With gastric ulcers a common occurrence amongst pleasure and performance horses, research into the condition suggests a major cause is stress. In this article, we discuss the potential benefits of magnesium supplementation to reduce stress for these horses.
According to Dr Kerry Ridgway, DVM, an expert on Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGUS), there are two types of horses: “Those who have ulcers and those who are going to have ulcers”.
Indeed, EGUS remains a significant problem compromising horse health at almost every stage of life and level of activity. The results from a Danish study, led by Franklin Pellegrini, DVM, and supported by other studies worldwide, indicates how common EGUS really is.
The results of several studies now show:
- 90% of performance horses experience EGUS
- 60% of horses in training experience EGUS
- 35-50% of pleasure horses experience EGUS
- 60% of all foals experience EGUS in their first months of life
Stress and Gastric Ulcers
Sadly, these numbers aren’t expected to decrease without dramatic changes in the feeding and management of horses. However, the link between stress and gastric ulcers has been well established and the calming effects of magnesium supplementation may hold promise.
Both pleasure and performance horses may encounter physical and psychological stress in a number of ways. Some of the common stressful events in a horse’s life include:
- High intensity training
- Racing and competition
- Withholding feed
- Abrupt changes in feed or environment
Aptly named ‘stress stomach’, the resulting gastric ulcers caused by stress often lead to diarrhoea, colic and reduced appetite. Behavioural and performance problems may also appear or worsen - limiting your horse’s athletic potential.
Magnesium Supplementation and EGUS
With magnesium supplementation, some of the stress horses experience may be minimised.
The calmative effects of magnesium are now documented in scientific research and a quality equine magnesium supplement, such as Placide, may be used to support both pleasure and performance horses in stressful environments.
In New Zealand, Placide remains the leading magnesium supplement for horses - offering the highest quantity of magnesium that is rapidly absorbed in the digestive tract. Within just one week of use, many horse owners using Placide notice calmer behaviours in their horses.
Placide M & Ca is recommended for use during Spring, when magnesium and calcium imbalances are furthered worsened by Spring pasture. Containing organic chelated magnesium, with calcium and boron, Placide M & Ca restores magnesium and calcium levels, and promotes calm behaviour.
Placide is the number one equine calming supplement in New Zealand. Containing organic, chelated magnesium, Placide works to relax muscles, reduce stress and support your horse’s health for improved performance in less than one week. Click here to find out more.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended as veterinary advice. At Placide, we encourage you to make health care decisions for your horse based on your own research and in partnership with a qualified veterinarian.