Horse owners tend to search high and low for a feed that magically grants horses the ability to run faster, stay healthier and perform better. Often, the owner would purchase various oral supplements to add to the horse’s diet and giving various results. Some supplements can cause harm to the horse rather than improve its state. Some would even bore a hole in your wallet. In most cases, improving the performance of your horse is best achieved through training, conditioning and proper stable management instead of relying on oral supplements mixed into the feed.
The best way for you to bring up a healthy horse is to manage the diet. There are several problems including digestive and metabolic problems, which can develop when your horse has an imbalance of nutrition. When your horse has imbalanced nutrition, chances are, he would develop the common condition, EGUS or Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome.
In recent years, there have been many developments made to get a clear understanding of the condition known as EGUS, particularly on how diet can influence the condition. Studies reveal that microbes residing in the stomach can give off volatile fatty acids when they ferment soluble carbohydrates, which are found in grain. These volatile fatty acids (VFAs) are acidic (low in pH) and lipid soluble in nature which means that when the stomach has a much lower pH, the VFAs can penetrate the cells that line the stomach easily, causing damage to the stomach. Ultimately, ulcers in horses are formed.
This makes the relationship between feeding high grain feeds and formation of equine digestive ulcers. When you feed your horse with excess soluble carbohydrates, it can lead to ulcer formation and hindgut problems, together with the increase of population of harmful bacteria.
Feeding your horse properly with the right kind of feed can save him from developing ulcers. It is recommended that you incorporate at least 1-2% of fiber (pasture and/or hay) into the horse’s feed. That is equivalent to 10-20lbs (4.5-9kg) of fiber each day for a horse that approximately weighs 1000lb (450kg). Feeding your horse small amounts of feed frequently is also recommended rather than feeding him twice a day, leaving your horse to fast for longer intervals.