The adequate nutrition of sport horses has been discussed long since. It has been the desire
to create a concentrated feed which can be given in a moderate amount but provides the
horse with a sufficient quantity of energy, protein, fat, minerals and vitamins.
The aim of this study was to investigate if the muesli DERBY ® Dressage is more suitable to
meet those requirements then a combination-diet of grain.
A 28-day trial was conducted with thirteen crossbred geldings (n= 6 / n=7) to compare the
influence of DERBY ® Dressage and a grain-diet on characteristics of digestion and
performance. A 2-period-crossover study design was used for this feeding trial. Dietary
treatments consisted of either DERBY ® Dressage for one group or a combination-diet of
whole oats (50%), steam-rolled barley (25%) and steam-rolled corn (25%) for the other. One
feeding-period lasted 14 day. After each feeding-period a performance-test has been carried
out and the feeding regime has been switched.
On days 0, 14 und 28 the horses were weighed on a calibrated horse scale.
On days 0, 6, 7, 13, 20, 21, 27 manure samples were collected to evaluate dry matter, crude
ash and acid-insoluble ash. On days 7, 13, 21, 27 manure samples were collected to
evaluate the pH of the fresh samples.
The performance-test (days 14, 28) consisted of blood sample 1, 10 minutes walk / 10
minutes trot/ 5 minutes gallop, then walk over to the racetrack, short trot, 800m gallop at the
fastest pace, blood sample 2, walk over to the stable, blood sample 3 (after 15 minutes) and
4 (after 70 minutes). The parameters LHD, CK, AST were evaluated by LABOKLIN GmbH &
Co KG. Glucose and lactate were measured with Accutrend® Plus (Point-of-Care portable
In conclusion the feeding of DERBY ® Dressage in comparison to a combination-diet of grain
showed that the horses in the DD-group gained weight and had a lower manure pH, also a
positive effect on the apparent digestibility of dry matter could be observed. The blood results
showed that the horses in the DD-group seemed to have less stress on the muscles and a
faster pace of regeneration. The parameter lactate did not show any significant results. Due
to the high individual variance of the blood glucose, this parameter was inapplicable for this