For any horses returning to work after a rest period exercise must be introduced gradually, but this is even more important for horses recovering from injury that have been on box rest. A horse that has been on box rest needs to do weeks of walking to slowly tone up muscles and tendons, and must be fed accordingly.
Before bringing your horse back in work it is important to assess his condition. Presuming that your horse having been fed ad lib hay and chaff is in moderate condition I would recommend introducing a low energy feed such as Calm ‘n’ Easy from Rowen Barbary into his diet. It is not unusual for horses that have been on box rest to feel a bit fresh or excitable when they are first returned to ridden work, but it is important not to mistake this eagerness for fitness. By providing controlled levels of starch alongside a high fibre level Calm ‘n’ Easy supplies the low energy levels required and will help reduce the chance of any excitable behaviour occurring.
The balance of digestible fibre sources together with cooked flaked cereals found in Calm ‘n’ Easy provides an excellent source of slow release energy and with essential vitamins, minerals and trace elements it will help meet your horses full nutritional requirements as you gradually build up fitness. Over the forthcoming weeks as exercise is increased the horses nutritional requirements will also change so it is important to monitor your horses body condition closely and make adjustments to the diet if, and when required.
If you feel your horse could benefit from a higher calorie diet Show ‘n’ Glow from Rowen Barbary helps to provide the high levels of oils required to help encourage condition and controlled weight gain. The balanced energy sources make Show ‘n’ Glow suitable for horses that tend to be easily excitable, helping improve stamina as the level of work gradually increases.
For horses requiring higher energy levels Leisure Horse Mix from Rowen Barbary is well balanced to provide medium energy levels sourced from digestible fibres and cooked flaked cereals. This will help provide the necessary energy levels for horses in light to medium work.