Horses are hind gut fermenters, they rely on the bacteria in their impressive caecum located in the large intestine (hind gut) to get most of their energy and nutrients from the forage/grass they consume. The bacteria in the hind gut have a huge task of fermenting the fibre to provide energy and other nutrients to ensure the health and performance of the horse is maintained and to allow the horse sufficient energy to be worked.
To enable this, horses need to eat for around 18 hours a day to ensure they have consumed enough good quality forage to provide the hind gut bacteria with sufficient material to ferment. If this feeding system is out of balance and not working how it should be, this is when problems may arise.
Although horses need to eat most of the day to ensure they receive enough energy and nutrients, they also need to eat to maintain a constant level of forage in their stomach, as an empty stomach is what can make horses more susceptible to developing ulcers and colic. Having a continuous coating can help to ensure stomach acid levels do not erode the stomach lining.
If the horses have an upset digestive system you may find them reluctant to engage and perform how you want them to. They can become stressed and irritable which ultimately can cause further harm to the digestive system, as they can become more reluctant to eat creating an imbalance of microbes in the hind gut and lack of forage in the stomach.
A good physical sign to determine if your horse has intestinal upset is by looking at their droppings.
If they are loose, it could indicate:
- A lack of absorption of nutrients absorbed;
- An imbalance of the good bacteria levels in the gut.
If they are dry and compacted, it could indicate:
- Dehydration, try to increase water intake.
If there is a lack of droppings, it could indicate:
- Potential compaction or blockage, and the vet should be called.
If your horse has symptoms such as severe diarrhoea, fever, weight loss or signs of colic contact your vet.
HOW CAN WE HELP? ... OREGO-STIM EQUINE
Orego-Stim Equine is a 100% natural Oregano Essential Oil (OEO) supplement.
OEO trials have shown it to:
- Encourage Forage Intake - natural herby smell encourages horses that are struggling with their intakes, ideal for fussy, older or younger horses to eat more if they are reluctant.
- Antibacterial and Antimicrobial - these natural properties found within OEO provide the ability to manage the good and bad bacteria, supporting breakdown and nutrient absorption from the feed and thereby maintaining firmer droppings.
- Natural Antioxidants - this helps provide calming properties to the horse, aids with stress and calming as they are more focused due to less stressors, i.e. an irritable gut.
- Testimonials have shown Orego-Stim has helped clients’ horses to be easier to handle and reduced anxiety whether it be during competition, working or travelling.
Orego-Stim Equine is Anpario's 100% natural high quality oregano essential oil (OEO) additive, specifically designed for horses and ponies
- OEO has natural antimicrobial and antioxidant properties;
- Encourages feed & forage intakes;
- Supports digestive health with calming properties to support horses through periods of stress.