Equine ulcers performance horses how they begin!

You are driving home from your last competition with your little champion in tow. Basking in the glow of the recent win, the last thought you may have is what possible impact might performance have on equine ulcers? What damage might this day have done to your mare’s digestive system?

Importance of breakfast

Sparrow had to get up early this morning, and so did you. The rush of the morning begins with a quick breakfast for all. Next the hustle of the horse  into the trailer and we are  on the road. You didn’t even notice that your mare didn’t eat all of her breakfast because you showed up at the barn at an unusually early time to feed. As you drive down the road thinking of the day’s excitement, trouble is already brewing for Sparrow. The empty belly she has from not eating this morning is full of stomach acid that is sloshing all around her stomach in the bumpy trailer. Stress has begun as the hay bag is  not being picked at!

Arriving at the Show

You get to the show and park. Unload Sparrow and start tacking her up….your ride time is only 40 minutes away and you need a warm up still. Down to the warm up you go…not paying attention to Sparrow’s show nerves…she gets over them after a good warm up.

Warm up goes great as always and your little steed pulls off not only a bunch of blues, but the high score of the day. You are thrilled.

The damage is done!

Once you arrive home, you turn Sparrow out as a reward for her good day. Unknown to you, equine ulcer in performances horse is being formed already! . The excess acid in Sparrows stomach with no food or saliva to buffer it, has already caused an ulcer to form.

The next morning, you notice Sparrow doesn’t seem herself…not wanting her grain, picking at her hay. She’s definitely not her happy self.

Showing horses is stressful and damaging to horse’s delicate digestive systems. Causes of stress related equine ulcers in performance horses range from

  • changing feeding times
  • changing feed amounts
  • trailering
  • being at a strange place like a show grounds
  • strange horses


Treating Equine Ulcers

Once the ulcers begin, they won’t just go away, and they only get worse with more competition and training. Equine ulcers performance horses require careful management  and a treatment plan, pre and post horse show.