePaolo, DVM share how to do that below!

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Good nutrition is integral to allowing a performance horse to achieve its highest potential. Thinking about food as energy and how various feeds affect the body is extremely important. Diet actually plays a critical role in many equine health issues such as ulcers, tying up, allergies, laminitis and a compromised immune system.

Complete feeds (commonly referred to as ‘grain’) are often thought to provide everything required by performance horses. Most of these offer the type of quick burning energy you get from a candy sugar high, rather than a steady supply of energy obtained from feeding rice bran, beet pulp, and forages like alfalfa.

The digestive system of the horse is designed to continually ingest fiber and use it as a slow burning form of energy. Unfortunately, many of today’s show horses are being fed a consistent diet of starchy carbohydrates and sugar because it is easy for the owner, rather than nutritious for the horse. Read more

Sherry Cervi’s Recipe for Barrel Racing Success

Sherry Cervi & Heather Smith

In 2011 I had the honor of interviewing multiple-time barrel racing World Champion, Sherry Cervi LIVE at the Silver Lining Herbs boot at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.

In the video below, Sherry shared:

Three Ingredients in her Recipe for Barrel Racing Success.

In this video, we’ll gain some insight into…

#1. How Sherry Cervi finds a horse with potential

#2. How she develops a champion barrel horse, AND

#3. How she supports and maintains them
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No More Feeding Mystery – How to Balance Your Barrel Horse’s Diet with Confidence

No More Feeding Mystery - How to Balance Your Barrel Horse's Diet with Confidence

Listen to this article in audio form! It’s #2 on the Barrel Racing Tips podcast.
For the latest episodes subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Play.


by Carol Layton, B.Sc M.Ed

It is often recommended by vets and nutritionists to feed your horses a balanced diet. A horse needs the right amount of nutrients; carbohydrates, protein and fats, as well as vitamins and minerals for proper digestive function. A balanced diet is essential for optimum performance and in avoiding health issues. Symptoms like a dull coat, poor hoof quality or topline, less than optimal performance and a weak immune system are the more obvious signs. So what is a balanced diet?

Feeding HayA balanced diet is one where all the nutrients are more than adequate to avoid deficiencies and the amount of each of the minerals avoids competition with another. One example is copper and zinc, too much zinc in the diet has been found to interfere with the intake of copper. Another is calcium and phosphorus; too much calcium can interfere with phosphorus and vice versa. There are many other examples.

To determine whether nutrient levels are sufficient and balanced in a horse’s diet, the amounts consumed from forage, feeds and supplements can be compared with the amounts recommended in the Nutrient Requirements of Horses, published in 2007 by the National Research Council (NRC), the reference for equine nutritionists. Providing an insurance buffer by using at least 150% of NRC target minimums and keeping mineral ratios in a tight range will protect the horse from suboptimal intakes of minerals.

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