Entries by Dr Nerida Richards

Gastric Ulcer Medications and Their Effect on Digestion

Q: Does gastric ulcer medication reduce nutrient digestion in horses? Someone asked me this in a recent seminar and it reminded me that when I was studying during my PhD tenure we had looked at the effect of pre-incubating grains in equine stomach fluid on the digestion of starch from those grains. And what we […]

Do High Sugar Forages Make Horses Fatter?

This is a question we are often asked and my standard response has always been ‘well, it depends on the calorie content of the forage’, which has always then made me wonder about the relationship between forage NSC and digestible energy content. In looking at 13 pasture samples from one farm it seems the higher the […]

Soft Manure in Horses on Fresh Lucerne/Alfalfa Hay? Try This!

Lucerne/Alfalfa… if it is really fresh and green it will often cause scouring/diarrhea. We don’t know (as far as I’m aware) what causes the scouring, BUT my observation over the years is that once it is stored for a few months the problem goes away (hence the old advice to always feed ‘shedded’ hay)… so […]

How to Feed a Horse Confined to a Stable

Feeding a horse confined to a stable… it’s a balancing act… give them plenty of feed to keep them occupied but not so much you have them climbing them walls. Here is a little help on how to do it! Horses are sometimes required to be confined due to illness or injury with no exercise […]

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 Regular Forage Meals and Gut Health

Poet and I (Nerida) headed out a few weeks ago to do some real work 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 […]

The Impact of 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 […]