Running Cool Blog

Horse Nutrition: Building Topline with Protein

Cameron Jensen - Monday, October 10, 2016

A healthy topline of prime muscle is what many horse owners strive for. In order to build muscle for topline, you must first understand how correct nutrition plays a central role. In this article, we explain how protein helps to create that perfect topline.

While regular exercise conditions muscles, correct nutrition that supplies your horse with amino acids, the building blocks of the body, actually builds muscles. As such, exercise alone will not produce the muscles for a healthy topline; nutrition is vital.

Just like in humans, amino acids aren’t produced by the body and must be provided with correct nutrition. Amino acids make up protein, which is needed for muscle repair, recovery and rebuilding.

There are 10 essential amino acids that are needed to build strong muscle, including:

  • Lysine
  • Threonine
  • Methionine
  • Valine
  • Leucine
  • Isoleucine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Tryptophan
  • Arginine
  • Histidine

Lysine, in particular, supports young horse development. Commercial horse feeds, such as Running Cool Sport, and forage should be paired to provide your growing horse with protein, vitamins and minerals. Remember, forage is not only a filler, but also a source of protein.

For horses in moderate to high intensity work, their needs for protein increase substantially beyond a maintenance diet. Scientific studies show amino acids are utilised at a higher rate when fed within 45 minutes following exercise, after your horse has cooled down.

As your horse ages, their ability to synthesise protein will decrease. Their diet should focus less on protein and more on digestible fibre sources that are easy to chew. However, with age, body condition should continue to be a priority for your horse’s overall health and vitality.

At Running Cool, we genuinely care about your horse’s health and wellbeing. Our superior horse feed range supports your horse at every stage of life with well-balanced vitamins, minerals and protein for pleasure and performance. Click here to learn more.