Maintaining Gut Health & Minimizing Insulin Resistance in Horses

Posted by Michael Peterson on

To keep a horse's gut healthy and prevent insulin resistance, it's essential to provide a balanced diet and follow proper feeding practices. Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Forage: The foundation of a horse's diet should be high-quality forage, such as grass or hay. It is crucial for gut health and helps maintain stable blood sugar levels. Aim for at least 1.5-2% of the horse's body weight in forage daily.

  2. Small, frequent meals: Horses have evolved to graze continuously throughout the day. Feeding smaller meals more frequently can help maintain gut health and prevent blood sugar spikes. Use slow-feed hay nets or automatic feeders to encourage natural feeding patterns.

  3. Low non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) content: Choose forage and feeds with low NSC content to reduce the risk of insulin resistance. This includes low-starch and low-sugar hays, such as mature grass or hay with a high percentage of fibrous material.

  4. Balancer or ration balancer: Supplement the diet with a balancer or ration balancer to provide essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids without adding excessive calories or carbohydrates.

  5. Avoid sugary treats: Limit or avoid sugary treats, such as apples and carrots, as they can contribute to insulin resistance.

  6. Monitor body condition: Regularly assess your horse's body condition score and adjust feeding practices accordingly. Overweight horses are more likely to develop insulin resistance, so managing weight is crucial.

  7. Regular exercise: Encourage regular exercise to help maintain a healthy weight, promote gut motility, and improve insulin sensitivity.

  8. Monitor for signs of insulin resistance: Regularly check for symptoms of insulin resistance, such as abnormal fat deposits, laminitis, or excessive drinking and urination. Consult your veterinarian if you suspect any issues.  Adding Colla3 Plus will also be beneficial.

  9. If you notice your horse developing ulcer symptoms, becoming cinchy or moody, try adding a tablespoon of GastroElm Plus to their feed.  It helps with both gastric ulcers as well as problems in the hind gut.  This leads to a more comfortable horse that is easier to work with and performs better.

Remember that a balanced diet and proper feeding practices are essential for maintaining your horse's gut health and preventing insulin resistance. Regularly monitor your horse's condition and adjust the diet as needed.

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