Julie Hicks - With Equine 74 my horses seem well-balanced and relaxed

Tanja Dietz


3 Min. Lesezeit

Audio version – listen to this article easily

Julie Hicks is an international show jumping rider, living in the Netherland. As she has to travel a lot to international tournaments, her horses experience an enormous stress level. She explains how she recognizes stress in her horses and what steps she takes to minimize the impact.

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Equine 74: The athletic performance of our horses is nowadays always connected to stress. What are your experiences on this subject?

„Stress is not only caused by intense training, but also by long travels to tournaments and shows. In order to perform on such a high level, stress is always involved for horses. In the last few years I have had mostly mares as my competition horses. A few of them were definitely "marish" and could become quite stressed during transport and at the shows.“

Equine 74: What kind of symptoms does a horse show that make you think it may be under stress?

„Especially on tournaments, I noticed that my horses became quite uncomfortable during tacking up in general and when grooming the areas around the stomach. I just felt that they are not as relaxed as they are at home. We all now, it can be quite chaotic and stressful on a tournament.“

Equine 74: Stress cannot be avoided entirely. What do you do to keep the stress impact to a minimum?

„When the weather permits, I turn out my horses and let them relax and "be horses". But still, due to the unnatural lifestyle we subject our horses to, the gastric ulcers always returned. These ulcers are mainly caused by stress which increases the production of gastric acid. Therefore,  I try to give a great deal of grass hay spread out during the day which can buffer the acid, even on tournaments.“

Equine 74: As you just said, the horse´s stomach is very susceptible, in particular. In what way are you attempting to keep the stress away from your horse?

„Not only the feeding and the husbandry had to be adjusted. The gastric ulcers required an effective treatment: I have used GastroGard with good results. But I always felt that it was treating the symptoms and not solving the actual problem. That´s why I switched to Equine 74 Gastric and I have noticed a big improvement. Not a single recurrence of the gastric ulcers!“

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Equine 74: Why did you search for an alternative for GastroGard? And did you recognize any other improvements, as well?

„First, the effect of Equine 74 Gastric is another: it is directly buffering the produced acid in the stomach. Second, I can feed it easily and prophylactic. Due to this, my horses seem well-balanced and relaxed. Their coats are better and they just seem happier in general. No more ears pinned back when saddling them, even when we are on a competition and that is definitely a good sign.“

Want to know more?

On our topic page you will find a lot more information and links on the topic of gastric ulcers in horses. The possibilities for the prevention of gastric ulcers in horses are also described here.  

Stomach ulcers in horses - Presentation of the most important facts and information about symptoms, causes and prevention of stomach ulcers in horses.

Equine 74 Gastric

The long-term solution

Buffers the excess acid in the horse's stomach instead of blocking it.

Equine 74 Stomach Calm Relax

In case of acute stress

Supports the nervous horse stomach in stressful situations.