More Than Hay Access Responsible For Ulcer Formation

Many of today’s horse owners and caretakers are highly informed and deeply concerned with their charge’s health and welfare. It has become apparent that horses cared for in a way that that most-closely mimics how they would live in the wild are generally healthier and happier than those horses that are managed on a human’s schedule.

Concern over a horse’s continuous ability to eat hay and forage has become increasingly important as equine ulcers are a very real (and expensive!) threat. A gap in access to forage won’t necessarily harm a horse if the gap is a limited amount of time. In an ideal world, horses would eat about 2 percent of their bodyweight in small, multiple forage meals. This schedule is challenging for many horse owners who may not have the time or manpower to feed horses that often.

Round bales are one possible solution to the constant-forage dilemma, but they are occasionally unpopular because of concerns of overconsumption and waste.

It is unlikely that a horse will develop ulcers if he spends the majority of his time with access to hay or other types of forage. Ulcers typically form for more reasons than just hay access; herd dynamics, the amount of feed available, access to water, medications, training schedules and amount of turnout all can play a role in ulcer formation.

Horses that are under intense training and showings schedules; those that are on medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatories; and those that have minimal turnout are all at a greater risk of ulcer formation than those horses that are simply without hay for a few hours.

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The post More Than Hay Access Responsible For Ulcer Formation appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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