Skeletal muscle comprises 40% to 55% of mature body weight in horses, and its mass is determined largely by rates of muscle protein synthesis. In order to support exercise, appropriate energy sources are essential: glucose can support both anaerobic and aerobic exercise, whereas fat can only be metabolized aerobically. Following exercise, ingestion of nonfiber carbohydrates and protein can aid muscle growth and recovery. Muscle glycogen replenishment is slow in horses, regardless of dietary interventions. Several heritable muscle disorders, including type 1 and 2 polysaccharide storage myopathy and recurrent exertional rhabdomyolysis, can be managed in part by restricting dietary nonstructural carbohydrate intake.