How To Help Barrel Horses With Ulcers Article from Equine Science Solutions
Tara on Bug
It seems like Barrel horses always have to deal with ulcers. In fact, they are so common that they are often taken for granted.
I’ve watched hundreds of horses run, and it looks like the ones that don’t have ulcers, that don’t have nervous tummies and don’t
have pain anxiety, just run faster. So, I started researching why ulcers develop, what really gets rid of them, and if ulcer free horses’ have better performance times.
Ulcers can occur in multiple places in the horse digestive and elimination tract. These include the:
• upper or non-glandular part of the stomach
• lower or glandular part of the stomach
• duodenum (upper part of the small intestine)
• colon (large intestine)
Most horses will let you know fairly quickly if they have ulcers. They can go off their feed, become cinchy, buck, grumpy with leg
pressure, or otherwise let you know they have gut pain. Ulcers can be caused from physical or emotional stress.
When stress effects the horse physiologically:
• Blood flow is diverted away from the heart, muscles, and the digestive system
• Decreased digestive enzymes and saliva secretions
• Decreased absorption of nutrients
• Decreased intestinal motility
• Decrease in the production of buffering bicarbonates and protective mucus
RESEARCH SHOWS that ulcers occur in most Barrel horses involved in competition or training. Well heck, isn’t that all of them?
That both intense physical exercise and emotional stress depletes Nitric Oxide neuro-transmitters that are crucial for adequate blood
flow to the stomach and the entire elimination system. This blood supply helps to produce a protective mucus that coats the stomach
lining and protects it from digestive acids. Intensely exercised horses must be able to produce large amounts of Nitric Oxide to
maintain adequate blood supply to the walls of the stomach. Without it, the result is ulceration of the stomach lining. In addition,
traditional ulcer drugs cannot help with ulcers that develop in the colon, because they were developed to reduce the acid in the stomach.
It turns out that when a horse is stressed, the protective mucus lining can be reduced by up to 50%. Many ulcer products
(pharmaceuticals) decrease the acid in a horse’s stomach. However, if you decrease the acid for very long, the horse will not have
enough acid to digest the protein it eats and that leads protein losing entropy; the horse starts to look thin, and the coat becomes poor.
Then when the horse is taken off of these other gastric products, ulcers often relapse because the body overcompensates and produces too much acid, turning it into a vicious cycle of gastric ulcer problems.
Nitric Oxide … don’t often hear about that when talking about ulcers. However, the discovery of Nitric Oxide (NO) won a Nobel
Prize, and there are thousands of research papers on it! It is often called the Miracle Molecule because it does so many good things in
the body. NO means no more ulcers! Because it helps address gastric and hind gut issues on many levels, in a more effective, efficient
, and natural way than by using pharmaceuticals, and without side effects like protein losing entropy.
So, there are two different ways to address ulcers, either by decreasing the acid in the stomach (however, that does not address hind
gut ulcer issues), or by replenishing the mucus lining in the entire digestive and elimination tract (without that mucus lining in the colon, it would explain why horses get dry colic).
What if you could nutritionally support gastric and digestion issues? Nutraceuticals instead of Pharmaceuticals may be the answer.
Pharmaceuticals “make” something happen, like taking an aspirin to make a headache go away. They usually don’t treat the root
cause, just the symptom. Thus, the headache might come back. Nutraceuticals trigger the body to produce what is needed to address
the issue at the root cause. They utilize the body's own healing abilities without introducing chemicals or drugs that have side effects into
the body. There are also herbs, which are natural and wonderful, however they often take a while to work. When your horse has ulcers, you want something that creates results quickly.
Veterinarians and horse owners now have the opportunity to address gastric and colonic ulcers from a different physiological
standpoint than the current pharmaceutical remedies which only suppress gastric acid secretions.
Specific nutrients and Nitric Oxide precursors can help trigger the body’s ability to:
• Increase blood flow
• Support the healing of damaged gastric tissues
• Stimulate production of protective mucus secretions
• Counteract drug related damage to the stomach lining
Most Barrel racers we talked to believed that ulcers were just a part of the sport. They were looking for a fast acting, natural product
that does not interfere with the normal digestive processes, one that helps gastric and colonic ulcers or the prevention of them, and a
product that provides impressive and effective results. They also knew, the faster you respond a horses’ ulcers, the greater chance you
have of reducing the painful and damaging effects of what can become a serious condition. They were often seeking to improve health
and stomach function in their horses and have switched to a Nutraceutical called Gastro PLUS PRO for their ulcer answer, because it
triggers the production of Nitric Oxide! This is Mother Natures answer to resolving ulcers in horses.
When to use Gastro PLUS PRO:
• When you see ulcer symptoms
• As soon as you see your horse stressing from emotional,
physical or environmental situations (extreme weather, relocating, travel, mean pasture mates, solitude).
• Day before, the day of and the day after a show (especially if
you have a horse that stresses or spooks easily)
• Coming out of layup and getting back to work
• First 2 weeks of new training so they can concentrate on you and their job instead of a nervous stomach.
We talked to 22 x Canadian finals, 6 x NFR qualifier and 5 x Canadian Champion Debbie Guelly, she has trained and run barrels for
years. “As a professional barrel racer, we ask a lot of our horses. We travel a lot of miles and make runs in various conditions.
Sometimes multiple runs in a week. Obviously, our horses are under physical and emotional stress. I have bought several horses that
came to me with severe stomach and hind gut ulcers. I have been using Gastro PLUS PRO for many years now and have had great
success treating healing and maintaining my horses with this product. I love that I don't need to use Omeprazole or any other
medication. Using Gastro PLUS PRO I'm not concerned with killing the bacteria in my horse’s gut or having any other side effects.
My horses look and feel great!! Our horses are under enough stress without having to worry about having them on medication to heal
ulcers and deal with the side effects of using medications. I highly recommend Gastro PLUS PRO and have many friends that use it and swear by it.”
“My 12-year-old gelding Bug had severe fore and hind gut ulcers when I got him. After 7 days we saw a HUGE change in his
personality and after 5 weeks of Gastro PLUS PRO 2x day, he was completely ulcer free! I had tried all the other pharmaceutical
ulcer products and nothing had worked. He has moved on to a wonderful new owner and gets his Gastro PLUS PRO any day he is under stress. He is doing amazing and loves his job!”
"We have struggled with gastric ulcers in our horses, as most do, for years. We have tried everything out there including the expensive
veterinary treatments which didn’t seem to have lasting effects. A friend told us to try the Gastro PLUS PRO from Equine Science
Solutions and of course, being skeptical, having tried so many natural options with no success, we finally decided to give it a go. The
main horse we were concerned about is an extremely high energy mare that can be a challenge to get into the arena without losing all
her energy by stressing before her run. We would have to wait outside the indoor arena and only come in when the horse before was
running and only get on as the horse before was exiting the arena. After the initial 4-week treatment we were shocked and almost in
disbelief that we could warm her up inside the arena and get on without any rearing and very controlled in the alley. Since the success
we have had with this mare, we have given it to all our horses including young ones in training and have seen huge differences in not
only performance and mindset, but in the coat and body condition. We absolutely highly recommend this product and will personally
continue using it on every horse with great confidence It is Very Cost Effective, especially when compared to other ulcer drug therapies and is money well spent!”
The Bottom line:
Gastro PLUS PRO prevents ulcers, resolves ulcers, and the icing on the cake, it is all natural. Once resolved, happier horses can
focus on their job and you, increasing their performance potential. Managing and resolving ulcers are often a key component to increasing performance in Barrel horses.
Want to resolve your Barrel horse’s ulcer issues? Check out Gastro PLUS PRO!