In Monday Myths we debunk common misconceptions about a range of topics regarding equine digestive health and care. These are real statements made by real horse people. Have a question or topic you would like to see covered? Submit your idea here.
Statement: I love SUCCEED. I use it when we go to shows because I know traveling, changing routines, and competing can be strenuous on my horse and I want to make sure his digestive tract stays healthy.
It’s true; getting on a trailer and heading into a new environment, away from buddies and the normal routine, and then throwing competition on top of it all can be challenging on a horse’s mind and health. One of the first areas that can be impacted is digestive health. When it deteriorates everything from your horse’s performance ability to mental state can start going downhill – quickly.
But to many, it’s not as obvious that horses face all kinds of challenges that put their digestive health at risk when they are at home, too.
Here’s a look at why it is important to support gut health at home and on the road, and specifically how SUCCEED can help.
Why We Need to Support Digestive Health in Horses at Home
“Normal” horse care practices today, common in barns around the world, can actually be very difficult on a horse’s digestive tract. Horses are meant to live out all the time, grazing up to 20 hours a day while ranging slowly over many miles.
- Lifestyle factors that seem normal to us aren’t normal to horses at all:
- Confined to stalls for more than a few hours each day
- Fed grain-based concentrates in any amounts
- Fed just 2-3 times a day
- Spending hours without hay or grass to munch
- Exerting energy at more than walk for extended periods of time
Even one of these factors can challenge a horse’s digestive tract in a way that impacts health, performance, and attitude, and may lead to serious health risks. Thus, it is important to take steps to support your horse’s digestive health at home, too.
Why We Need to Support Digestive Health in Horses on the Road
Any time we travel with our horses, especially when it’s to compete, the challenges to their digestive health increase. Chances are they are already facing one or more of the factors listed above. That is then compounded by the strain they experience when traveling, having their routine disrupted, adjusting to a new and busy environment, and the extra exertion of showing.
The equine digestive tract is impacted under the strain of traveling and showing for a few key reasons:
- Associated challenges have been shown to decrease immunity
- Normal feed routines are disrupted
- Horses may not eat and drink normally
- Turnout is completely restricted
One of the best ways to combat the negative impact these issues can have on your horse’s digestive tract is to start conditioning the gut long before you head to the show. A gastrointestinal tract that has already been “trained” ahead of time for optimal health will be more able to handle the challenges associated with showing.
Because of the additional strain added when showing, we do generally feed our horses with SUCCEED twice each day any time we travel and compete, and recommend you do as well.
How SUCCEED Helps When You’re at Home and at Shows
SUCCEED Digestive Conditioning Program is an all-natural daily supplement designed to support the health of the whole equine digestive tract, even in the face of these common challenges.
SUCCEED does this by:
- Supporting the gut’s ability to fully and appropriately absorb nutrients
- Supporting natural immune health
- Supporting the strength and health of intestinal cells and mucosal lining
- Moderating transit time of digested feed through the GI tract – this helps ensure horse gets the nutrients from its feed, helps reduce sugar highs and lows and allows for full digestion of starches before they reach the hindgut
- Supporting hindgut health
All of this works together to help horses get the most from their feed and keep their digestive tracts healthy and functioning correctly – even when the necessary challenges of care at home or additional strain of competing get in the way.
You don’t wait to start training your horse when you step into the warm-up ring at a show. In the same way, don’t wait until show day to take steps to ensure your horse’s gut is healthy. You might just discover an even healthier, happier, more willing to perform horse than you ever knew you had.
I only need SUCCEED at shows = myth. Normal horse care practices at home often challenge a horse’s digestive health, thus requiring additional support.