Author: Eleanor Blazer

THE WAY OF HORSES

Through the lips, over the gums…look out stomach! Here it comes!
Once the horse has sorted, chewed and softened feed with salvia he swallows. The slurry travels down the esophagus and into the stomach.
The esophagus, a muscular tube about fifty inches in the average horse, leads to the stomach.
A horse chokes if a foreign object blocks the esophagus. This object may be an apple, corn cob, hay cube, a wad of improperly chewed feed or baler twine. Horses can choke on most anything…
The equine esophagus could also be blocked by a growth (tumor) or scar tissue from trauma (a previous choke episode or damage to the sensitive tissue because of a medical procedure).
Symptoms of choke in horses:

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You out in one end and take it out the other!

Do you know what happens to expensive grain and hay during its long journey to become manure?

Equine lips have almost a prehensile (adapted to wrap or fold around an object) ability. They can separate oral additives from grain, chose the tender shoots of grass and untie a lead rope.

A horse’s meal starts at the lips which gather feed and make it available to the teeth. Desirable grass is collected by the lips and presented to the incisors for snipping and moved back with the tongue to the molars for grinding. Loose products (for example – grain and hay) are collected and moved directly back to the molars.

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Equine Latrine

Horses have no trouble determining where to poop, as opposed to the confusion facing some humans these days.

Most confined horses will designate a “latrine” area – whether in a turnout, pasture or stall. My own horses will leave their hay, walk across the turnout, relieve themselves in the favored corner and return to eating.

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Feeding Beet Pulp

High in digestible fiber.
Low glycemic index.
10% crude protein.
What is this miracle feed for horses? Beet pulp!
After sugar is extracted from beets the left over pulp is a form of highly digestible fiber suitable for horses. Beet pulp contains 18.0% crude fiber, which puts it on the borderline of being classified as forage.

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Hay before Grain?

It’s feeding time and the horses know it. Feed buckets are rattling; there are nickers and the banging of hooves against gates.

In most stables the concentrate or “grain” is given first – to satisfy the immediate need and calm the stable. Even if hay is given simultaneously the concentrate will be eaten first. But is that wise?

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