Healthy Digestion for the Performance Horse

Performance Horse DigestionThe stress of competing can take a toll on any horse. Our event horses are often shipped long distances, then compete over several days, in multiple phases and exert a lot of energy. They need to be in good physical condition to perform at their best. This means the horses’ digestive tracts need to be functioning properly so that all the required energy and nutrients can be obtained from their diet. Many horses need to be on a digestive aid program and ulcer preventative.

I use the combination of Fibre-Beet, Benegest Pro and Manuka Plus to help keep my horses healthy and in top form. All of my competing horses are fed Fibre-Beet daily, and they also get Emerald Valley mashes while traveling. In addition to the benefits of feeding beet pulp, the added alfalfa and oat fiber in Fibre-Beet maintains a healthy digestive tract and aids in ulcer prevention.
Two years ago, one of my top horses had just moved up to the preliminary/one star level and began to travel more. As his routine became more rigorous, I experienced difficulty keeping proper weight on him and he wasn’t adding muscle the way I hoped. When traveling, he always looked “tucked up” through his flank. I fed him lots of hay and increased his grain, but I didn’t see any improvement. Then I started him on Benegest Pro, Manuka Plus and Fibre-Beet. After about a month, I noticed that he was gaining weight back. He continued to flourish through the rest of that season and has been on those three supplements ever since. As he has progressed further in his training and competition, these supplements continue to help him maintain good weight and muscle mass.
I have discovered that Benegest Pro and Manuka Plus are also helpful with young horses. Increased work can be stressful on their bodies as they transition into a training program that prepares them for competition. They slowly begin to work harder and need to develop strength. A young horse came to me last winter and had been out of work for a while. A few months along, I reached a point where he was working a moderate amount and feeling stronger, but was not increasing muscle mass and was tiring easily. I started him on Benegest Pro and Manuka Plus. Within a few weeks, I noticed an improvement in his body condition. By improving the health of his digestive system, his body was able to better obtain and utilize the hay and grain he was consuming.
I imported a young mare from Ireland in the summer of 2014. She traveled about a week before arriving in North Carolina, and then needed to be quarantined for several weeks. After that long and stressful trip, she arrived very skinny and was acting a bit dull. I immediately put her on Benegest Pro, Manuka Plus and Fibre-Beet. These supplements really helped her recover from her trip and adapt to a new diet and environment. By the fall, her weight and overall condition improved and she began to compete lightly. Her energy level increased and she was much more alert. She remains on these supplements and looks phenomenal!
During the winter, proper hydration of horses can be tricky. I feed Fibre-Beet and Speedi-Beet to help hydrate my horses’ digestive tracts. Even in North Carolina, we can experience very cold weather. The temperature in winter months can fluctuate a lot, so it is imperative that the horses ingest enough water. The digestive tract needs to be hydrated so that the horses’ feed can be well absorbed and move through the tract. By absorbing many times their weight in water, Fibre-Beet and Speedi-Beet help deliver water to the digestive system. Feeding Speedi-Beet and Fibre-Beet to my horses gives me peace of mind, knowing that the products are supporting and hydrating their system. There are many factors that put strain on a horse’s systems, but Benegest Pro, Manuka Plus and Fibre-Beet help regulate and maintain proper digestive function.
Ariel Grald Eventing, Setters Run Farm, NC