by Nikki Alvin-Smith
The increasing cost of good quality forage and grains is a trend likely to continue as farmers close their barn doors and hang up their well-worn caps for good. Commodity prices on the world stage continue to digest news of tragic wars and climate change issues that negatively affect food supplies. Everyone is facing their own battle to put food on the table and in the horse owners case, in the stable.
The importance of making every grain of grain and every flake of forage count toward your horse’s health has never been greater. Between the cost of feed and of veterinary help, the expense of medications and stress our horses endure on a daily basis, taking a few simple strides and going back to basics makes sense to give us confidence we are making the most of what we buy and do for our beloved horses.
There are many of my fellow professionals that take the approach of throwing everything but the kitchen sink into the horses’ feed buckets to try and balance the nutritional rollercoaster spurred on by the feed supplement media news that bombards the inbox that is dished up on a daily basis. But simple answers are often the best methods to employ to give a balanced approach to the complex matter of a horse’s digestive capabilities and gut health.
It’s true that the addition of the right digestive support regimen is the key to ensuring your horse can utilize the full benefits of what he eats and counter the inevitable bad components that make their way into today’s food chain.
Digestion supplements have largely fallen into one of two categories, either coating the stomach for the reduction in risk or recovery from issues associated with the stomach or probiotic products designed to stimulate bacterial digestion in the large intestine. As the entire digestive system is interconnected it makes sense to use a product that has been formulated to support all the elements and processes in the equine digestive tract.
Let’s Scope It Out Together
It’s always smart to begin at the beginning so let’s start in the stomach and let’s talk about what functions are completed where and what issues need to be addressed by an effective digestion supplement. To walk us through our guide is Nick Hartog, the veteran owner of Grand Meadows, a leading feed supplement producer who shares how they earnestly developed their effective digestion support product Grand Digest.
“When we designed Grand Digest we felt strongly that we needed to address the entire digestive system not just a part of it. Yes, it’s a rather complex system. But when you break it down into small bites of knowledge to explain the processes then the learning curve is very digestible for the horse owner to understand and appreciate.
Let’s begin at the stomach as you suggested. To address digestive function in the stomach, our Grand Digest product includes a combination of zeolites, which are adsorbent clays, to help absorb excess hydrochloric acid, glutamine that in the stomach has the important role of maintaining and repairing the upper squamous area. Plus, a branded product, Toxynil Plus™, which acts as a mycotoxin binder, because horses unlike cows are unable to bind and isolate the damaging bacteria that can be found in both forage and grain.
As feed passes into the small intestine Grand Digest continues to work to enhance absorption of vitamins, minerals with a comprehensive enzyme blend, Multizyme™, that closely mirrors the enzymes produced by the pancreas. A secondary function for the glutamine is in enhancing the performance of the intestinal villi that line the small intestine and through which nutrients pass into the blood stream. The improvement in digestion of carbohydrate starches in the small intestine that is supported by these ingredients, can help reduce the risk of problems associated with starches in the large intestine. Another important feature of both the Toxynil Plus™ and our prebiotic, Diamond V Yeast™ is in antioxidant activity and targeting of free radicals to aggressively support the horse’s immune system.
Finally, we pass into the large intestine, where again, Grand Digest’s multi-faceted approach is truly unique. With high levels of Postbiotics, we offer a powerful package to stimulate the health of the gut flora so that the fiber, cellulose and remaining starches can be fermented safely and effectively. In addition, we have also added another branded ingredient Amaferm™, a species of fungi Aspergillus Oryzae that create small notches or wound sites on the fibers and make it easier for the beneficial bacteria to attach thus improving the speed and efficiency of the beneficial bacteria. The combination of these elements in the large intestine provide a potent tool to maximize bacterial digestion, increasing the production of volatile fatty acids, which produce as much as 30% of a horse’s energy and promoting the production of B vitamins that are crucial in maintaining the immune system.”
The goal when feeding our horses is always to keep them in optimal health, and adding a relatively inexpensive digestive aid product like Grand Digest to the feed ration is something right under our noses that we can do to maximize the benefits of the love, labor and also importantly money we dispense to our horses’ needs on a daily basis for hopefully years on end.
A simple, back to basics approach is always a way to make complex situations uncomplicated.
For professional horse trainers that get caught up in the hamster wheel of buying tub after tub, paste after paste and tablet after tablet of often very expensive feed supplements, taking the time to research how throwing everything into the feed bucket is not the best answer to resolve issues or benefit the horse can be a financial and emotional relief. I urge my compatriots to take a hard look at Grand Digest and review simplifying what they are doing in the feed room.
More is certainly not usually better. In the case of equine digestive health, this one well-designed product, can uplift both the confidence of the horse owner that they are doing the right thing for their horses and their bank balance. All good news.
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About Grand Meadows: Founded in 1989 by visionary Angela Slater, Grand Meadows is a leading horse health product and equine supplement manufacturer driven by the guiding principle of providing affordable, extremely high-quality science-backed horse products to help ensure horses look and feel their best.
For the past 35 years the company’s mission has been honored and developed further, by President Nick Hartog, who among other accomplishments is one of the founding members and current board member of the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC), an organization that has a profound impact on the safety, transparency, and legitimacy of the animal supplement industry.
Grand Meadow products are widely used and trusted across the entire horse community from Olympic medal winning competitors and successful horse racing trainers to backyard horse owners. Their equine supplements are highly regarded for their excellent quality resourced ingredients and completely accurate labelling and effective formulations. Learn more at https://www.grandmeadows.com/
Photos are available on request.
About Nikki Alvin-Smith:
Content Creator | PR Partner | Seasoned Writer | Brand Builder |
Major Marketer| Journalist|
PR Marketing Specialist/Strategist|
Grand Prix Dressage