Why have Digestion Supplements become one of the most hyped up categories in the equine supplement market?

At Grand Meadows we believe that the heightened interest in digestion supplements has arisen from a widening recognition that the way horses eat today has changed so much relative to the way the horse’s digestive system has evolved over hundreds of thousands of years.

Horses evolved as grazers, and in order to consume sufficient forage to meet caloric demands, they must graze for many hours each day. Thus, their digestive system is designed to function through continual ingestion and processing of small amounts of forage. As soon as a horse rips a blade of grass or grasps a piece of hay, digestion begins.

In many cases horses are being fed quantities of cereal grains, ingredients that horses have not evolved to eat as a daily part of their diet. This change from a diet that consisted of 100% forage to a mixed diet has resulted in unprecedented levels of digestive issues from gastric stomach ulcers, hind gut acidosis, metabolic illnesses and gas or impaction colics. While we cannot realistically except horse owners to universally change their feeding programs, we believe it is helpful to understand why it is a good idea to be proactive in feeding a well formulated digestion supplement. As an example a viable* digestion supplement can support the more efficient breakdown of complex carbohydrate in the small intestine and reduce the workload being placed on the microbial population in the large intestine. This in turn will allow those beneficial bacteria to focus on breaking down the more indigestible cellulose and lignans that are not broken down in the small intestine, aiding the extraction of the remaining nutrients and supporting the production of B-vitamins for the immune system and Volatile Fatty Acids for energy.

Healthy digestion fuels your horse’s ultimate performance and by keeping your horse’s digestive and immune system in a healthy balance you can beat the odds of digestive disturbances that our modern horse feeding routines often create.

*We use the word viable here because Probiotics, which are widely used as the single source in most horse digestion supplements have some real challenges in staying alive and viable while passing through the horse’s convoluted digestive system. When Probiotics die their effect is neutralized. This is why we have used Prebiotics as the primary “yeast” source called Diamond V©, in all our supplements for so many years .
Diamond V© is a unique fermented Prebiotic, that actually boosts your horse’s own immune function naturally providing a perfect food source in the hind gut to increase the beneficial bacteria that results in improved fiber and protein digestion making it easy and efficient for your horse to break down and absorb multiple nutrients efficiently.

by Nick Hartog

In 1994, Nick Hartog became an owner and President of Grand Meadows Equine Supplements bringing his talents and extensive background in domestic and international equine sales and manufacturing. He has a reputation for plain speaking of the truth. In 1997, when the US horse supplement market was something akin to the Wild West with a complete lack of standards, Nick personally tested 32 different horse joint supplements to see if they matched the label. Unsurprisingly, to him at least, only 2 products matched the label claim. Read more...