Probiotics and cold horses

Barbara Madill (
Sun, 16 Nov 1997 09:13:32 -0500 (EST)

On Fri, 14 Nov 1997 20:56:19 -0800 you wrote

>From: To:
>Subject: another .02 on cold horse...

>Hi again,

>One more thing I was thinking about...since heat of digestion and thus a
warming effect >is the result of structural carbohydrate digestion in the
cecum and hindgut, and since >that digestion is carried out by the
microorganisms of the gut...then logically, it >would make sense that more
digestion would be going on, and thus more heat produced per >kg of fiber,
if the microbial population was maximized as well. Since the rate of
>passage through the system is relatively constant, then more bugs = more
>beta-glycosidic bonds being broken = more heat being released.
Hmmm...sounds like a >research project to me! :-D
>Anyway, back to reality (a difficult and arduous trip most days). If your
sister also >handed her mare some probiotics every now and again, or at
least started her out with >some Equine Bene-Bac, it might increase the
amount of heat the mare was getting out of >the extra hay you're feeding her
in cold weather.

What about competition horses? My young horse (7 - first season of
real WORK) has shivered (weather marginally justified this reaction) after
15 to 40 mile works. As soon as he got some food in him, he quickly stopped

However, wouldn't the "effort" of digestion predispose for muscle
cramps? Remember our mothers cautioning us not to swim for an hour after

Following a line of reasoning similar to yours I ordered some
Pro-Bios, had never heard of Equine Bene-Bac (the Pro-Bios doesn't specify
horses, but I'd been pleased when I used it instead of yogurt for a horse
recovering from Salmonellosis about 8 years ago).

Such a pity the "results" of my personal "experimentation" with the
Pro-Bios won't be empirical -- don't know how one would be able to set up
an "Apples, Apples" experiment. I assume that further conditioning will
help my youngster handle oxygen better, therefore requiring less to run his
muscles or keep him warm.

Where does one obtain the specifically Equine product?

Thank you for your contributions to Ridecamp,

Barbara Madill