Performance Horses

Optim-Equine-Hindgut-Colonic-Ulcers-In-Ponies

Hindgut (Colonic) Ulcers in Horses and Ponies

Much attention is given to Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (gastric ulcers) in horses and ponies: we know that they can contribute to a wide variety of signs and symptoms. We also appreciate that good digestive health is so important in our horses for a multitude of reasons. Yet we can be less inclined to think …

Hindgut (Colonic) Ulcers in Horses and Ponies Read More »

Selenium- Is your horse actually using the amount on the feed or supplement label?

Selenium- Is your horse actually using the amount on the feed or supplement label?

Selenium is a crucial trace-mineral in the diets of our horses and ponies. It plays many key roles in the body and is particularly important in reproductive health (both mares and stallions), recovery from exercise, healthy immune function, normal growth and development of young horses and healthy thyroid function. Selenium is a nutrient which has …

Selenium- Is your horse actually using the amount on the feed or supplement label? Read More »

Promoting-bone-health-and-strength-in-the-sales-yearling

Promoting bone health and strength in the sales yearling (even after purchase!)

Bone injuries are one of the biggest factors in a horse being unable to realise its full potential on the racetrack. Many factors influence bone strength and density in the horse: nutrition, growth rate, genetics, medication use and gastrointestinal microflora. Yet one of the most overlooked aspects is one that we can significantly influence- particularly …

Promoting bone health and strength in the sales yearling (even after purchase!) Read More »

Optim-Equine-Equine-Protein-Intake

The Importance of Protein

Protein- it’s a most crucial component of a horse’s diet, yet is commonly blamed for causing a whole host of problems in horses: Everything from ‘hot behaviour’, to joint problems, swollen legs, liver and kidney issues. Yet are these issues actually caused by protein? And what happens when we don’t feed our horses enough quality …

The Importance of Protein Read More »

Optim Equine Horse Physical Activity

Horses are meant to MOVE. A LOT…

One of the most significant impacts of modern domestication of horses is the profound reduction in daily physical activity. Even horses who are worked regularly and are in peak fitness are likely to do far less exercise than their wild counterparts. Many horses spend the majority of their days in small paddocks, yards and stables. …

Horses are meant to MOVE. A LOT… Read More »

Optim-Equine-Heat-Humidity-Horses

Heat, Humidity and Horses

Hot, humid weather brings with it some important health considerations in relation to our horses. Heat stress is one of the most commonly recognised conditions associated with heat and humidity. Heat and humidity can also play a part in some cases of colic, respiratory challenges, exertional rhabdomyolysis (tying up), poor performance and weight loss as …

Heat, Humidity and Horses Read More »

Inflammation & Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories in Horses

Inflammation & Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories in Horses

Inflammation. It’s a word commonly associated with poor health outcomes. Yet a certain amount of inflammation is absolutely crucial to health and wellbeing in our horses. Some inflammation is essential to promote normal immune function; repair muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments after exercise; and even facilitate healthy digestive function. Problems start to occur when levels …

Inflammation & Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories in Horses Read More »

Stress-in-Horses-Why-it-isn’t-always-obvious

Stress in Horses: Why it isn’t always obvious

When we think of the term ‘stress’, we often think of horses that pace the fence line, shy at non-existent monsters (!), call out incessantly when their paddock mate leaves and seem to poo cow pat like manure as soon as we saddle them. Whilst all these behaviours are clear outward signs of stress, it …

Stress in Horses: Why it isn’t always obvious Read More »

Joint-Injections-in-the-Horse--Important-Considerations

Joint Injections in the Horse- Important Considerations

Injecting joints in horses is a common practice. The term ‘joint injection’ can mean different things to different people. In essence, there are three common types of injectable joint therapies in horses: intra-articular (IA), intravenous (IV), and intramuscular (IM). For the purpose of this article, we will focus on IA: where the solution is injected …

Joint Injections in the Horse- Important Considerations Read More »

Soy-The-Good-The-Bad-The-Confusing-Optim-Equine

Soy: The Good, Bad and Confusing!

If there’s any horse feed that can cause heated debate about whether or not it is suitable and even valuable for horses- then soy may well take the cake. For the purpose of this article, we will focus on soy bean meal and feeds containing processed soy- not soy oil or soy bean hulls- as …

Soy: The Good, Bad and Confusing! Read More »

Feeding-the-injured-horse-optim-equine

Feeding The Injured Horse

Injuries in our horses can be frustrating and upsetting occurrences- and more often than not, they tend to occur when our horses are coming along really well. Ironically, although we may seem to have more time with missing planned races, events and competitions, rehabilitating a horse properly often takes more time and effort than riding …

Feeding The Injured Horse Read More »

Optim-Equne-Iodine-and-Horses

Iodine & Horses

Iodine. It’s an essential trace mineral in our horse’s diets which plays many crucial roles. It is vital as a constituent of the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Every cell in the body depends upon thyroid hormones for regulation of their metabolism, hence its crucial role in not only metabolic rate and body …

Iodine & Horses Read More »

Ulcers in Horses: The importance of understanding how medications work

Ulcers in Horses: The importance of understanding how medications work

There’s much interest in ulcers in horses and for very good reason. Equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) affects 60-90% of adult horses and 25-50% of foals and weanlings. The condition collectively refers to sores or erosions that develop in portions of the horse’s sensitive stomach lining. EGUS is largely a man-made disease: common feeding practices,  …

Ulcers in Horses: The importance of understanding how medications work Read More »

An-Holistic-Approach-to-Mare-Behaviour--Optim-Equine

An Holistic Approach to Mare Behaviour

For those of you who ride mares and/or fillies you may have noticed somewhat erratic changes in her mood and behaviour during spring. The mare who was steadfast and easy going over the winter months may have at times started to become irritable, anxious, ‘girthy’, aggressive and painful or sensitive around her flanks. Gait abnormalities …

An Holistic Approach to Mare Behaviour Read More »

Tying-up-Optim-Equine

Tying Up

Tying up is a broad term used to classify a wide variety of muscle disorders which result in the dissolution of muscle cells during exercise. Technically known as ‘exertional rhabdomylosis’ (ER), this syndrome is the most common muscle disorder which affects exercising horses. Clinical signs of ER vary, depending on the severity of the condition. …

Tying Up Read More »

Ulcer-Medications-What-Nobody-Tells-You-And-What-You-Need-To-Know-Optim-Equine

Ulcer Medications: What Nobody Tells You and What You Need To Know

The most commonly used equine ulcer medications on the market generally come under names containing Gastro/Ulcer/Guard and contain the active ingredient omeprazole, which belongs to the class of drugs known as Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs)[i] [ii]. These drugs work by reducing (normal, healthy) gastric acid production by blocking the enzymes located in the parietal cells …

Ulcer Medications: What Nobody Tells You and What You Need To Know Read More »

The Stabled/Stalled Horse: The Impact of Ammonia and Airway Health-Optim-Equine

The Stabled/Stalled Horse: The Impact of Ammonia and Airway Health

Ammonia- the colourless gas associated with the pungent, eye watering smell when you enter some barns and when you muck out stalls- comes with some profound health effects on the horse. These effects are even more significant given many horses which are stabled are performance horses, newborn foals and/or horses who are stabled to help …

The Stabled/Stalled Horse: The Impact of Ammonia and Airway Health Read More »

Calming Supplements: Use in the Horse-Optim-Equine

Calming Supplements: Use in the Horse

One of the most often talked about and popular types of supplements on the market are those used with the intention of helping to ‘calm’ the horse. The quality of these supplements and ingredients contained within them vary greatly. Many contain nutritional and/or herbal constituents such as: magnesium, tryptophan, B group vitamins, chamomile and valerian. …

Calming Supplements: Use in the Horse Read More »

Skeletal-Injuries-Considering-the-Role-of-Bone-Density-in-the-Horse-Optim-Equine

Skeletal Injuries: Considering the Role of Bone Density in the Horse

One of the most significant injury concerns for all athletic horses is that involving the bones and joints. Musculoskeletal injuries are the most common cause of poor performance and wastage (wastage refers to a loss of training days, either temporary or permanent) in the equine industry. A vital consideration in bone and joint health is …

Skeletal Injuries: Considering the Role of Bone Density in the Horse Read More »

Regumate-Altrenogest-and-Difficult-Mares-&-Fillies-What-Are-The-Alternatives-Optim-Equine

Regumate / Altrenogest and Difficult Mares & Fillies: What Are The Alternatives?

With the rulings of Regumate/Altrenogest use in racing coming under the spotlight around the globe, now is an opportune time to address nutritional and management factors which can contribute to undesirable behaviour in mares and fillies. Whilst no nutritional supplement will prevent estrus in the mare/filly: signs, symptoms and behaviour may be able to be …

Regumate / Altrenogest and Difficult Mares & Fillies: What Are The Alternatives? Read More »

When-Supplements-actually-make-the-problem-worse

When Supplements actually make the problem worse

Something I see commonly in practice is well meaning owners prescribing supplements to help with a particular health or performance issue in their horse. One of the most commonly misused classes of supplements in the horse are ‘blood builders’. Whilst iron deficiency in humans is an all too common problem, in our horses it is …

When Supplements actually make the problem worse Read More »

Fillies-Mares-Hormones-and-Performance-Opim-Equine

Fillies, Mares, Hormones and Performance

Do you train, own or ride fillies or mares? Have you previously, or do you use altrenogest/Regumate or other synthetic progestin products to ‘control’ their cycles or regulate their behaviour? Would you still give them such substances if you knew that it significantly decreased muscle mass, strength and performance, and impaired recovery? Animal research has …

Fillies, Mares, Hormones and Performance Read More »

NSAID-Ulcer-Medication-in-Horses-Optim-Equine

NSAIDs and Ulcer Medications Together? Think Again

Most horse people are aware that the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs (phenylbutazone, flunixin, firocoxib, etc) compromise gastrointestinal (GI) health in the horse. This comes about through inhibiting several natural defence mechanisms of the GI tract, which help to protect and maintain the integrity of the lining of the GI tract. Whilst many think …

NSAIDs and Ulcer Medications Together? Think Again Read More »