What goes in, must come out. This is a sentiment all too familiar with those of us who muck out daily, yet this onerous task can provide vital information about a horse’s health. The importance of faecal monitoring should never be underestimated.
The basic anatomy of the digestive system is the same for all mammals. Horses have evolved as forage eaters who will graze for 16 to 18 hours a day, so the equine digestive system functions best when trickle fed in this way. However, the performance horse needs more energy than can be supplied by an all-forage diet. Health problems can soon arise when high levels of concentrates are fed infrequently and at the expense of forage.