When planning an overnight trip with your horse, there’s a lot to think about---from packing a first-aid kit to rememberin­g any required health paperwork. You may also want to add “ulcer prevention” to that checklist.

Gastric ulcers, which are lesions in the stomach lining associated with inflammati­on, can cause discomfort, weight loss and even attitude changes in horses. Common causes for gastric ulcers are high-grain diets and longterm use of non-steroidal antiinflam­matory medication­s, but stress can also lead to their developmen­t.

Research has shown that the simple act of trailering a horse to a different location and staying overnight can induce gastric ulcers in horses, even in those who are seasoned travelers and do not seem outwardly bothered by the experience. With this in mind, you may want to consider putting a horse who travels frequently on an ulcer-preventing feed or supplement and then treating him the day before an overnight trip with a preventive dose of omeprazole paste.

Even with preventive ulcer treatments, be sure to provide a traveling horse with plenty of water and unlimited forage to keep his digestive system functionin­g as normally as possible. If your horse is an inexperien­ced traveler or particular­ly nervous, bringing along a herd mate is also a good idea, if feasible.


With colder weather approachin­g, older horses with arthritis may begin to feel a bit “creakier.” One of the best things you can do to manage their condition is to keep them moving.

Slow, regular exercise supports joint health in two ways: First, it boosts lubricatio­n in the joints by circulatin­g synovial fluid. Second, it keeps the

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