Eventing poses a particular nutritional challenge for the three different phases. Horses must be calm and relaxed during the dressage phase but with full flexibility and muscular strength needed to perform a strenuous dressage test well. During the cross country phase these horses require the speed, agility and endurance to complete the task in hand without error and within the optimum time. Effective muscle recovery is essential between the 3 days and this is especially apparent before the showjumping where controlled power is needed to ensure a clear round when it matters.
From the start of this New Year, IEN as been asked to provide expert equine nutrition advice and oversight to Team New Zealand Eventing. Team NZ performance coach Erik Duvander sees IEN’s role as “ensuring that nutrition is a fully integrated aspect of the NZ eventing performance program, and that all team horses receive nutrition tailored to their individual needs and to ensure that the dietary aspect of our performance goals are optimised”.