It’s bad enough if your horse develops ulcers, but it is so much worse if your horse develops ulcers and you don’t have a clue until he’s deathly ill.
Unfortunately, there are certain horses who are more likely to develop ulcers without showing any outward signs of pain until they are really sick. In terms of horse personality types, these are the Metal type horses, which include:
– Yang Ming (Metal/Earth)
– Tai Yin (Earth/Metal)
Why Metal Types Develop Horse Ulcers in Secret
Most equines will let you know fairly quickly if they have horse ulcers. They will go off their feed, be cinchy when you tack them up, buck, or otherwise let you know that they have gut pain.
Not the Metal type horses.
Metal types are, by definition, highly stoic. They can literally be dying inside, yet work perfectly well for you until they literally drop. Metal type horses also have a high pain tolerance, and so are able to “deal” with the pain of horse ulcers for a long time before they scream “Uncle!”
Of the three types listed above, the one most likely to show no outward signs of ulcers for the longest is the Yang Ming, or Metal/Earth, type. The Yang Ming has two strikes against him. First, his Metal half gives him both an extremely high pain threshold as well as a stoic personality. He won’t show outward signs of pain for a long time. Second, his Earth half loves to please, which means he will try his best to please you even if he is in pain or is stressed by his training program. That makes him the perfect candidate to develop an undetectable horse ulcer.
Next on the list is the straight Metal horse. The Metal horse has a high pain tolerance and is stoic, but isn’t as willing to please as a Yang Ming because he doesn’t have the Earth component in his personality. He will be more likely to show outward signs of ulcers before the Yang Ming, usually by bucking or kicking. He’ll tell you about his ulcer before a Yang Ming will.
Last on the list is the Tai Yin, or Earth/Metal, horse. Because this type of horse has more Earth and less Metal in his personality makeup, he has a lower pain threshold. But his Earth side also wants to please you so he’ll go along with whatever you ask until the pain becomes too great. Unlike the Metal horse, who doesn’t mind bucking or kicking, the Tai Yin horse will show outward signs of having an ulcer by gentler methods. He may flatten his ears when you tighten his cinch, or he may simply refuse to move, appearing even lazier than usual. If your usually agreeable Tai Yin horse starts acting grumpy, chances are he is in pain … and horse ulcers top the list as possible ailments to check, since Earth type horses tend to have digestive issues anyway.
Secret Horse Ulcers and Metal Type Horses
So there you have it. Metal type horses are the most likely candidates to develop horse ulcers without you ever knowing about it. With Metal type horses, you have to be especially vigilant in monitoring their health care. Work to develop a good communicative bond with your Metal type horse, and ask him to “tell” you when something is wrong. If you ask, he will tell you.
For instance, one Yang Ming horse didn’t show any outward signs of ulcers except for a slight lameness in his left front leg. Yet, when scoped, the pictures revealed that 60% of his stomach was ulcerated. After successfully treating his ulcers, first with Gastroguard and then with blue-green algae and digestive supplements, his owners “talked” to him and asked him to become more communicative.
He willingly did so. He now chews on lead ropes and flaps his lips when he is under stress, so his owners know when they have pushed him past his limits. They are now treating his emotional stress with Eleviv, an herbal supplement that helps traumatized horse flip from a “fight or flight” mode (sympathetic nervous system) into a more normal relaxed mode (parasympathetic nervous system). His initial response to the Eleviv has been tremendous, and his communication skills have improved dramatically.
I hope this post helps all of you horse lovers out there with hard-working loyal Metal type horses. These horses work incredibly hard for the people they love, and they have to be treated with special care so that they don’t fall critically ill just because they have stoic personalities.
Learn more about horse ulcers and horse personality types here: