To that end, you should never, ever let your horse train on an empty stomach. There are some reasons as to why this is the case. At the very least, you are doing something that could seriously compromise the health of your animal. Ulcers are a distinct possibility when you fail to take proper care of your horse’s diet, particularly in terms of combining that diet with training.
Why You Shouldn’t Train a Horse On An Empty Stomach
We are always looking for ways to maximize the performance potential of our performance horses. At the same time, we do not want to do anything that is going to put the horse in harm’s way.
In the end, ulcers are extremely prevalent amongst performance horses for a variety of reasons. One of the biggest reasons concerns diet and training. Too much training can compromise your horse’s natural abilities to diminish things like stomach acid. The same can be said for their diet, which is one of the reasons why horses are grazing animals by nature. It is grazing that allows them to keep things like stomach acid from damaging the lining of their stomach and other areas.
Stomach is divided into 2 parts- Glandular and Non Glandular -Equine Digestive System
Food enters through mouth passes through stomach(foregut) to small intestine, cerum, large colon , small colon (hindgut), then rectum. Too much acid in stomach causes gastric ulcers.
Grazing can be difficult with performance horses, owing largely to the training schedule, as well as the schedule as it relates to traveling. However, you should endeavor to give your horse as many opportunities to graze as possible. More to the point, you should never allow your horse to go through training on an empty stomach. The stress of training will combine with the stress of an empty stomach, and the results can be disastrous. Gastric ulcers can be quite mild, but they can very easily become much more serious in hardly any time at all. In many circumstances, these ulcers can be deadly.
What you want to do is maintain the best combination of diet and training possible. When it comes to meal-feeding, give your horse only as much as they need. Give them their meals prior to training, and do not go overboard with the training. Try to give your performance horse time to digest properly what they eat, as well. Omeprazole may also be helpful.
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