Poor Gut Health...

Leads to Common Behavioral Symptoms

Modern equine management practices have resulted in drastically different conditions than which they evolved, including stall confinement, limited grazing, grain as the primary energy source, and meal feeding. These practices influence ulcers of the stomach and colon (hindgut). Researchers estimate that nearly 90% of horses suffer from gastric ulcers, and more recent research has shown that over 60% of performance horses suffer from colonic ulcers. Approximately 54% of performance horses suffer from both gastric and colonic ulcers, leading to compromised health and decreased performance. Ulcers in the stomach can be accurately diagnosed with a scope, but hind gut ulcers or pre-ulcer irritation is nearly impossible to accurately diagnose.

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Common behavioral symptoms :
  • Grouchy and unhappy demeanor

  • Irritability when grooming and touching, especially over the back and flank or near the withers

  • Adverse reaction to tightening the cinch and positioning the saddle (often called "girthy" or "cinchy")**

  • Undesirable ground manners, pinning ears back, tosses head, ringing tail, etc.

  • Very oral and/or destructive in the stall - sometimes with wind sucking/cribbing

  • Overly gassy or manure with a sour acid like odor

  • "Spooky", anxious or nervous

  • Tender sided, when touched with spurs

  • Failure to thrive: weight and/or muscle loss and poor hair coat and change in overall behavior

  • Fussy (goes off their feed/hay OR devours feed/hay at an excessive rate)

  • Resistance to collection, bending, turning or extending - when asked to do so

  • Grinding teeth and/or excessively playing with the bit

  • Aggressive pawing and/or stall walking, especially while eating

  • Excessive drooling and more


Note: The stomach is small and located higher than  where the saddle girth is placed. In fact, it is the colon  (part of the hindgut) that goes up to the horses girth area and "girthy" horses are commonly found to have  hindgut discomfort, which can often be relieved quickly and inexpensively with GUT HEALTH liquid supplement which is added daily to your horses diet.


Hindgut Acidosis

(A common condition with high risks)

When a large amount of simple carbohydrates (e.g. sugar and starch) reach the hindgut undigested, they create a series of problems with the "good" bacteria. This is commonly caused by feeding popular processed feed such as pellets and/or sweet feed and often in conjunction with offering limited pasture grazing. Often, this results in a high acid level in the hindgut and a condition called hindgut acidosis which can lead to colonic ulcers, colic and laminitis.