Witnessing your horse eat dirt can be both shocking and disturbing – especially if it is a new behaviour from a horse that you have had for some time. But being aware of your horse’s behaviour will greatly help in being able to detect the problem, observing the symptoms that Equine Nutrition may have the solution to!
First of All …Why Does Your Horse Eat Dirt?
There are different reasons why your horse may eat dirt, which includes but is not limited to – nutritional deficiencies and boredom.
Boredom can be quickly addressed, offering them more opportunities for exercise, as well as daily stimulation through exposure to humans and landscapes in which to run and graze.
Horse owners do not want their horses suffering from depression caused by prolonged boredom, so ensuring your horse is getting out of their stall for the vast majority of their day is important. This will prevent both depression and the habit of eating dirt.
Horses – Eating Dirt and Diet Deficiencies
Horses are now bred in a domestic setting, but they were once a wild animal that grazed in a natural habitat throughout their day. Often referred to as ‘chew time’, this gave these beautiful creatures the chance to thrive in their happy place; the wild.
As a horse owner, it is important to still allow for this as much as possible. Taming your horse to ride is one thing, but allow them to be untamed in their natural habitat is another – and we encourage that for a healthy horse, both mentally and physically.
Where Supplements Can Help Combat a Lack of Natural Grazing
As mentioned, some horses eat dirt due to a lack of nutrients. But they also may eat dirt due to a gastric ulcers – a health concern that effects the lining of their stomach.
We offer a variety of high-quality equine supplements that can assist in both nutritional and healing aids, delivering minerals, vitamins and nutrients that they may be missing in their diet, which includes:
• SLIPPERY ELM BARK – which is useful at reducing inflammation in the digestive tract. It is also helpful for chronic diarrhea or irritable bowel, as well as colic prevention. It’s excellent at soothing and healing ulcers, and maintaining overall gut health.
• MARSHMALLOW ROOT – which aids in digestive disorders in horses. It contains high levels of mucilage, which is a sticky, viscous sap that, when ingested, absorbs water and other liquids, and forms a protective barrier over inflamed mucous membranes. This can be very beneficial in treating horses with ulcers, as the protective coating can relieve pain and discomfort, and allow healing.
• GASTRO MAX – which acts as an internal poultice, reducing over- acid secretions and soothing inflammation for normal healthy recovery of the damaged lining. Will also assist in relaxing the stomach and improving the normal rhythmic action necessary for digestion and fluid secretion.
If you have discovered your horse eating dirt and are seeking ways to help combat the behaviour, we would love to help you, and look forward to doing so!