Muscle Relieve – The latest in low starch science

Whatever the equine discipline, energy for performance, breeding, growth and weight maintenance is required from multiple sources in the diet. A combination of fibre, starch and fat is preferred with the majority of energy provided from fibre, however the proportion of each of these sources required will differ depending on the individual horse. While starch from grains is highly important for providing the all-important glycogen that horses use as one of their main fuel sources for exercise, for various reasons some horses require a diet low in easily digestible carbohydrates such as starch and sugars.

Specific horses that benefit from receiving decreased starch diets and obtaining their energy mainly from low glycaemic sources include horses with hyperactive or anxious behaviour, digestive conditions, tying up conditions such as Recurrent Exertional Rhabdomyolysis and Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy, and any horses on box rest and recovering from injuries. Many of these horses still have considerable energy requirements and therefore need to be provided feeds that contain adequate levels of digestible fat and fibre.

The initial research around the benefits of low starch diets for specific horses was carried out many years ago by Kentucky Equine Research. KER are technical partners of McMillan Equine and have assisted in the formulation of a new low starch feed called McMillan Muscle Relieve. The formulation for Muscle Relieve is based around a feed called KER Re-Leve, which was formulated with the help of leading veterinarian and researcher Stephanie Valberg, has been highly successful in the USA and the UK, and has been instrumental in these countries for managing horses with these specific conditions. Muscle Relieve is a similar formulation but has been altered slightly to suit New Zealand conditions. More information on KER Re-Leve can be found HERE.

Being formulated by the original pioneers of the low starch feed concept is one of many benefits of Muscle Relieve that separates the feed from the plethora of low starch feeds in the New Zealand Equine market. Further benefits include the addition highly digestible fibre sources such as beet pulp, and high levels of natural vitamin E and organic trace minerals. Muscle Relieve also contains digestible fat sources such as New Zealand sourced cold pressed canola oil and Equi-Jewel high fat low starch conditioning supplement, which research has shown has further benefits in assisting working horses exercise more efficiently and recover faster.  

In terms of tying up, studies have shown that replacing traditional grain-based diets with concentrates that contain decreased starch and high levels of fat and fermentable fibre, resulted in significant improvement in horses with Recurrent Exertional Rhabdomyolysis (RER). McMillan Muscle Relieve contains a formulation supported by research to provide optimum nutrition to support horses with RER, Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy (PSSM), nervous dispositions and behavioural conditions, and digestive issues such as gastric ulcers.

Muscle Relieve Delivers:

  • Optimum low starch, high fat and fibre formulation that research shows horses with RER require

  • Highly palatable formulation ideal for fussy eaters, horses rehabilitating from injury or illness or horses with digestive conditions that can decrease appetite

  • •Highly digestible super fibres including beet pulp for supporting hindgut health

  • High quality cold pressed canola oil and Equi-Jewel, for superior fat sources to assist nervous horses in maintaining body weight

  • Increased levels of natural vitamin E for superior antioxidant protection

  • Organic yeast for optimum digestion

For further information on Muscle Relieve, or designing diets for horses with any of the conditions described above, contact McMillan Equine Nutritionist Luisa Wood on 0278097846 or