Any unmolassed chaff is suitable to be fed, however, an alfalfa chaff is often recommended for horses with EGUS. - Try to spread meals across the day- multiple small meals are better than one or two large ones. I was encouraged to feed more alfalfa and have done so with good results. 2. It’s gentle and soothing, and can be easily added to food as a supplement. - Alfalfa is an excellent source of fibre and low in starch and sugar so supports digestive health and reduces the risk of excitability. Research with alfalfa cubes has shown that cubes are effective as the forage component in horse diets. For more info, visit: http://www.aloeplant.info/aloe-for-healthy-dogs-cats-and-horses/. This theory began with a study performed by the University of Tennessee that examined which diet would cause ulcers: alfalfa hay with textured grain or brome hay with no grain (Nadeau et al., 2000). Include alfalfa – Studies have shown that the protein levels (along with the amount of calcium) in alfalfa make it one of the best sources of fiber when it comes to treating horses with ulcers. Of the patients diagnosed with squamous ulcers, 56% of horses offered aloe vera improved, whereas 85% of horses treated with omeprazole improved. Alfalfa is naturally high in protein and calcium which is thought to help neutralise the stomach acid and thus lessen the risk of ulcers developing. If your horse is prone to weight gain, feed a minimum of 1.5% of bodyweight (dry matter) per day. Alfalfa is a high protein forage, so it makes an excellent supplement for horses that are protein deficient or for horses that have higher protein requirements such as senior horses or pregnant or lactating mares. Have ideas for a post? That is a stunningly large amount of the horse population. The major cause of gastric ulcers in horses is prolonged exposure of the squamous mucosa to gastric acid. I’ve started to feed him the cubes twice a day along with free choice grass hay and hay stretcher pellets. - Balancers are ideal for horses and ponies that maintain weight easily on forage alone. This, in turn, encourages the horse to chew for longer and increases saliva production. Fresh alfalfa hay contains enzymes which help break down proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Alfalfa hay has been considered for many years to be able to protect against gastric ulcers. The research conducted at the University comprised 24 quarter horses from 12-16 months old that were separated into two treatment groups. Advice for horse owners on how to reduce the risk of gastric ulcers: - Ideally forage should be fed ad lib – horses only produce saliva when they chew! According to Dr. Pete Gibbs, Extension horse specialist, the alfalfa hay buffers acid production. Due to the low calcium and protein content of straw, horses fed with straw as the only source of forage has been observed to have an increased risk of a gastric lesion, and … Provide soaked hay cubes every two hours if the horse is stalled, and if needed, a flake of hay can be given at the night check … … However, I’ve heard that Purina Ultium is a good feed for ulcer prone horses. I have him on an ulcer-prevention lifestyle: he’s turned out 24/7, receives no grain concentrate, and has access to grass hay continuously. Generally, horses eat between 1 1/2-2 lbs. One group was fed Bermuda grass hay and the other fed alfalfa hay to meet the daily roughage needs. Horses fed to appetite consumed 17 to 25% more cubed alfalfa than long-stem hay. I have an OTTB that’s a prime candidate for ulcers. Alfalfa has been cultivated for fodder for horses for over 2000 years originating from Iran and then spreading across the world as Persians, Greeks and Romans expanded their empires and took their horses and their feed with them. Feed your horse soaked alfalfa cubes to manage heaves. - Alfalfa is naturally high in protein and bioavailable calcium which is thought to help buffer stomach acid. He’s an anxious horse that cribs, weaves, and frets. However, the 50/50 mix does not seem to make him overly energetic. Something in alfalfa hay tends to buffer acid production, said Dr. Pete Gibbs, Extension horse specialist. Adding alfalfa to the diet will also help by buffering stomach acid. PSA for Foxhunters: How to Tie a Stock Tie, http://www.aloeplant.info/aloe-for-healthy-dogs-cats-and-horses/. Research from Texas A&M University shows that feeding alfalfa to horses with the potential to be high performers either prevents or is therapeutic in treating stomach ulcers. Don’t exercise on an empty stomach – You don’t need to feed your horse a lot before exercise, a scoopful of chopped fiber is enough. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Its suppressive qualities make it perfect for the prevention of gastric ulcers in horses. Thirty minutes before the exercise, feed him small amounts of alfalfa hay or 500 grams of alfalfa chaff. However it is important to note that the increase in ulcer scores in the second study failed to reach statistical significance (a measure of reliability), possibly due to the small number of horses. Alfalfa buffers stomach acid for up to 6 hours after it is consumed which makes it an ideal horse feed for working horses subject to stomach ulcers. Add to that the anxiety and stresses that can be caused by intense training and/or competition, and it’s no surprise that ulcers are an endemic problem. Has seemed to help. This effect may not last as long with alfalfa-based pellets or cubes because the small size of the pellets might hasten stomach emptying. In fact, more than 90% of race horses have gastric ulcers and the prevalence of gastric ulcers is similar in endurance horses (1). For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser. I also give him ulcer guard if we go over night or weekend race. Developments in technology have meant that vets can now endoscope horses and see the ulcers in the stomach, adding to our understanding of the condition. What Is Alfalfa? Alfalfa is also suitable for horses prone to gastric ulcers, because the extra calcium acts as a buffer against stomach acid. Can your Horse make you a Better Manager? Recently I read that research from Texas A&M University showed that feeding alfalfa to horses either prevented or was therapeutic in treating stomach ulcers. Substitute soaked hay cubes (timothy/alfalfa) for hay flakes, therefor providing the much needed fiber in an easy-to-digest form. However, alfalfa cubes must be limit-fed, as voluntary intake is much greater for the cubes than for long-stem alfalfa hay. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Get our latest product news, nutritional advice and lots of other horse related articles straight to your inbox…plus hear about our fabulous giveaways too! Although it’s commonly thought that horses turned out on pastures are better off than those that are confined, it turns out that if horses only receive grass hay, they can still get gastric ulcers. Alfalfa is a popular forage choice among horse owners for a variety of reasons. Researchers at Texas A&M will next investigate what it is about alfalfa and alfalfa products that lessens the occurrence and severity of horses’ ulcers. 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