Your proud moment has arrived! You have raised, loved, and nurtured your young horse from the day she was born … and now it is time to send her into training. She’s got the perfect conformation, attitude, and breeding for her chosen discipline, and you just can’t wait to see how she turns out.
You have picked the perfect trainer for her and are ready to deliver her to her new training center. You have thought of absolutely everything.
Or have you? Here are two words for you to consider before driving off to the trainer’s:
Horse Ulcers and Young Horses in Training
I have diagnosed and treated many young prospects for horse ulcers shortly after they have gone into training. This may seem odd, since the horses were vibrantly healthy before they went into training. They should not be pre-disposed to ulcers, right?
Horse ulcers often occur in during training because a new training program can be quite a shock to a young horse’s system. Everything is different, including the feed, routine, handlers, horses, and even the noise level.
Plus, young horses used to living in pasture are often moved into stalls at a training facility. This lack of freedom can be worrying to some horse personality types, especially those that tend to fret (learn more about horse personalities here and test your horse’s personality here).
How to Prevent Horse Ulcers in Young Horses
For youngsters in training, the primary way to prevent horse ulcers from occurring is to keep them relaxed and provide plenty of probiotic support. Probiotics keep a horse relaxed and prevent damage to the digestive tract. There are three levels of support, depending on the intensity of your horse’s personality.
Calm Horses: Daily doses of Fastrack should be sufficient to provide probiotic support.
Nervous, Fearful, or Intense Horses: Daily packets of supplements that include blue-green algae, probiotics, and enzymes are more nutrient-dense, and provide more probiotics per serving than Fastrack. This helps horses produce B-vitamins, which will keep them relaxed.
Traumatized Horses: If you feel your horse may be truly stressed by her training program, consider using the algae/probiotic packets and adding 2 capsules of Eleviv, an herbal products that keeps most horses operating from their parasympathetic nervous system rather than their “fight or flight” sympathetic nervous system.
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