There is hardly any show horse that never has anything wrong with the stomach. (Possibly use this sentence to start with – Most show horses, at some time, suffer with stomach problems) The causes are clear to all: stress during training, the long journeys and the tension before and during the shows. No one says competition horses have it easy. But whether amateur or professional: riders love their horses. We are grateful to them without end, because they go with us through thick and thin. We are full of joy as they learn something new with us. And we burst with pride when they grow beyond themselves and show their best with us.

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That's why we want to do them as much good as possible. We are ready to invest in the health of our horses. Not only do we give prescription drugs, we try out feed supplements. Our horses are the value to us. They do everything for us. We want to give something back to them. Do you really have to try everything to prevent stomach ulcers? For the following four feeds, you should consider once more, whether it is your favorite straight or should you resort to an alternative.


1) An apple a day, keeps the doctor away? Not quite when...

How do you reward your horse if it worked really well today? If your sweetheart is prone to stomach problems, such as a stomach ulcer, you should pay attention to what you reward him with. Apples are a welcome treat on any horse, but a vulnerable "stomach patient" can be very sensitive to apples. The acid contained in the appleas well as the sugar can disturb the balance of the stomach and thus lead to unpleasant complaints. Of course it depends on the crowd - an apple a day is allowed, but why not give a carrot or beetroot as a reward next time?!

2) Ginger - why when feeding especially for gastric patients, great caution is required!
For about 15 years, ginger is used in horse feeding. The sharp tuber or the powder obtained from it is said to have an anti-inflammatory, analgesic effect. Especially with Kissing Spines, Hufrollenentzündungen, Spat and other arthritic diseases ginger is said to be very effective. But as with many, ginger has a downside. Thus, the feeding of ginger over a longer period of time can lead to gastric mucosal irritation and colic. For this reason, ginger is absolutely taboo for horses with stomach ulcers and those that are prone to gastric ulcers! In addition, ginger only suppresses the pain and the symptoms and thus covers the causes, but does not treat. In addition, it should be mentioned that ginger is doping-relevant and thus also less suitable for competition horses.


3) Alfalfa - it depends on the particle size.
Among horse owners alfalfa is known as a valuable nutrient supplier. It is rich in easily digestible protein, calcium and magnesium. This alfalfa should be able to buffer the pH in the stomach of the horse and thus protect the gastric mucosa from further irritation. This has a positive effect on stomach ulcers. Alfalfa is usually chopped or ground.

However, Leipzig scientists have recently found in a study that the particle size of alfalfa is important in terms of gastric ulcer.

For this purpose, the horses were fed for 14 days with 1.5 kg alfalfa chips per 100 kg body weight. As a check, the horses had 24 hours grazing after a 16-day wash-out period and were fed with hay. Before and after the two different feeding methods, the horses were each endoscoped. It was found that the horses on the antrum pyloricum (beginning section of the stomach outlet) had increased gastric mucosal changes after feeding with alfalfa chips. It can therefore be assumed that the lucerne shreds do not have a particularly positive effect on the gastric mucosa due to their sharp-edged structure, but cause mechanical irritation of the gastric mucosa and thus gastric mucosal lesions.


Therefore, alfalfa, which in itself constitutes a high-quality forage plant for the horse, should preferably be fed as a pellet or extrudate. This is especially true for horses that are preloaded by mechanical engineering (not sure what this means?). Because especially horses, which have a gastric ulcer or are prone to gastric ulcers, have a very sensitive stomach, whose mucous membrane it is particularly important to protect. In addition, it should be noted that the lesions on the gastric mucosa could be cured by the 16-day grazing. This shows that a continuous roughage intake as well as the pasture attitude have a positive effect on the stomach of our horses.

4) Flaxseed - uncooked not more than 100g a day!
Flaxseed is a popular supplement for stomach patients and horses that are prone to coat change problems. Because of their mucus and fiber content, flax seeds have a positive effect on the digestive tract. The mucilage of linseed clothe the stomach and intestinal walls and have a positive soothing effect on the gastrointestinal mucous membranes. This in turn favors nutrient uptake. Their high fat content and the ratio of unsaturated fatty acids provide horses with energy and have a positive effect on the coat.

The linseed oil contained in flax seed has a high content of omega-3 fatty acids. These tri-unsaturated fatty acids neutralize arachidonic acid, which is a trigger of many inflammatory processes in the body. A disadvantage of flaxseed is the content of cyanogenic glucosides. These are precursors of toxic hydrocyanic acid, which are broken down into their components by the enzyme linase contained in flaxseed in the body. Here then the hydrogen cyanide is released.

It is therefore recommended to boil the flaxseed before feeding, which on the one hand also has a positive effect on mucus production, but on the other hand also destroys the heat-sensitive omega-3 fatty acids. By cooking for at least 10 minutes, the linase is inactivated, which prevents the intermittent release of hydrogen cyanide in the intestinal tract. If linseed is fed uncooked, a daily intake of 100-120 g should not be exceeded.

Unrefined, flaxseed should be fed to the horse to make the valuable ingredients available to the horse. An alternative to the classic dark flaxseed is yellow flaxseed, also known as golden linseed. These contain less glutamic acid containing glucosides, but are also not as rich in omega-3 fatty acids.


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