Have you seen this sticker that’s popping up around the stables everywhere: “I have a horse, I have no money”? Boarding, vet, feeding, and equipment can already eat a pile of money that weighs heavy on riders, even when the horse is perfectly healthy. Imagine what happens, when your horse is faced with stomach problems, or even grows ulcers. You don’t want to begin to picture it. Unfortunately, many riders need to deal with problems like that, and soon they are running on empty.
It’s not only about money. Illness can be tough on the nerves.
Your horse is in pain and you are called to the stable all the time. You are sitting in the stall all night, while your horse is suffering and writhing on the ground. You can’t sleep and you are worried sick. Then, the vet explains to you that your horse needs a treatment that is 1,000 $. And that it’s really necessary and there are no other options.
What’s bothering you most is that the vet did assure you the treatment would help, but could not prevent the ulcers from coming back. You ask yourself: Do I have to endure the same torture again, soon? The worries, the anxiety, and the financial burden? Who can afford to spend 1k on medical treatments several times a year? Isn’t there a way to prevent this? And here is the good news: You can prevent your horse from eating you out of house and home!
1) You can take preventive measures and start fighting what’s causing the problems. To do that, we need to look at what causes horses to develop gastric ulcers. Of course, you are aware that stress leads to ulcers. What happens physically is that the stomach produces excess acid it can’t get rid of. This leads to irritation. Think of a heartburn, it is very similar for horses. If there is always too much acid flooding the stomach, gastric ulcers are ultimately the consequence.
2) Try to constantly neutralize the stomach acid. And this is very easily done with natural supplements you can mix with the feed rations. Many riders – even some of the famous ones – prefer preventive natural supplements, because they want to spare their horses heavy medication. And what’s best about it: Natural supplements such as Equine 74 is way cheaper than regular medical treatments, and the costs are predictable.
Johan Heins: "We need horses that are relaxed –with Equine 74 Gastric they are"!
Johan Heins is a world class competition rider who is a trainer for the Olympic Games, today. And he is a fan of Equine 74 Gastric which is part of his feeding routine. In the following interview, he explains why he swears by natural feeding supplements to neutralize excess stomach acid. He also reveals how his horses like it.
Johan Heins is probably one of the most distinguished horsemen of our day and age. In the 70´s, the Dutchman was one of the best show jumpers worldwide. In 1977, he won team and individual Gold at the European Championships and in the following year the Silver medal at the World Equestrian Games. He worked for some of the most important people in the equestrian world, such as Alwin Schockemöhle and Leon Melchior.
Today he is a popular trainer. In the past, he looked after Jeroen Dubbeldam and Albert Voorn at the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000. With him as trainer, the two Dutchmen won the Gold and the Silver medal. When Johan Heins works with top horses he trusts Equine 74 Gastric, a natural supplement which helps to keep the sensible stomach of the horse in balance.
Did you have experience with stomach ulcers affecting your horses in the past?
"Yes, we had several horses with stomach ulcers or stomach problems in our stable. Especially horses that tend to stress are prone to such problems."
How did you treat those horses?
"In accordance with our veterinary we administered Omeprazole in the form of Gastrogard."
But by now you feed Equine 74 Gastric instead of giving Gastrogard. Why?
"I have several reasons. Equine 74 Gastric is easier to administer. It just has to be fed with the feed as pellets or powder. Gastrogard has to be squirted into the mouth, just like when you treat horses for worms, and this is more complicated to use. Apart from that, Equine 74 Gastric is cheaper than Gastrogard. And most important: I feed Equine 74 Gastric as a prophylactic measure."
This means that all your horses are provided with Equine 74 Gastric daily?
"Yes exactly. All 20 horses in my competition yard get Equine 74 Gastric daily. What convinced me was the feeling the horses have given me since then. All horses are more relaxed, in many ways. Even the horses of which I thought that they were completely fit and relaxed feel much better under saddle.
A tense back when you mount the horse or an anxious horse when the saddle is put on – are signs of discomfort – our horses do not show signs of discomfort anymore. And at the end of the day that is what we need in our sport: horses that are relaxed and ready to work, because only then they can deliver a top performance. And that is what makes horses very valuable."
And how did you become aware of Equine 74 Gastric?
"Jos Lansink gave me the tip. Currently he is riding a horse for me, one that has already won Grand Prix. Jos told me that he was very happy with the product. Then I tried it myself."
Summarising one can say that Equine 74 Gastric is a sensible alternative to the substance Omeprazole?
"Yes, definitely. As I said, I feed Equine 74 Gastric to all my horses by now and I noticed a general improvement of their well-being. For some horses the effect came after one week, for others after four or five weeks. But one thing they all have in common: they are much better under saddle and they are much more relaxed in the stable and when travelling – and that is, after all, a big part of the success.