In reality, digestive issues like gastric ulceration and low-grade hindgut imbalance, inflammation, and ulceration may be so widespread that we simply don’t recognize what a healthy horse looks like any more.
Nature vs. Nurture and the Equine Digestive Tract
- grazing up to 18 hours a day, moving & eating continually but slowly
- foraging on a diet of primarily grasses, seeds, and bark
- living in herds in a mostly low-stress environment
Do all of those apply to your horses? Most likely the answer is no.
- living stalled more than 6 hours per day, with restricted movement away from a herd
- limiting access to forage – grass or hay – for hours at a time
- feeding meals of concentrated or grain feeds
- riding and/or traveling and competing regularly
Healthy Equine Digestion
In order to really get just how important good digestive health is to a horse’s overall wellness and performance, you need to understand the basics of how the horse’s digestive system works. Here’s a quick guide through the equine digestion process and some notes on where it often fails as a result of modern horse management.
Risks to Equine Digestive Health
Learn more about common equine digestive health problems and how to avoid them.