There are many variables that may cause a horse to colic or experience abdominal pain. Many cases of colic are directly linked to the diet and may be preventable with proper nutrition, turnout and adequate water consumption. The horse’s natural diet consists of forage grazing and browsing throughout the majority of the day. However, modern feeding practices typically include grains or sweet feeds that contain a high level of simple carbohydrates that are usually fed in a meal setting. This may induce some cases of colic by overwhelming the digestive capacity of the small intestine and altering the pH of the hindgut.
Allowing horses consistent access to a high forage diet of hay or pasture.
For horses that need additional calories from grain, feeding smaller, more frequent meals can allow the small intestine to properly digest the carbohydrate load and prevent hindgut acidosis.
Make all feeding changes gradually, including new hays, to allow the hindgut microbiome to adapt to the new feed.
Provide digestive support, such as a daily wellness supplement that provides omega-3 fatty acids to support normal healthy levels of intestinal inflammation and pre- and probiotics to maintain healthy hindgut bacteria and support in normal digestion.