How many of us have had or have seen horses who are just thin, or “hard keepers” as they would say? It seems like the “go-to” is to feed Senior feed and a high fat diet, which in some cases seems to help a little, but the horse just doesn’t thrive and keep the weight on long term. Is this because they are old? In some instances, it IS the older horses who seem to have the most problem with weight. Many “rescue” horses also have or develop this problem in later years, and Insulin Resistant horses also seem to have problems regulating weight. What is the real issue? Intestinal Malabsorption Syndrome.
With a digestive system that is working properly, the food that is consumed turns into essential nutrients to maintain other organs of the body. When the digestive system is working properly, a horse is able to easily maintain a healthy and regular weight. When it is not functioning properly, the evidence is seen through several symptoms. The most common are weight loss, loss of muscle along the top line, and loose stools. At times, the horse will often present a depressed or dull appearance, edema, particularly in the hind legs (especially those who stand in a stall or don’t move much), and a large “hay belly”. Some horses present multiple symptoms, but some only display one or two. Sure, you can give a high fat food and MORE food, but this will only help for a while, if at all. After the problem has progressed, there will come a time in which it will not matter the quality or quantity of what is fed, the horse just simply will not hold a healthy or steady weight and additional symptoms will develop as time goes on.
What needs to be addressed in these cases is the digestive system itself, not just the food. Once you address the digestive system and it begins to function properly, the horse will then be able to regulate weight again. The easiest, safest, and quickest way I have found to do this is with the Nourish Digestion formula from For Love of the Horse.
This formula is phenomenal. It stops diarrhea or loose stools immediately, as this can quickly lead to dehydration. It will restore the digestive system’s ability to assimilate food into the essential nutrients that the body needs to maintain a healthy weight. It will also stop any edema and get rid of that unsightly hay belly and “bloated” look. I have recovered several horses with intestinal Malabsorption Syndrome and this is, by far, one of my favorite formulas. I have a 20 year old mare on this formula now, just to reduce her chances of having problems as she ages. She was a starved and abused horse at the age of 2, so I know that her likelihood of developing Malabsorption is greater than some and I want to prevent a problem before it becomes one. I also feel good knowing that her digestive system is in tip-top shape as she ages!
I gave this formula to several foals, one of which was just looking “gauntly”. She had a big bellly and her ribs and spine were protruding. This foal belonged to a friend of mine and he agreed to do a case study with me. The results? She did phenomenal and everything about her improved. I still trim her feet to this day, and she looks so good and healthy. You can see my success story on Silk: http://www.forloveofthehorse.com/case_studies_silk.php.
This formula works for prevention, but will also work wonderfully for a horse who already has it and is just a “hard keeper”. I’ve given it to foals and older horses alike, as well as many rescue horses who came to me after being neglected. It stops diarrhea and loose stools very quickly and I’ve found this to be true even if the horse ate something that “upset” the digestive system. The results have been phenomenal and this formula will ALWAYS be in my arsenal. And right now, it is a featured product and is 10% off, so it’s a perfect time to order from For Love of the Horse!