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Re: [RC] [RC] burping horse - terry banister

Yes! In graduating from the Moorpark College Exotic Animal Training and Management program, I learned about the feeding habits of wild animals, but did't apply the knowledge to caring for my horse. Now I realize that he is an herbivore, and in the wild, herbivores are unlike carnivores that have stomaches made to gorge large quantities of food and then digest/fast for long periods of time. Herbivores have small stomaches designed to be eating small quantities of food on a constant basis (eat and run). So the horse's stomach (unlike peoples') is producing acid on a constant basis, and feeding them large quantities of food twice a day isn't really correct for them (but unfortunately, convenient for us).

Well, my horse was a hard keeper (he didn't burp, but he laid down a lot) even before we started endurance riding, but the travel and stress of doing something new and demanding probably would have made us an endurance metabolic statistic if Barney Fleming had'nt had his free ulcer clinic where my horse was diagnosed with stage-1 ulcers.
Gastrogard healed the ulcers, and NEIGHLOX is a pelleted antacid that is put in the horse's feed as preventive maintenance before travel or stress. I put some in the baggies of Advantage or grain that I carry in saddle pouches, so that it will counteract the acidity of the electrolytes.

Knowing that horse's stomachs are constantly producing acid, I will now always treat any horse I own as if they could get, or already have ulcers, by never letting them go for more than a couple of hours without something in their stomach. My horse now has a special feeder that allows him to have hay 24/7.

Tip: Horse cookies (Minnies Whinneys, Mrs. Pastures, etc.) are easy to carry in pocket or pommel pack to feed on the trail without dismounting. I just offer him two or three from the saddle, anytime we stop, if there is no grazing available on the trail. I also put some powdered electrolytes in the baggie with them, so some of it sticks to the cookies.

Tip: The big 72 oz. collapsible nylon dog water bowls by Outward Hound (available at pet stores, but usually sold out) are great for dumping your baggie of grain and adding a little water to feed/hydrate your horse on the trail (and keep your hands clean). It has a loop, so you can clip to saddle or just stuff it into pocket or pouch.

"May the Horse be with you"

From: Vicki Austin <kingston04281@xxxxxxxxx>
To: ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [RC]   burping horse
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2003 03:44:03 -0800 (PST)

AAHHHH, right up my ally.   My
experiance..............I have been working with
horses of all diciplines / breeds / in all walks of
life but until eight years ago had NEVER heard of a
horse burbing.  Horses cannot let anything come up
right???  That is   what we all "know" right?
Well..............then came King, my present
horse.....and for the first six years he burped.   He
burped when we went riding,  he burped when he lay
down, he burped when he got up. He layed like a puppy
with his front feet out in front of him or flat on his
back almost up side down "if he could"  he layed down
to eat, he layed down and burped after each ride, he
was a finiky eater and I was like a mother hen trying
to get him to like this food or that food.  He was
also a hard keeper so I kept food in front of him
constantly.    I thought he was a strange horse indeed
but I was growing to love him and work with him.  He
did over 1000 ectra competition miles both in CTRs and
in endurance the first three years I had him and then
we decided to comptete in dressage and eventing for
three years. In the summer of 2002, while training on
the cross country course for an event I was planning
on going to King fractured a splint bone.  While in
the hospital to have that removed  the vet called me
and said "Did you know King has ulcers?"   Now at that
time I also didn't know horses COULD get ulcers.   She
told me how he was laying, burping etc and said those
are classic signs of mild ulcers and that he should be
treated.  I told her he has always acted that way and
is it possible he has had ulcers for that long??   I
had been treating him for "gas colic" at least a
couple times a month with pro-bio and gas X tablets
since I got him.   My vet said it was amazing how many
horses are born with them and that they live with them
their whole lives if they are mild enough and care is
good, and that the "gas colic" I thought I was
treating him for was really bouts of pain from the
ulcers making him depressed and not wanting to eat.
Giving him the pro bi and gasX tabs kept it under
control just enough that he could keep on keeping on.
She also said that most ulcers of horses was caused
not by stress as some think but by they way we feed
and the amount of time they go with out feed at rides
etc as the acid in their upper gut doesn't shut down
just because there is no food in it.   Made sense to
me so I treated him with Gastroguard for eight weeks
and viola....no more burping....no more laying down
funny (in fact not much laying down at all) he eats
now...I make sure I bring food (grain and denjie, in
baggies in my saddle bag) with me on every ride to
give him about every two hours or so.  I have a new
horse, sorta kinda.    So..................you may
want to try some Gastro guard (cheaper than the long
scope) and if your horse stops burping than maybe he
had / has ulcers.   I am to undertand (via internet
and vet) that about 90% of performance horses have
ulcers.   Some go untreated until they are so bad that
they have an attack that mimics severe colic and
surgery is done when it could all have been prevented
with some treatment and change of feed habits.   Hope
this helps.  Vicki

--- "Erica R. DeVoti" <ponyexpress@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote: > Has anyone ever heard of a horse that burps? (Not > to be confused with "boops") :^). Last winter we > had alfalfa/grass mix and my anglo arab burped quite > often. My vet indicated he has never heard of a > horse "burping". We are now totally on grass, and > no burps to speak of this winter, though last summer > he "burped" during a ride last summer (grass > only)--which quite surprised everyone in the ride > group! Of course, now it is winter stew time, and I > am anxious it is some condition that will interfere > in some way......Any thoughts? Thanks, Erica DeVoti > ponyexpress@ frontier.net >

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