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Digestive health and its importance for performance

The link between poor digestive health and reduced performance in racehorses has been extensively researched for many years. Researchers first made the association in the 1990’s, but it took until 2008 for the link to be clinically proven. This specific study was significant because they eliminated all other causes of poor performance shown by horses in the study. Once normal gut health was restored, the horses went on and ran to form, showing that maintaining good gut health is key to optimising performance.

Looking for a product to support gut health in your racehorses can be exhausting; so many products are available and many make outlandish claims despite limited evidence to back them up. Certain products stand out and include ingredients backed by research; currently pre-, pro- and postbiotics are leading the field.

As trainers you know the importance of practicing good management to reduce risk factors associated with poor digestive health; maximising forage intake, limiting stress, avoiding periods of limited or no forage intake, selecting low starch diets, not exercising on an empty stomach, and increased turn out opportunities, to name a few.

Despite excellent management regimes being in place, the racehorses’ inherent vulnerability to digestive issues is something we can limit, but rarely eliminate.

Being able to provide our customers with science based gut health products is something the RED MILLS brand has always been at the cutting edge of. Our Horse Care Range was amongst the first to provide a complete care package to optimise overall gastrointestinal tract health. To continue this principle Foran Equine have recently launched the re-formulated Nutri-Gard, with enhanced gut and immune health support through the inclusion of postbiotics.

The benefits of feeding pre- and probiotics are well understood, however, postbiotics are a new development in equine nutrition and are best explained as the metabolites or products of fermentation that confer a benefit to the horse.

Nutri-Gard can be fed with Horse Care Range products to further enhance your current gut health support package or alongside any other feeds and forage to support a racehorse from the inside out. Nutri-Gard contains;

  • Prebiotic – supporting a healthy hindgut microbiome
  • Postbiotic – promoting optimal gut and immune health
  • B vitamins – stimulating appetite and optimising feed utilisation
  • Pectin – helps to buffer stomach acid
  • Threonine – an amino acid essential to the production of mucin which lines and protects the digestive tract
  • Methionine – aids intestinal enzyme activity
  • Oat fibre – rich source of beta-glucans and a powerful immune stimulant & digestive function support

To find out more about this product and how it could benefit your horses, please click here.

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