- Poor Appetite
- Weight Loss
- Poor Body Condition
- Soft Droppings
- Poor Hair Coat
- Mild Colic
- Teeth Grinding
- Poor Performance
- Reduced Feed Intake
- Lying Down more than normal
- Difficult when Girthing-up
Understanding the Vicious Cycle
The stomach capacity of an equine is approximately 10% of the small intestine [in contrast with a cow which is 70% approx]. Thus, horses must eat small amounts often.
In the wild, horses have 60,000 chews in a day producing 20 litres of saliva. Saliva naturally helps protect the stomach. They are constantly tearing short strands of grass which encourages the production of saliva – while stabled, horses do not need to work for their food and often their hay/haylage/fodder is in long strands which requires far fewer chews with a very large reduction in the production of saliva. When stabled horses can have eaten their allocated feed which passes through the stomach, leaving the acid to attack the stomach itself!
Fewer larger meals increase acid production and unlike humans, horses produce acid all the time. Higher intake of grain and stress from training, showing and even changes in their routine can stimulate acid production. As levels rise, acid can reach the unprotected top half of the stomach where it can eat through the lining. During exercise, acid can splash on to the unprotected top section of the stomach. As a result of this discomfort from stomach problems – horses’ appetite often suffers which feeds back into the vicious cycle.
FenuHealth recommend that all horses when stabled should have access to hay/haylage 24 hours a day – for owners wanting to limit the amount of hay/haylage being fed, FenuHealth recommends the use of a hay net with smaller openings – ideally of less than 3cms as this will slow down the rate of consumption.
Something to Chew On...
In the wild, a horse averages 60,000 chews a day. Horses in training are more likely to average less than 20,000 chews a day producing as little s 5 litres of saliva. According to Annie, the FenuHealth range – available as a powder that can be sprinkled on the horse’s feed – reduces the amount of acid being produced, reduces the level of acidity, forms a protective layer on the stomach and slows down the emptying of the stomach which lead to increased absorption of nutrients from the intestine. Many trainers have reported an increase in muscle while continuing to feed the same weight of hard feed. Such reports have been received from trainers who weight their horses frequently and observed the difference when they first introduced a selection of their horses to FenuSave and FenuCare.
To make a diagnosis, your veterinarian may examine your horse for stomach problems by running an endoscopic camera through the nose and into your horse’s stomach. If an endoscope is unavailable, your veterinarian may make a presumptive diagnosis based on your horse’s symptoms and history.
Common Stress Factors
Training and competition
Trailering and travel
Confinement or lay-up due to sickness or injury
Limited turnout or grazing
Changes in routine and social regrouping
Take a Horse Selfie - #SeeingIsBelieveing
To confirm that your horse is benefitting from FenuHealth - take a selfie to compare after a few weeks, please share it with us!