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2 MIN READING

Tanja Dietz

Tanja Dietz

Sudden drop in performance in horses with gastric ulcers

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If the horse suffers from a stomach ulcer, this usually becomes apparent when it no longer reaches its original performance level. Because of the stomach pain, the horse is not ready to perform at its full potential. It is dull and lacking drive, reluctant to trot and even less willing to be motivated. People who suffer from stomach problems and the associated pain know it: if the stomach hurts, you can no longer concentrate, strenuous physical work is out of the question. 

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In addition, stomach patients take up less nutrients than required due to reduced food intake and, due to an unbalanced intestinal flora, are no longer able to completely absorb the nutrients they have ingested and thus excrete them unused. As a result, there is a nutrient deficiency in the horse and the horses no longer have enough energy to perform at full capacity.

What should I pay attention to when riding if my horse has been diagnosed with an ulcer?

First you should check and consult your vet if it makes sense to ride your horse if he suffers from an ulcer. Often the pain your horse suffers from an acute stomach ulcer is so severe that you should refrain from working on it for the horse's benefit. It often makes more sense to give the horse a break and even to put him out to pasture, if the season and the weather allow it.

How can I bring my horse back to its original performance level after an ulcer?
Getting your horse back to its original performance level can be a long process. You should first find the causes that have caused your horse's stomach problems and the associated loss of performance, and work to eliminate them as a trigger for your horse's peptic ulcer. Once you have the stomach ulcer and its causes under control, you can slowly start working on your horse again. It is important to show the horse that working under the saddle is fun. A varied training, in which you set the emphasis differently, will motivate your horse more than if you ride him exclusively in the hall. Challenge your horse with lessons that are easier on your horse to increase motivation.

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