Entries by Dr Nerida Richards

VITAMIN C FOR HORSES?

Did you know Vitamin C is not an essential nutrient in your horse’s diet? Unlike we humans, who will get scurvy and die if we don’t eat vitamin C, horses make their own vitamin C in their liver! Clever right!! There are some situations, like when a horse is very ill, really stressed or has […]

GUT BACTERIA AND HUMAN HEALTH

We talk a lot about a horse’s gut bacteria and how they impact health… have you ever stopped to think about your gut bacteria and how they might be influencing your health?? This relatively new area of science quite literally blows my mind. These tiny critters control us in so many ways and have such […]

THE LINK BETWEEN GRAZING AND GUT HEALTH

Poet and I (Nerida) headed out to do some real work last week mustering sheep (not that we did anything useful, we were just along for the ride!). There were 5 of us on horses, saddled up by 6:30 am and in incredibly steep, rocky, tough (but stunning!) terrain for 6 hours. At various points […]

PROTON PUMP INHIBITORS ON GUT BACTERIA

An interesting read about the impact of proton pump inhibitors (PPI) like Omeprazole (the major drug we use to treat equine gastric ulcer syndrome) on the gut bacteria in humans! https://gut.bmj.com/content/early/…/12/09/gutjnl-2015-310376 While these drugs are a huge help in setting up an environment in the equine stomach where ulcers can heal, they are overused in many […]

HINDGUT ULCERS

There has been a bit of talk about hindgut ulcers in recent years; do they exist, what impact are they likely to have on a horse, how should we treat them, how do we even know if they are there… lots of questions, not a lot of answers. But here is something for you to […]

TEFF HAY FOR HORSES

OK, the lowdown on Teff Hay for horses, first, the good! There is a bit of research looking at the use of teff hay in diets where low sugar, low starch forages are required; Staniar et al 2010: These authors report non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) contents for teff of 5.4% in the ‘boot’ stage and 8.4% […]

HOW TO ‘MEASURE’ GUT HEALTH

Gut health! It’s so important but also really hard to ‘measure’. One way to get a bit of an indication of what your horse’s hindgut health is like is to check faecal pH. A healthy hindgut will stay at quite a neutral pH, close to 7. At this pH the good fibre fermenting bacteria will […]

FEEDING HORSES WITH WORN OUT TEETH

Quite often we are contacted by owners regarding old horses with very poor or no effective grinding teeth (molars) that are losing weight. On looking at the diets for these horses we often find that their owners have done a wonderful job of selecting suitable feeds that require little chewing and/or can be soaked in […]

DIET LACKING IN VITAMIN E?

We are frequently asked about how to add Vitamin E to a horse’s diet when all other nutrient requirements are being met. Vitamin E is abundant in fresh green forages and many horses will meet their daily requirement of Vitamin E with adequate intake of good quality pasture. Vitamin E declines over time in stored […]