Friday, September 11, 2015

Feeding a horse before exercise helps prevent ulcers

Dr. Nerida Richards reports that feeding a horse can help prevent gastric ulcers.  She states, "Having a full stomach is important for the horse as it stops gastric acids from the lower part of the stomach splashing around and irritating the upper sections of the gastrointestinal tract. This acid splash that occurs in horses exercised on an empty stomach is thought to contribute to the development of gastric ulcers."

Therefore it is important to feed horses before exercise if it has been more than 2 hours since they have eaten.  Forage, preferably hay, is recommended.  Alfalfa has been shown to help prevent ulcers.  Grain should not be fed within the hours before or after the ride because of its effect on insulin.

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