If you’re looking for an acid buffer that can be easily added to your horse’s current diet, there is an easy option available in the form of a powdered supplement. Hygain has recently released a new product called DIGEST & PROTECT®, which contains the red seaweed extract (lithothamnion calcareum) Holly mentioned earlier and is an effective acid buffer. On top of that, it also has pre- and probiotics for digestive support, and ingredients like slippery elm that help coat the stomach.
But what if you suspect your horse has already started to develop trouble with their stomach because of low roughage levels?
“The first thing I would do is try to make sure that your horse isn’t standing around not eating,” says Holly. “That can be a sign that they might have some pains going on in their stomach, which is unfortunate because it’s kind of just making the issue worse when they’re not eating. Other classic signs would be irritable behaviour, acting girthy, and being particularly sensitive when in work or even just being groomed.”
Once you have established that something may be wrong, you can then employ the help of acid buffer supplement powder, or if the issue is more urgent, reach out to your vet to get your horse’s stomach scoped and they will suggest some medicinal products.
DISPELLING THE MYTHS
You may have heard in the horse community before that you shouldn’t feed your horse before work, but Holly says this is one of the worst things you can do.
“It’s a common myth that you shouldn’t feed your horse before they get worked. We always recommend providing access to feed before you ride because otherwise you’re creating that empty stomach and then asking them to trot around and the acid is just able to splash up everywhere. Again, lucerne is a great option here, or you know if you want to give them a little bit of extra feed then you can always put in a powdered supplement.” EQ
You can find out more about Hygain Digest & Protect here.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE TO READ:
Maximising Absorption in Your Horse’s Diet – Equestrian Life, April 2022
Finding the Way Back to the Saddle – Equestrian Life, February 2022
Electrolytes: Getting Out What You Put In – Equestrian Life, January 2022
A Good Gut Feeling for Performance Horses – Equestrian Life, December 2021
Gary’s Guide to Building Lean Muscle – Equestrian Life, November, 2021
In a Bind: The Role of Toxin Binders – Equestrian Life, October, 2021
Hold Your Horses: Feeding for Coolness – Equestrian Life, September, 2021
The Importance of Vitamin K – Equestrian Life, August, 2021