Digestive health is one of the key concerns of sport horse riders, with both gastric ulceration and hind gut acidosis being prominent issues that can impact on the health, welfare and performance of sport horses.
Feeding and management can have a vital role in reducing the risk or severity of squamous gastric ulceration and Barastoc Complete Performer has multiple features which can lead to the benefit of a ‘happy gut and a happy horse’.
The buffering capacity of feed and forage is an essential component in the prevention of gastric ulcers in horses. Lucerne in particular has been shown to be effective in reducing the severity of ulcers in horses by providing superior buffering capacity compared to grass forages. Lucerne provides greater buffering capacity compared to grass forages for several reasons. First, lucerne contains higher levels of protein and calcium, both of which buffer gastric acid. Also, the lucerne cell wall contains certain indigestible compounds such as lignin that gives it a greater buffering capacity than grasses. Barastoc Complete Performer contains lucerne and oaten chaff, which has the added advantage of slowing down feed intake.
To further support gastric health, Barastoc Complete Performer contains Barastoc GastrolizeTM, a proprietary antacid which helps buffer the acid produced in the stomach and increases the pH of gastric fluid above the danger zone where ulceration can develop.
Gastric health can also be supported by how you feed. If the horse has some feed in its stomach, particularly some lucerne, when its worked then that leads to a less acidic gastric contents and reduced acid splash during faster gaits. Both these factors reduce the negative impact of exercise on gastric health and ulceration.
As Complete Performer is very palatable and already has chaff mixed into the feed, ½ to 1 dipper is a perfect pre-work feed given within 30 minutes of riding.
You can safely feed this small amount while you are tacking up, as the buffering and physical acid splash protection will have a big benefit on the gastric health and comfort of your horse.