Reduce Horse Show Stress to Maintain Stomach Health

Every competitive horse owner knows that showtime is stressful. However, stress from training to trailering can affect horses, too.

Horses can continue feeling the stress even after stepping off the trailer. Situations such as increased stall time--especially at an unfamiliar facility--and limited turnout, along with training and competing, can often lead to equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS).

EGUS can diminish the results of hard work spent preparing for an event, with poor performance and even a change in attitude resulting horses that simply aren't at the top of their game.

Even for a seasoned show horse, the competitive environment is a prime place to potentially develop painful stomach ulcers. Interrupted and infrequent meals, little turnout, frequent handling, bright lights, loud speakers, longer workouts, and little downtime could cause ulcers to develop before the show is over. While it might not be possible to turn off speakers or regulate other horses in the barn, EGUS might be prevented with a few simple travel tips:

  • While at the show, try not to change the normal feeding schedule and allow horses ample rest.
  • Between extra work sessions, schedule regular downtime to allow horses to relax.
  • If possible, turn off overhead lights at night.
  • Additionally, turn off any radios left on at the stalls. A recent study found that a radio left on in the barn could be considered a cause of stress for horses (read more).  

To help prevent EGUS and keep horses at their best, horse owners can also ask a veterinarian about Ulcergard (omeprazole), the only product approved by the FDA for the prevention of EGUS. The active ingredient of Ulcergard inhibits acid production at the acid pump, while the patented formula ensures the omeprazole is stabilized to work effectively in the stomach.

After the long hours of practice and preparation, don't let stomach ulcers take your horse out of the winner's circle.

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