The importance of a healthy respiratory system for optimal performance cannot be underestimated. At gallop the horse will inhale 1800 litres of air per minute. Volumes of up to 300 litres of blood are pumped at high pressure through small lung capillaries surrounding 10 million air sacs to take up and deliver over 70 litres of oxygen per minute to the working muscles at the gallop.
As a result, any restriction of the airways such as inflammation, reduces the efficiency of oxygen uptake from the air sacs and has a great influence on athletic capacity.
Research by Dauvillier and Westergren found feeding steamed hay reduced the incidence of airway inflammation considerably. By diminishing exposure to respiratory irritants such as mould, fungal spores and bacteria in hay, Haygain helps keep your horse’s airways clear so they can perform at their best.
This article by Dr David Marlin takes a closer look at why the lungs have such an influence on the athletic performance of the horse.
Reference: Dauvillier, J. and Westergren, E. “The Prevalence of Fungi in Respiratory Samples of Horses with Inflammatory Disease” (2016) Proceedings of the Annual ACVIM Conference, 2016
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Hydration is probably not the first thing that occurs to us approaching winter but as vet Stephanie Davis, DVM points out, it can be a big issue.