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Poseidon Equine Library

The days of locking horses up in the ‘Jenny Craig’ paddock – with minimal feed to achieve weight loss – are gone. We now know that this puts horses at serious risk of other health issues such as gastric ulcers and colic.

Nowadays, there’s a better way – and it’s by reducing energy (calorie) intake rather than reducing feed intake altogether. The principle behind feeding for weight loss is based on replacing higher energy pasture or hay in the diet with lower energy hay or straw (in sufficient quantities) and at the same time ensuring protein, vitamin and mineral requirements are met. This approach results in a much healthier horse, which is more likely to lose weight.
Stomach ulcers (also called gastric ulcers) are one of the biggest challenges you can face as a horse owner. Treatment is expensive and some horses can’t seem to escape the vicious circle of ulcers returning once treatment finishes. With that in mind, we wanted to cut through the confusion and give you a guide based on the latest science, on what you need to know about gastric ulcers and what you can do to help reduce the risk of them coming back.

We’ll cover:

What are gastric ulcers and why do they occur?
Is scoping important?
Should I treat for gastric ulcers?
Are there downsides to treating gastric ulcers with medication?
What are the foundations of a good diet for a horse with gastric ulcers?
What are some examples of ulcer-friendly diets?
My horse has glandular ulcers, what management changes should I make?
Where do Digestive EQ and VM fit?
When might I use Stress Paste?
What else can I do to help prevent gastric ulcers?
Resplendent though it is with butterflies, baby birds and long-awaited warm weather, spring can seem more than a little daunting if you own a horse who’s prone to laminitis (we too know exactly what this feels like). Spring can catch you unawares… You don’t implement management strategies soon enough and before you know it – after a few sunny spring days – laminitis strikes. Then follows the whole stressful saga of locking your horse off pasture and feeding hay (and googling everything ever written about managing laminitic horses).
But what if you could manage your horse on pasture AND avoid laminitis (and a lot of worry in the process)? It is actually possible and the key is using tools which help you limit how much pasture your laminitis-prone horse eats during Spring.

We sometimes get asked why the Digestive EQ feed rate is ‘so high’.

And occasionally we see people choosing products based on the fact that other products have a lower feed rate. But that is a strategy potentially fraught with issues.

So why is the Digestive EQ feed rate at the level it is?

A lot of horse owners wonder (but might not want to ask)…

Why does my foal eat its Mum’s poo?
It might not appeal to us very much, but your foal absolutely needs to eat its Mum’s manure – and the better quality that manure, the better (no kidding). 

Foals are born without any fibre-digesting bacteria in their gastrointestinal tracts, so they have to eat their Mum’s manure to get it. (There is even a word for this behaviour – ‘coprophagy’). If the mare’s gut is healthy and populated by mostly ‘good’ bacteria then her manure will provide plenty of ‘good’ bacteria for her foal too. In turn this will populate the foal’s gut with ‘good’ bacteria and set it up for a lifetime of efficient fibre digesting. Perfect.

That’s the short answer, but let’s delve a little deeper…

What’s the first thing you think of for your horse coming into winter? 

If you’d asked me this question a couple of years ago, my answer would have been something along the lines of… How many rugs will I need? How much fill should they have? What time should I take them off? Should I get my horse clipped? Should I be putting them in stables?

But, did you ever think: should I be changing my horse’s diet? 

We’re excited to announce we’re part of a new foundation, which is all about advocating for the horse, educating the horse community and providing frameworks to measure equine welfare and promote continuous improvement. 
5 ways to reduce anxiety in your horse at competitions.
Worried your horse may be suffering from colic? Looking for the signs to confirm colic, and wondering what to do next? Colic is a common ailment in horses, and it can be mild through to severe, even life-threatening. So it’s important to know how to identify the condition, and what to do if your horse has colic.
There are some simple things to look out for which can indicate a lack of good bacteria in the gut, and the impact this is having on your horse’s overall health. Here are five of the top signs that may mean your horse is having trouble with its gut and digestive system.

VIDEOS

Your horses gut is like a castle

Gut Health Educational Series

WEBINARS

E-BOOKS

  • Feeding for gut health
  • 5 tips for maintaining horse gut health during drought
  • How To Feed So Your OTT Blooms

FIELD STUDIES

  • Digestive EQ: A Preliminary Field Evaluation
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