Entries by Dr Nerida Richards

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 […]

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 […]