Feed Your Horse Like A Horse
Optimize your horse's nutrition for a lifetime of vibrant health
  Chapter 1 -- Ground Rules

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Understanding the Digestive Tract of a Horse

 

The digestive tract of a horse is different from that of most other animals. Humans, cats, dogs, pigs, and other predators are able to digest meat and plant foods, but are not able to digest the fiber found in plants. This is because the digestive system does not produce the enzymes necessary to break down fiber molecules into small pieces. The result? The fiber leaves the body undigested as fecal waste.

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Chapter 14 -- Digestive Problems Chapter 20 -- Athletes

Gastric Ulcers

 

An ulcer is an erosion of the tissue that lines the gastrointestinal tract. It can form anywhere along the digestive tract; however, ulcers are more

commonly found in the stomach and therefore they're called gastric ulcers. Cells within the stomach lining produce a very strong acid known as hydrochloric acid (HCl). It is so strong that if you were to spill some on your hand, it would burn a hole

in your skin. Fortunately, your horse's stomach is protected by a thick mucous lining (or, rather, part of it is; we'll look at the stomach in a minute).

 

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An athletic horse brings to mind one with speed, control, endurance, and the ability to focus, who is in top shape, muscular, and healthy, where every

cell in his body works together to bring about the perfect form. His performance may be before the crowds or just between the two of you as you ride

the trail, practice in the arena, or work on the farm. Whatever purpose you've given him, he relies on you to give him the best food, sufficient rest, and the care he needs to be your devoted partner.

 

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