Tag Archive for: nutrition for barrel racing

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.
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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!


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