Both the novice and seasoned rider will still get the jitters before performing in a show. Horses can also feel the rider’s jitters; this is likely to put the horse at risk of an ulcer problem. Competitive riders usually employ different techniques, such as meditation and yoga, to keep them calm during a show, but how about their horses?
There is enough evidence to prove horses develop ulcers due to stress from competing. Riders need to discover new ways on how best to manage the stress levels of their horses before and during a show.
Stressors that cause Ulcers in Horses
But first, a horse rider should be familiar with the are various types of stress experienced by a horse before and after a show, which include:
- Traveling long distances – Some horses do well during transportation, but others are not comfortable with the idea of moving from one place to another and is actually stressful for them, whether they are on the road or are transported by air. If you know that transportation is greatly stressful for you horse, you need to control the situation to avoid the risk of serious injuries to the animal.
- Long training session – Even humans can be strained by strenuous exercises and the need for warm-ups is also important to help loosen the joints and warm the muscles. Horses need that too for every training session and rest periods are just as important. After every training session, the horse should also be allowed to cool down and unwind from the physical activity.
- Environmental factors such as extreme weather conditions – Horses can adapt well in both warm and cold weather but not that of the extremes. Horses that work under a very warm and humid area are likely to experience heat stress. And while they can also grow thicker hair coats during winter, they will still need shelter from rain, snow and hail.
- Insufficient rest between shows and performances – If you are overworked, you too, will be under stress. Imagine a life that’s always on the go, without getting enough rest after every work that you perform – it would likely result to an immune system giving up thereby giving birth to various illnesses. Same thing goes for a horse that does not get enough rest in between shows – it might always put on a great show but sooner or later, its body will give in to sickness due to lack of rest.
- An unfamiliar environment with other horses and people – Horses pay attention to their surroundings very well and they can notice the slightest sound, sight and smell in their familiar territory. Instinctively, they are prey animals and it only means they eact readily with anything unfamiliar (considered as threats). If you take them out from the familiar surroundings, they will feel fear. As fear starts to take over, there will be increased heart rate and the levels of cortisol also rise – which now pave way to stress.
- Changes in routine practices – A horse that feels that he is not in control of his own environment will feel stressed. A horse will grow dependent of its environment and the herd that he belongs to everyday. Change the scenario and the horse will likely become distressed.
The whole environment in the show ring can be highly stressful for a horse; the noise from the crowd, the unfamiliar people and horses are common factors for horses to have that jittery feeling. Due to stress, several health problems may occur, including ulcer development. Normally, the horse’s stomach is capable of producing 16 gallons (60.5L) of acid per day. A diet high in roughage helps buffer the acid effects together with saliva from constant chewing, but a roughage diet is not always readily available in many show environments. Prevention of ulcers in horses becomes extremely necessary to attain optimum performance, leading horse owners and trainers to administer omeprazole.
How to effectively Treat Gastric Ulcers
Omeprazole inhibits the action of the acid pumps, thereby, preventing ulcers in horses from forming. When it comes to affordable and effective equine omeprazole, horse community have trusted Abler products since 2008. Before the show begins, owners usually start giving the medication as a preventive measure for ulcer development and follow up with a dose 3 days after the show..
Should you observe signs of ulceration (weight loss, loss of appetite, aggressive behavior, loss of performance, and the like) in your show horses, consult your veterinarian immediately for confirmation of diagnosis.
AbPrazole™ is trusted by many horse owners and trainers in the effective prevention of digestive ulcers, which commonly occur in show horses. Abler is the best source of affordable and effective ulcer medications for your horse.
Get your horse ready for the show. Shop at Abler now for the most affordable equine medication