Equine stress and anxiety is a frustrating issue for horsemen to address. While there are many contributing factors, as discussed in our previous blog post, the gastrointestinal system is directly related to your horse’s anxiety levels.
As the makers of Perfect Prep, we are often asked how to calm the overreactive, anxious horse during travel or at performance events. While some horses are simply more prone to their natural fright-flight reflex than others, and therefore require calming support, we find that many others may be suffering from gastric upset that contributes to their undesirable behavior.
Your horse’s digestive system should always be an important consideration during travel and performance. Signs that the gastric system is “off” may be as explicit as diarrhea or colic, or as subtle as a slight change in attitude, work ethic, or increased reactivity. These changes are most noticeable at the time of transport and pre-performance.
We’ve all had or seen horses who appear to travel well, but arrive with diarrhea or other symptoms of gastric stress. This is so commonplace that we may fail to link this to the overall condition of our horse’s gastric system and his subsequent behavior.
Gastric upset can easily start your show off on the wrong foot, as horses experiencing gastric upset may become irritable or overreactive. They may resist food or water, exacerbating their discomfort, and continuing the cycle; gastric upset contributes to anxiety, and anxiety contributes to gastric upset.
GastroEase EQ Rescue is a highly concentrated formula that may quickly alleviate equine discomfort in the stomach, foregut and hindgut.
One tube of GastroEase EQ Rescue 15 minutes before loading onto the trailer can help stop this cycle before it starts. A tube administered an hour before showing will calm your horse’s pre-event jitters. Because of its broad spectrum of ingredients and quick action, many find it to be preferable to UlcerGard for use for pre-travel and pre-event.
Horsemen have been impressed by their horse’s new attitude when given a tube of GastroEase EQ Rescue before showing, and their increased trainability and calm demeanor when administered GastroEase EQ daily formula.
If your horse has been examined by your vet, and is maintained daily on a total digestive support formula like GastroEase EQ, you are offering him the best solution for a healthy digestive system. If he continues to exhibit spookiness, over-reactivity or poor attitude, you can learn about the other potential causes of equine anxiety here: Understanding the Anxious Horse.