unlock healthy digestion

Digestive problems in horses can be caused by a variety of factors related to feed management, husbandry, and training. Here's a checklist of possible causes to consider when a horse is experiencing digestive issues:

Feed Management

     Diet Composition:

  • Is the horse receiving an appropriate balance of forage (hay or pasture) and concentrate (grain) in their diet?
  • Are there sudden changes in the diet? 

    Forage Quality: 

  • Is the hay/pasture of good quality, free from mold, dust, and toxins? 
  • Is there an appropriate ratio of grass to legumes in the forage? 

    Feeding Schedule: 
  • Is the horse fed on a regular schedule? 

  • Is there an appropriate gap between meals? 


  • Is the horse receiving the right amount of feed for their age, weight, and activity level? 

  • Are there any issues with portion control? 

    Water Access: 

  • Is the horse provided with clean, fresh water at all times? 

  • Is there any chance of water contamination or scarcity? 


   Stress Levels: 

  • Is the horse exposed to excessive stress, such as social isolation, frequent traveling, or changes in routine?


  • Has the horse been dewormed regularly and is the deworming program effective? 

    Dental Health:

  • Are there any dental issues, such as sharp points or dental problems? 

    Exercise and Turnout: 

  • Is the horse receiving adequate exercise and turnout time? 

    Environmental Factors: 

  • Is the horse housed in a clean and well-ventilated environment? 

  • Are there any toxins or irritants present in the stable? 


    Training Intensity: 

  • Is the training too intense or are there sudden increases in workload? 

    Tack and Equipment: 

  • Are the tack / equipment properly fitted to the horse? 

  • Are there any issues causing discomfort during training? 

    Rest and Recovery: 

  • Is the horse allowed sufficient time for rest and recovery between training sessions? 

    Behavioral Issues: 

  • Is the horse displaying behavioral problems during training that may be related to discomfort or stress? 

It's important to remember that digestive problems in horses can have multiple underlying causes, and a veterinarian should be consulted if the issues persist or worsen. Regular monitoring of a horse's overall health and well-being, along with attention to these factors, can help prevent and address digestive problems effectively.

Pleun Broeren, nutritionist