How do I know if my horse has a stomach ache/pain?
Is he irritable when I tighten the girth and when I activate my legs ? Is he irritated and in a bad mood while riding? Is it more tired than usually. Has it changed behaviour after moving to a new stable?Is he behaving different from when I bought him? Does he has less appetite and is his coat not shiny anymore?
If you can answer yes to some of these questions, it may be your horse has too much stomach acid.
How do I find out? Read the article and maybe get a little wiser on your horse and its stomach.
Does your horse have too much stomach acid?
A few years ago, I was attending a lecture with an Australian scientist working at an institute where they do research comparing wild horses with domesticated horses. They have many wild horses in Australia, so it’s easy for them.
One of the studies was about gastric ulcer. It showed that 0% of wild horses had or had had ulcers and 80-90% of domesticated horses had or had had ulcers. Also the horses going on a 24 hour pasture, which was very surprising to me. There was no sensible explanation for the phenomenon, but it goes without saying that it must necessarily be related to the way we have horse teams today. In many ways, we expose our horses to stress compared to wild horses, regardless of the fact that we treat our horses very well.
In my daily work with horses, I have on several occasions advised horse owners to try preventative stomach acid regulating medicines / herbs with good results.
I recommend most horse owners to use a stomach acid regulator preventative. Either as a cure once a year, or in small doses if you change the stable and thereby the herd or competitions or other events that may cause stress to the horse.
It is not always possible to see if a horse has a stomach irritation, but the cure generally has a positive effect on both the horse’s mood, coat brilliance and well-being in general.
Examples of a horse with gastric ulcer symptoms may include: abdominal cramps, acid when adding the shanks, matted fur, irritation when straddling the strap bed and lack of appetite.
There are cases where there is a tension in the stomach itself after treatment with medication, or where the abdominal cramps are caused by tension in the rib muscles and / or joints around the chest. This can cause abrasions and irritation in the girth area, and can be relieved by manual treatments.