Is Exercising After Eating A Good Idea For Horses?

Horses have evolved to eat almost constantly, so offering a horse a bit of hay prior to working him will protect his stomach against acid sloshing about as he exercises. A horse’s stomach can hold food for between 2 and 6 hours; the stomach has two regions: the squamous region and the glandular region.

The squamous region is the upper one-third of a horse’s stomach; the glandular region is the bottom two-thirds of the stomach that secretes acid, enzymes, mucus and a buffer. The mucus and the buffer protect the stomach lining in the glandular region.

Stomach acid that splashes up on the squamous region of the stomach can result in ulcers. Studies have shown that when a horse goes faster than a walk, there is enough pressure on the stomach that acid can be forced into the upper portion of the stomach, which is not protected from the acid.

Offering a horse forage will buffer the pH in the stomach, as well as stimulate saliva and mucus production. The forage produces a mat that sits on top of the glandular region, preventing acid from splashing. Grains can stimulate acid production and feed can accumulate in the acidic liquid at the bottom of the glandular portion of the stomach. If owners choose to grain horses before working them, it’s helpful to offer than a bit of hay, as well.

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The post Is Exercising After Eating A Good Idea For Horses? appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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