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To feed a gut balancer or not?

Gut health for your horse.

Those that have read my blog on gut health for ourselves will see lots of similarities.

When talking to new customers about supplements that may be useful for their horses, the 2nd question I ask Is do you feed any supplements for the guy?

Why do I ask this question? If we are not looking after the gut we are not keeping the engine of the horse going.

The job of the digestive system is to break down food turning the good parts into the energy they need for all the functions of the body. Protein for growth and repair, carbohydrates for energy, and vitamins and minerals all have their own function.

Just like the car engine needs fuel and oxygen to work so does our horse's body.

Signs our horse may need extra good support

  • Poor condition

  • Struggling to maintain weight

  • Dull coat

  • Poor hooves

  • Lack of energy

There are several different medical issues that can affect the gut and veterinary advice should be sought for a diagnosis and treatment if you are worried about your horse.

There are things we can do to encourage good gut health.

  • Where possible fed ad-lib forage,

  • Research now shows a horse shouldn't go longer than 4 hours without feed,

  • Introduce changes to diet slowly,

  • Give a small feed of chaff before exercise,

  • Feed good quality feed,

  • Feed a supplement to promote healthy bacteria in the gut.

For more ways of promoting good gut health see my blog 10 Rules of Feeding.

There are many herbs that will help with different gut issues to name a few charcoal, lemon balm, marshmallow root, liquorice, brewers yeast, and Boswellia, watch out for my presentation on these.

Going Back to the question I ask, Do you feed a Gut Balancer? Here I am looking at those that contain Pre biotics or Pro biotics, these are the ones that are going to encourage gut health and provide the environment for good digestion.

Pre biotics head straight to the hind gut, ( the intestines) as they can't be digested by the horse, here they encourage the growth of Probiotics.

Pro biotics are the fuel the horse needs to break down their food, live yeast is the only Pro biotics licensed for equine use under EU regulations.

Both my boys have Equus Health Healthy Gut, at a cost of around £0.50p per day it really is something worth considering adding to your feed if your horse is struggling with any of the signs above.

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