Reducing digestive stress in horses
Fibres supplied through forage are currently no longer sufficient to meet the increased energy demands of horses. This is because modern feeding practices involve supplementing forage with high-energy cereal-based concentrates.
A horse’s metabolism is not designed to handle the amount of starch that humans feed them each day through concentrates. As a result, excess of starch is not digested in the small intestine but is fermented instead by amylolytic bacteria in the colon. This starch fermentation produces lactate, which raises acidity levels in the gastrointestinal tract. The resulting acidosis kills the fibrolytic bacteria, thus impairing the horse’s digestive metabolism.