Equine Exercise Physiology and Feeding Management: How to Keep Energy Balance

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Equids".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2024 | Viewed by 5823

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
1. Equine Academic Division, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Lusofona University (ULHT), Campo Grande 376, 1749-024 Lisbon, Portugal
2. Mediterranean Institute for Agriculture, Environment and Development, Universidade de Évora, Évora, Portugal
Interests: exercise physiology; training; sport medicine

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Guest Editor
Núcleo de Pesquisa Equina, Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco (UFRPE), Recife, PE, Brazil
Interests: exercise physiology; training; sport nutrition

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Guest Editor
1. Equine Academic Division, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Lusofona University (ULHT), Campo Grande 376, 1749-024 Lisbon, Portugal
2. CIISA-Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Animal Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Lisbon, 1300-477 Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: respiratory medicine; dynamic upper airway obstruction; equine asthma; sport medicine
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Horses are elite athletes with significant oxygen and nutritional demands to support their metabolic needs. Thus, maximum performance depends on the integrated and coordinated functioning of a set of body systems, and in most cases, peak performance requires these body systems to operate at or near their maximum capacity. Thorough knowledge of acute and chronical adaptations to exercise is essential to hone the athletes’ capacity and to minimize nefarious impacts on equine welfare.

Furthermore, nutritional needs must be met in order to ensure energy, muscle gain and recovery, whilst preventing fatigue and reducing the side effects of exercise-induced inflammation. The quest for an optimal nutritional regimen is still ongoing, though it must always be individualized (adapted to the individuals’ needs/metabolism) and contemplate the specificities of the animals’ training and the demands of the equestrian sport modality.

In order to improve athletic performance whilst ensuring welfare and an individualized medical care, further high-quality research on exercise physiology and nutrition, across all breeds and equestrian disciplines, is of utmost importance.

As such, we would like to invite you to share your recent findings in the Special Issue "Equine Exercise Physiology and Feeding Management: How to Maintain Energy Balance".

Prof. Dr. Clarisse Simões Coelho
Prof. Dr. Hélio Cordeiro Manso Filho
Dr. Joana de Sousa Azevedo Simões
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • equestrian performance
  • equine sports medicine
  • training
  • feeding
  • nutritional needs

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

11 pages, 3400 KiB  
Article
The Welfare of Horses Competing in Three-Barrel Race Events Is Shown to Be Not Inhibited by Short Intervals between Starts
by Helio C. Manso Filho, Keity L. G. Trindade, Carolina J. F. L. Silva, Raissa K. S. Cruz, César F. Vilela, Clarisse S. Coelho, José D. Ribeiro Filho and Helena E. C. C. C. Manso
Animals 2024, 14(4), 583; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14040583 - 9 Feb 2024
Viewed by 986
Abstract
Equestrian sports require precise animal welfare and health evaluations. To test the hypothesis that horses maintain their welfare when subjected to two three-barrel (3TB) races with 2 min intervals, an experiment was designed to evaluate their surface temperature using infrared thermography (IRT) in [...] Read more.
Equestrian sports require precise animal welfare and health evaluations. To test the hypothesis that horses maintain their welfare when subjected to two three-barrel (3TB) races with 2 min intervals, an experiment was designed to evaluate their surface temperature using infrared thermography (IRT) in regions of interest (barrel, flank, neck, jaw, corner of the mouth, and ocular caruncle) and also measure blood biomarkers (hemogram, total plasma protein, fibrinogen, urea, creatinine, GGT, CK, cortisol, IL-6, and IL-1β). Ten Quarter Horses were monitored through thermography (pre-race, +1, +4, and +24 h post-race) and blood sampling (pre-race, +1, +4, and +24 h post-race). ANOVA and Tukey test at 5% were used. IRT in six regions of interest (Left/Right—barrel, flank, neck muscles) increased at +, with no differences between values recorded at +1 and +4 when compared to those measured pre-race (p > 0.05). Plasma protein, RBC count, hemoglobin, hematocrit, WBC count, neutrophils, and lymphocytes (p < 0.05) increased immediately after the races, with recovery at +1 h. Other biomarkers did not change, including cortisol, IL-6, and IL-1β (p > 0.05). Results indicate that well-conditioned 3TB horses subjected to two races at short intervals do not show changes that could be related to impaired health or welfare. Full article
14 pages, 1506 KiB  
Article
Effects of Concentrate Feeding Sequence on Growth Performance, Nutrient Digestibility, VFA Production, and Fecal Microbiota of Weaned Donkeys
by Lan Xie, Jingya Xing, Xingzhen Qi, Ting Lu, Yaqian Jin, Muhammad Faheem Akhtar, Lanjie Li and Guiqin Liu
Animals 2023, 13(18), 2893; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13182893 - 12 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1031
Abstract
In this study, effects on the growth performance, nutrient digestibility, volatile fatty acids (VFA) production, and fecal microbiota of weaned donkeys were observed using different concentrate feeding sequences. Fifteen healthy 6-month-old weaned male donkeys with a body weight of 117.13 ± 10.60 kg [...] Read more.
In this study, effects on the growth performance, nutrient digestibility, volatile fatty acids (VFA) production, and fecal microbiota of weaned donkeys were observed using different concentrate feeding sequences. Fifteen healthy 6-month-old weaned male donkeys with a body weight of 117.13 ± 10.60 kg were randomly divided into three treatment groups, including group C1 (roughage-then-concentrate), group C2 (concentrate-then-roughage), and group C3 (total mixed ration, TMR). The experiment lasted 35 d. We measured nutrient digestion by the acid-insoluble ash method and analyzed the fecal microbiota of the weaned donkeys by high-throughput sequencing of 16s rRNA genes in the V3-V4 region. The results show that group C3 obtained the best growth performance, and the digestibility of crude protein (CP) and crude extract (EE) was significantly higher than that of group C1 (p < 0.05). Acetic acid, isobutyric acid, valeric acid, isovaleric acid, and caproic acid were notably different among all groups (p < 0.05). In addition, we observed that Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes were dominant in the fecal microbes of each group, and Firmicutes was significantly higher in group C3 (p < 0.05). At the genus level, the different genera were Treponema, Rikenellaceae-RC9-gut-group, Unidentified-F082, and Bacteroidales-RF16-group (p < 0.05). The prediction of fecal microbiota function by PICRUSt indicated that different feeding sequences had minimal impact on the function of the fecal microbiota, particularly on the high-abundance pathway. In summary, the concentrate feeding sequence changed the composition of the fecal microbe of weaned donkeys. Full article
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18 pages, 1322 KiB  
Article
Body Condition Score in Danish Horses Related to Type, Use, and Training Level: Patterns, Risk, and Protective Factors
by Mette Uldahl, Jan Dahl and Hilary Mary Clayton
Animals 2023, 13(7), 1219; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13071219 - 31 Mar 2023
Viewed by 3321
Abstract
Body condition in horses is a growing concern that has different patterns of development in horses that are above and below the ideal range. This study used professional and para-professional evaluators (veterinarians, farriers, trainers, Danish Equestrian Federation (DEF) officials) who were trained and [...] Read more.
Body condition in horses is a growing concern that has different patterns of development in horses that are above and below the ideal range. This study used professional and para-professional evaluators (veterinarians, farriers, trainers, Danish Equestrian Federation (DEF) officials) who were trained and certified in the use of a modified Henneke scoring system to assign a body condition score (BCS) on a scale of 1–9. Scores of 5–6 are regarded as ideal, and 78.6% of the evaluated horses were in these groups. Only 4.8% of horses were below ideal BCS but 16.5% were above ideal BCS, and this was influenced by type, age, and training. A significant protective effect towards above ideal BCS was shown for horses trained at higher intensities. Cold-blooded horses and traditional ponies had increased risk for being above ideal BCS. Although BCS increased with age, a large proportion of geriatric horses were both above and below ideal BCS. Discipline was not related to BCS. Patterns of BCS distribution for horses attended by different professionals were investigated. Veterinarians attended more horses with BCS above and below ideal values, farriers mostly saw horses that were above ideal BCS, and officials at competitions mainly saw horses with ideal BCS. Full article
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