Around September you often notice on your horse that changes are coming. One horse is buzzing with energy from the stronger wind and cooler temperatures and the other horse seems a bit more lifeless.
But the grass and the horse’s nutritional needs also change, some horses suffer from problems with the digestion during this period. So read in this blog what you can do to support your horse’s digestion during this transitional period.
What changes for the horse?
At the end of the summer period, the composition and structure of the grass changes. Often the longer grass has also been flattened by the heavy rain (such as in recent weeks), causing it to stain and rot underneath. The grass is also moister and there is a chance of more fructan in the grass due to the cooler nights. But in addition, the horse is also physically preparing for the winter period. The days are getting shorter again, so horses are fully shedding. Horses therefore have a different need for vitamins and minerals (or no longer get enough intake from the grass) and during this period you also see, for example, that more horses eat sand in order to meet that mineral (silicon) requirement.
These changes cause the horse’s digestive system to switch to the new conditions. Especially when there is a transition from pasture to (complete) roughage, the digestion will adapt to it. During this switch, the intestines can get a bit upset and horses can get thinner manure (or suffer from manure water). It is therefore advisable to support the horse’s digestion during the transition periods.
Gradual transition is preferred
Almost all horse owners know that the digestive system of the horse is sensitive to changes and that feed changes should therefore take place gradually. But sometimes the weather suddenly changes (from 35 degrees to 20 degrees and a lot of rain a week later), so that there is still a big change for the horse that could not be prevented.
However, if possible, try to make all feed changes gradual. Does your horse only have a grass ration and does it go back to the stable during this period? Then calmly finish the meadow and start the hay again. The intestinal flora will have to switch so that the roughage can be properly digested.
Support the intestines with a supplement
Some horses have more problems with transitions than other horses. If your horse is sensitive to thinner manure, gas formation or other digestive problems, it is recommended to support your horse with a digestive supplement. Digestion is the motor of the horse’s body. As soon as there is an imbalance here, the horse will also develop problems elsewhere in the body or get a lack of energy.
Preferably choose a supplement based on herbs (Hawthorn, Yellow gentian, Absinthe wormwood and Cat’s claw) for the best effect. These supplements can be used as a cure during a transition period, but the longer you give it, the better the effect. With a digestive supplement you not only deal with the intestines, but the general health and resistance of the horse.