Stressed horses are more likely to have digestive problems and changes in behaviour, according to a new study by the Centre of Nutrition at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. When travelling away with your horse the last thing you want is to be worrying about your horse’s stress and the effects on their wellbeing.
HOW DOES TRAVEL STRESS AFFECT YOUR HORSE?
When horses are stressed, it can have a negative impact on their gut health. This is why it’s important to take steps to manage their stress levels when transporting them.
We have some tips for you:
- Make sure your horse has plenty of time to adjust to the new environment. This will help them to feel more relaxed and less stressed.
- Try to keep their routine as similar as possible to what it is at home. This means feeding them at the same time and keeping their diet as consistent as possible.
- If possible, travel with another horse so they have someone to buddy up with. This will help reduce their stress levels.
- Make sure the trailer or transport vehicle is clean, comfortable and safe and that the journey is as smooth as possible. This will help the horse to feel more relaxed during transportation.
SYMPTOMS OF TRAVEL STRESS
Each horse is an individual and will respond to stressful situations differently. A horse that stresses during travel may exhibit behaviours such as:
- Head tossing
- Loss of appetite
THESE BEHAVIOURAL CHANGES CAN BE DANGEROUS FOR BOTH THE HORSE AND THE RIDER!
This increase in stress can also have a negative impact on the horse’s health and wellbeing.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE A HORSE THAT STRESSES DURING TRAVEL?
Caring for the horse’s digestive system is essential to avoid the negative effects that can occur. Feeding a digestive supplement that contains a pH Buffer such as Marine Sourced Calcium can assist in avoiding gastric ulceration.
CEN XTRABALANCE contains Marine Sourced Calcium that can help buffer the horse’s stomach and hindgut for daily digestive health to help lower the risk of hindgut acidosis associated with the stress of travel and performance.