Does nutrition factor in injury, repair and recovery?

Lost training days through injury or infection are problematic for trainers, both practically and commercially. It is a stark fact that 50% of thoroughbred foals, bred to race, may never reach the racecourse.

Lost training days through injury or infection are problematic for trainers, both practically and commercially. It is a stark fact that 50% of thoroughbred foals, bred to race, may never reach the racecourse.  In young thoroughbreds, musculoskeletal problems have been cited as the most common reason for failure to race and this appears to continue to be a major issue for horses in training.  

An early study carried out in 1985 in the UK reported that lameness was the single biggest contributor to lost days of training, and subsequent research 20 years later found that this was still the case, with stress fractures, which involve normal bone being exposed to abnormal stress, being cited as a significant underlying cause.  Perhaps not surprisingly, two-year-olds were more susceptible to injury than three-year-olds.  Whilst there are of course many other reasons – including muscular issues such as tying up, respiratory problems, and viral infection – why horses may fail to train, in this survey medical issues accounted for only 5% of the total training days lost.

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