FAQs for our horse health range
We really believe that knowledge is so important, so we have gathered all the information we can on the most commonly asked questions about our supplements for horses. Please use these links to jump to the product you want to know about:
Are Digestive EQ And Digestive VM The Same?
No. Digestive EQ is a gut health support supplement. Digestive VM is a broad spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement. Digestive VM has been formulated to compliment the use of Digestive EQ, or be used on its own if your horse doesn’t require Digestive EQ. The combination of the two products aim to promote overall health by supporting gut health and providing essential minerals and vitamins required by your horse. They can definitely be fed together safely.
You can feed EQ and VM separately as they both have a different role. BUT, if you are going to just feed EQ you will always get the best results if it is fed together with a balanced diet. So while you don’t have to feed VM, you do still need to make sure your horse’s base diet is balanced and meeting all requirements for vitamins and minerals.
|FEATURE||DIGESTIVE EQ||DIGESTIVE VM|
|Prebiotic||Yes||Yes, but a small amount|
|Essential Amino Acids||Yes||Yes, but small amounts|
|Vitamins||A small amount of vitamin E||Yes, all essential vitamins|
|Calcium & Magnesium||Yes||Yes, but small amounts|
What Does EQ Do?
EQ supports gut health. It contains:
- a marine source of highly bioavailable calcium and magnesium which acts as an immediate pH
- buffer for the stomach and also provides nutrients which may assist with improving bone density
- and reducing excitability in horses.
- Added enzymes to aid the digestion of starch from grain based feeds in the small intestine, reducing
- the likelihood of undigested starch entering the hindgut.
- Amino acids which aid in the protection and strengthening of the gut mucosa.
- The powerful prebiotic feeds the fibre ingesting bacteria in the hindgut potentially increasing feed
- conversion from fibre sources within the diet and optimal production of B-vitamins and vitamin K.
- A powerful prebiotic to feed the fibre fermenting good bacteria and keep them healthy;
- essential amino acids to feed the gut wall and keep it intact;
- digestive enzymes to help cut up (digest) carbohydrates including starch, which gives your horse more nutrients from his feed AND stops starch being dumped in the hindgut where it will feed your horse’s ‘bad’ bacteria;
- toxin binders to bind or destroy harmful mycotoxins commonly found in grains, forages and pasture;
- bioavailable calcium and magnesium to help reduce the negative consequences of too much acidity in the stomach and hindgut;
What Does VM Do?
VM supports overall health. It contains:
- A full spectrum of vitamins and trace minerals. These nutrients are needed by every horse to keep their immune system active, their hooves, joints and muscles strong, their organs in top working order and their coat and skin soft, bright and shiny;
- Antioxidants including organic selenium and natural vitamin E to protect muscles and organs from free-radicle damage;
- Essential amino acids and a small amount of prebiotic to lend a small hand in keeping the gut wall and the good (fibre fermenting) bacteria healthy;
- A small amount of bioavailable calcium and magnesium for bone health and correct nervous system and muscle function;
If I Have To Choose Just One Which Should I Choose?
It depends. If your horse’s diet needs vitamins and minerals added (ie. they are not fed the full amount of a complete feed with vitamins and minerals, or they are not already fed another complete vitamin and mineral supplement), we recommend VM.
If your horse is experiencing gut issues or is under ongoing stress e.g. competition or a high starch/grain diet, and your horse’s diet is already meeting requirements for vitamins and minerals, choose EQ.
|USE||DIGESTIVE EQ||DIGESTIVE VM|
|Serious Gut Health Support||Yes||No|
|Minor Gut Health Support||Yes||Yes|
|Diet Balancing for Vitamins & Minerals||No||Yes|
Doesn’t VM Have Some Gut Health Ingredients Too?
Yes. Because we are committed to promoting gut health at any opportunity, we decided to make sure our vitamin and mineral supplement, provided some extra gut support.
It contains some of our prebiotic (the same as the one in EQ) as well as the essential amino acids needed for gut health, but they are only in small amounts compared to the amounts in EQ, which is why it works so well alongside Digestive EQ. So VM will help a little with gut health but the gut health nutrients in VM on their own won’t be enough to have any real effect.
When Would You Recommend I Feed VM?
If your horse’s diet needs vitamins and minerals added we recommend VM. Horses need vitamins and minerals added to their diet when they are fed:
A forage only diet (like hay or pasture). Forage is WONDERFUL! But, it lacks trace minerals like copper, zinc, selenium and iodine and can often be low in vitamins. Adding Digestive VM will fill all the gaps in your horse’s diet left by his forage.
Forage plus ingredients you mix yourself like lupins, linseed, beet pulp, cooked grains, sunflower seeds etc. These ingredients are all great, but none will contain enough trace-mineral or vitamins to meet requirements. Adding VM will cover all those bases for your horse.
Forage plus a complete feed, but at less than the recommended rate. Complete feeds are fortified with vitamins and minerals, but you need to feed them at the manufacturers recommended rate to meet requirements. So for example, if the working horse feed you are feeding has a recommended feeding rate for your horse of 2 kg/day, but you only need to feed 1 kg/day (or else you horse would be the size of a small house!) you have controlled the calorie intake (yay!) but you are only giving your horse half his daily required vitamins and minerals (oh!). In this situation, if you also feed a half dose of Digestive VM you will be very close to meeting vitamin and mineral requirements (depending on how well balanced the feed is that you are using).
If your horse only needs a supplement to meet vitamin and mineral requirements you can just use VM.
When Would You Recommend I Feed EQ?
EQ can be fed to all horses at any time and will assist with maintaining normal, healthy gut function. There are situations when we recommend you add EQ to the diet including when your horse has:
- Been competing or under regular performance stress;
- Gastric ulcers or is especially prone to them;
- Pasture like ryegrass, fescue or pastures that are often damp/wet that may contain mycotoxins;
- Been on antibiotic treatment;
- Been off feed for any period of time due to things like long-haul travel, illness or surgery;
- Been fed raw (uncooked) grain like corn or barley for any period of time (e.g. off the rack racehorses);
- Trouble maintaining weight despite plenty of feed;
- A poor appetite;
- Girthiness or generally grumpy behaviour;
- Anxious behaviour;
- Commenced a breeding program.
If your horse is on a well-balanced diet that is already meeting vitamin and mineral requirements that you are happy with, but you want to do more to support gut health, then we would tell you to just feed EQ.
Of course, we always recommend a full veterinarian assessment with your horse when you are concerned about their health.
Are EQ And VM Safe For Horses That Tie Up?
Yes! And they may even help. VM will make sure that you are meeting requirements for muscle protecting antioxidants including selenium and vitamin E. And for thoroughbreds, where tying up is commonly associated with nervous behaviour, Digestive EQ may help to alleviate behavioural
issues caused by gut pain and imbalances in gut bacteria. Calmer horse = less risk of tying up!
If I Feed Digestive EQ & Digestive VM Is That Too Much Calcium In The Diet?
This greatly depends on your horse’s requirements and what the rest of your horse’s diet consists of including forage type, complete feed (if any) and other supplements used.
Calcium is a pretty safe mineral if fed in excess of your horse’s requirement however it is recommended that you seek nutritional advice from an independent nutritionist or use FeedAssist on our website or FeedXL Horse Nutrition Software to access your horse’s diet.
DIGESTIVE EQ FAQs
Why Should I Use Digestive EQ?
Our horse’s digestive health plays a pivotal role in their overall health, wellbeing and performance, so it only makes sense that we need to keep this as healthy as possible. During times of stress or perhaps not managing our horse’s diets as well as we could be, we open the door for our horses to develop issues such as weight loss, behavioural problems, performance issues, laminitis, gastric ulcers and tying up. Digestive EQ aims to support optimal digestion by assisting to maintain a healthy gastrointestinal tract and helping to eliminate common causes.
What Is In Digestive EQ?
There are five key ingredients in Digestive EQ:
- Marine source of highly bioavailable calcium and magnesium which acts as an immediate pH buffer for the stomach and also provides nutrients which may assist with improving bone density and reducing excitability in horses.
- Added enzymes to aid the digestion of starch from grain based feeds in the small intestine, reducing the likelihood of undigested starch entering the hindgut.
- Amino acids which aid in the protection and strengthening of the gut mucosa.
- The powerful prebiotic feeds the fibre ingesting bacteria in the hindgut potentially increasing feed conversion from fibre sources within the diet and optimal production of B-vitamins and vitamin K.
- Lastly, the dual action mycotoxin binder, whose role is to bind and deactivate damaging mycotoxins, which can be found on grains and pasture.
What Makes Digestive EQ Different From Other Supplements?
There are so many supplements on the market. One of the reasons Digestive EQ was formulated was due to our frustration that many similar products on the market had only one or two modes of action or contained molasses, grain by-products or other sugars not suitable for some horses and other products which you simply didn’t know what was in them.
To support the digestive system, both the fore and hindgut, previously required using multiple supplements which was ultimately expensive and time consuming.
We searched the world for what we believe to be the best products available and with consultation with a Professor of Equine Science and a Doctor of Equine Nutrition, and assistance with other animal and microbiologist specialists we put these products together saving the horse owner time and money. We believe there are no products currently on the market as complete or as premium as Digestive EQ. Unlike many other supplements, Digestive EQ is manufactured at an APVMA registered and approved site. We also use FIAAA approved ingredients, guaranteeing you a consistently high-quality product.
My Horse Has Been On Long Term Ulcer Medication But I’m Not Seeing Much Improvement. Will Digestive EQ Help?
Most ulcer medications prescribed by veterinarians aim to restrict hydrochloric acid production (known as proton pump inhibitors) in the stomach. A reduction of hydrochloric acid secretion allows the stomach environment to somewhat neutralise and allow ulcers to heal. These medications only target ulcers within the stomach, therefore if you are not seeing any improvement in your horse’s symptoms which may include girthiness, loose manure, poor
performance, dull coat, weight loss and colic, your horse may also have further issues in their hindgut which remain unresolved.
Digestive EQ aims to support all levels of digestive health from the foregut to the hindgut.
Digestive EQ does not treat or prevent gastric or colonic ulcerations, but it may help to maintain gastrointestinal health by reducing insult of gastric fluid on a healing or recently healed gut, provide the nutrients the gut itself needs to repair the gut wall and produce mucous so it can protect itself naturally. Many of our customers are reportingthat they have successfully weaned their horses off long-term use of gastric ulcer treatments since starting them on Digestive EQ and scopes have remained clear. Remember to always seek veterinary advice when concerned about your horse’s health.
How Soon Will I See A Result From Using Digestive EQ?
Horse owners who are trying Digestive EQ are reporting seeing improved behavioural changes in as early as 4-5 days, with horses appearing calmer and more settled. It can help to use Stress Paste for the first few days to fast track your results.
Another noticeable improvement can come in the way of improved consistency of manure. Some horses that have been scouring for months have reportedly formed solid manure within days of using Digestive EQ.
In as little as two weeks, horse owners are reporting noticeable changes in coat condition and beginning to see improved top line condition, particularly noticing filling out above the flanks around the loin area.
After 3-4 weeks people are consistently noticing significant behavioural, performance and recovery improvements, as well as improved feed conversion and a noted improved suppleness under saddle.
As your horse starts to get a better feed conversion, you may notice them putting on weight. You can then start to reduce the amount of feed you are giving them, which can lead to considerable savings in feed bills.
If you don’t see a result that quickly, don’t panic. Every horse is different with some taking longer to respond due to ongoing repair of mucosa and repopulation of healthy microbes, particularly in their hindgut. If your horse doesn’t have obvious outward symptoms of gastrointestinal upset, positive changes are going to be less obvious but can be as subtle as improved hoof growth and increased immunity.
But remember, seeing the results is just the start. Supporting optimal digestion and the health of your horse’s gastrointestinal tract longer term with the correct diet in combination with Digestive EQ will ensure optimal health and performance into the future.
I’ve Just Bought EQ For The First Time. How Do I Introduce It?
As with anything new in your horse’s diet, it is best to introduce EQ slowly. We introduce it slowly for a few reasons.
First, we want to make sure it is palatable and second, we don’t want to disrupt the gut by adding it too quickly. What we suggest is:
- Days 1 to 4 - ¼ recommended serve
- Days 5 to 8 – ½ recommended serve
- Days 9 to 12 – ¾ recommended serve
- Day 13 on – full recommended serve
You can also provide extra support when introducing Digestive EQ by giving your horse the recommended dose of Stress Paste for the first few days too.
If you feel your horse needs a period of more intensive support, once the full serve has been achieved and your horse is eating it and there have been no unlikely negative changes e.g. loose manure, use the stress serve (listed on label) for 2 weeks (maximum), then return to maintenance serve.
If you find ¼ serve is too much to start with you can begin at one teaspoon per day and gradually increase.
How Does Digestive EQ Work?
Each active ingredient in Digestive EQ has a specific role to play (see What is in Digestive EQ?). Collectively they aim to restore digestive health and support digestion.
Digestive EQ may act as an immediate pH buffer within the stomach. The addition of Digestive EQ to a small (500g) high fibre meal eg. chaff, beet-pulp etc. prior to exercise can assist gastric ulcers by minimising gastric acid damage to the unprotected portion of the stomach. For horses on high grain diets, it can also buffer the acidic pH due to bacterial fermentation of starch within the stomach.
Digestive EQ may also assist in improving the capacity of the small intestine to enzymatically digest fat, starch, and protein, preventing them from entering the hindgut undigested and negatively impacting the fibre fermenting bacteria. In particular, undigested starch which enters the hindgut undergoing rapid fermentation and the production of lactic acid. If in significant qualities, this can cause the pH to become acidic (aka hindgut acidosis) causing the fibre fermenting bacteria to die. This has several consequences, including decreased fibre fermentation therefore less energy and vitamin production. Secondly, the mucosa lining can become inflamed and damaged making it more permeable for endotoxins to enter the bloodstream causing systemic issues.
The prebiotic used in Digestive EQ feeds the fibre fermenting bacterial in the hindgut. This may result in effectively digesting fibre and converting it into energy (volatile fatty acids), B Vitamins such as B1 (appetite and calmness) biotin (hoof growth), B12 and Vitamin K.
Additionally, damaging mycotoxins (invisible moulds) which can be present on feed stuffs may be eliminated through the use of a dual action mycotoxin binder. Dual action means it combines the ability to bind mycotoxins with the ability to also break them down and deactivate them. Simplistically, the majority of toxin binders have one mode of action, targeting what we call polar molecules including aflatoxins which can be found on grains and cereal hay. For horses on forage-based diet ie. grazing pasture, this type of toxin binder is not effective in binding the mycotoxins of concern (non-polar molecules) which can be present on grasses and legumes. It is also important to note that there is no evidence to suggest that Digestive EQ toxin binder, binds vitamins and minerals.
Lastly, Digestive EQ supplies amino acids which act to maintain, protect and repair the integrity of the gut mucosa. The gut appears to have a large requirement for particular amino acids, and these may not be supplied adequately by the diet or the body may not be producing enough or due to increased demand (during periods of illness) cannot cover the requirements.
What Evidence Do You Have That Digestive EQ Is Effective?
As part of our research and design phase of Digestive EQ’s development, we undertook a trial with numerous horses across various disciplines. The results were overwhelming with consistent reporting of improved condition, topline, behaviour, manure consistency, performance, appearance and the ability to cope with stress.
We also undertook a field study with a further cohort of randomly selected horses with Professor Andrew Dart (BVsc PHD,Dip ACVS, Dip ECVS) in an attempt to measure observable outcomes.
Every single horse in the study showed a remarkable increase in feed conversion with some horses increasing their weekly weight gain by up to 9 times.
“It is difficult to dismiss the relationship between weight gain and the addition of this supplement” commented Prof Dart.
There was also improvement in manure consistency, coat and body condition. All horses found Digestive EQ palatable.
Additionally, the hundreds of testimonials speak for themselves.
What Should I Feed My Horse If I’m Feeding Digestive EQ?
The majority of horses will maintain weight and perform best on a forage-based diet, including those with high energy requirements. Horses have evolved to graze constantly on fibrous feedstuff and how the gastrointestinal tract is designed and functions reflects this.
The bulk of your horse’s diet should be forage, including pasture or hay. As a rule, your horse requires a minimum of 1.5% of their body weight in forage per day to maintain normal gut function. Due to the nature of pasture and hay, both long stem fibre sources, horses are required to chew these for longer compared with alternate forage sources like chaff, hay cubes etc which are comprised of short stem fibre. Increased chewing encourages more saliva production, naturally buffering the stomach and its contents. Increased time spent chewing long stem fibre forage sources also maintains a steady flow of feed into the stomach for a longer period. These long stem fibres also contain what is known as effective fibre, which is fibre that remains undigested as it passes through the gut. Effective fibre is important for allowing the horse to produce manure and shift unwanted material like sand out of the hindgut.
Forage, which is comprised mostly of fibre, provides a major source of energy for your horse. While your horse itself cannot digest the fibre, the billions of bacteria in its hindgut do the job for it. During fermentation of fibre, volatile fatty acids (VFA’s) are produced which are absorbed by the horse and utilised by the body to form energy. As well as providing the horse with energy, important vitamins like B1, biotin and vitamin K are produced during bacterial fermentation of fibre in the hindgut.
If you’re providing adequate high quality forage and your horse and desired body condition is not achieved, you can increase your horses energy intake further with various ingredients.
High energy fibres
Including soybean hulls, copra meal and sugarbeet pulp. These feedstuffs are similar to pasture and hay, however the fibre they contain is more readily digested by the bacteria in the hindgut meaning they contain a similar amount of calories as cereal grains. These feeds are particularly well suited to horses that become excitable and hyperactive when fed grain based feeds.
Cereal grains and grain based feeds
Cereal grains are well known as being high energy feeds and are useful in the diet of horses that have increased energy demands such as horses in heavy exercise, broodmares in late pregnancy or early lactation and some growing horses.
However, some grains and grain based feeds are more suitable than others. When selecting grains to feed it is critical that the starch within the grain (which is the high energy component) is digested in the small intestine. Grains that are digested in the small intestine will provide your horse with more calories and ensure your horse avoids problems with hindgut acidosis. To ensure the starch is digested in the small intestine, select grains or grain based feeds that have been cooked/micronized/extruded.
Cereal grains should not be used in the diets of horses with Cushing’s disease or those susceptible to laminitis.
High fat feeds and oils
Are the highest energy feedstuffs you can give a horse. Fats and oils hold two major advantages over high energy fibrous feeds and cereal grains. The first is they are energy dense meaning you don’t have to add large quantities to the diet.
The second advantage of high fat feeds and oils is they don’t tend to make a horse as hyperactive as the same quantity of energy supplied in the form of cereal grains. In addition, they do not carry the risks of digestive upsets that accompany cereal grains.
Lastly, make sure your horse’s diet is balanced from a protein, vitamin and mineral perspective. We recommend using FeedAssist available on our website, FeedXL Horse Nutrition Software or seeking independent nutritional advice to help balance your horse’s diet. Additionally, always read the labels of any feed or supplement you are using, so you know it is suitable for your horse and tells you exactly what you are putting in your horse’s mouth.
Why Haven’t You Used A Probiotic?
Digestive EQ has a powerful prebiotic included. We have not included a probiotic as the research is not conclusive about the efficacy of probiotics in horses. Despite widespread availability and use, scientific, peer-reviewed evidence behind commercial probiotic formulations in horses appears limited.
Gastric Ulcers & Digestive EQ
When Should I Use A Veterinarian Approved Gastric Ulcer Treatment?
If you suspect your horse has gastric ulcers, call your veterinarian. They should be able to properly diagnose stomach ulcers via a gastroscope and determine if your horse requires treatment with a prescription medication. Digestive EQ does not treat or prevent gastric or colonic ulcerations, but it may help to maintain gastrointestinal health by reducing insult of gastric fluid on a healing or recently healed gut, provide the nutrients the gut itself needs to repair the gut wall and produce mucous so it can protect itself naturally. Many of our customers are reporting that they have successfully weaned their horses off long-term use of gastric ulcer treatments since starting them on Digestive EQ and scopes have remained clear.
Does Digestive EQ Help Gastric Ulcers?
Digestive EQ is not designed to treat existing gastric ulcers and we direct owners to consult with their veterinarian about treatment with a registered gastric ulcer medication if their horse has confirmed ulcers. The veterinarian should be able to properly diagnose stomach ulcers via a gastroscope and determine if your horse requires treatment with a prescription medication. Once your horse has been successfully treated for ulcers, Digestive EQ can be used (alone or in conjunction with the treatment) to help to reduce insult of gastric fluid on a healing or recently healed gut. It also provides the nutrients the gut itself needs to repair the gut wall and the nutrients to produce mucous so it can protect itself naturally.
The prebiotic is designed to improve gut health by supporting the fibre fermenting populations of bacteria, while the enzymes are there to improve digestion of starch and sugars in the small intestine to stop them flowing into the hindgut where it will upset hindgut bacterial populations.
Digestive EQ is designed specifically to help the gut keep itself healthy. Of course, you can’t just throw caution to the wind and feed a diet that will predispose a horse to hindgut issues or gastric ulcers, but, Digestive EQ will support normal gut health, which is something we know is sorely lacking in many horses, despite the best intentions of their owners.
Interestingly, the registered gastric ulcer medications simply cut the acid production in the stomach, to create an environment that allows the ulcers to heal. They generally do not have any role in actually healing the ulcers nor in making sure the gut is robust and healthy enough to not have an immediate relapse back to the condition they just recovered from.
Many of our customers are reporting that they have successfully weaned their horses off long term use of gastric ulcer treatments, saving them considerable money and more importantly that their horses are performing better.
What Is The Difference Between Digestive EQ And A Gastric Ulcer Treatment?
Effective gastric ulcer medications work through inhibition of hydrochloric acid from proton pumps in the glandular region of the stomach. Digestive EQ works instead to buffer the pH of the stomach, promoting an optimal stomach environment. While inhibition of hydrochloric acid release through medication aids in the quick healing of gastric ulcers, longer term maintenance doses may impact digestion of some nutrients. The mostly acidic environment caused by secretion of hydrochloric acid is essential for digestion of feed including activating the enzymes that break down protein and fat, separate minerals from their complexes allowing absorption in the small intestine and help protect against many microorganisms in feed.
It is important to remember, that this is only one of many functions Digestive EQ has.
What Is The Feed Rate And How Long Will A 4kg Sachet Last?
- A horse weighing up to 200kg has a daily serve of 45 gm per day which equates to 89 serves;
- 200-400kg has a daily serve of 95 gm per day (42 serves);
- 400-600kg has a daily serve of 130 gm per day (31 serves);
- Horses over 600kg have a daily serve of 195 gm per day (20.5 serves)
What Other Sizes Does Digestive EQ Come In?
We also stock a 15kg bucket, which is 10% cheaper than our 4kg tub on a per kg basis. This is priced at $375 pending postage and freight charges.
What Is The Stress Serving And How Much Do I Use?
Research has shown that events such as travelling, competition, worming and other such events can impact your horse’s gut bacteria in a negative way. You have the option of giving your horse a stress dose of Digestive EQ to help buffer the impact of such events. Many of our clients have reported the benefit of doing just that and have now decided to use the stress dose as part of their competition preparation.
The label tells you the recommended stress dose for your horse.
What Does Digestive EQ Look Like And How Do I Feed It?
Digestive EQ is a powdered feed supplement that is added to your horses normal feed. It is a green powder. You can mix it with any oils or add your wet feeds such as beet fibre or mix through your feed and wet down.
Where Can I Buy Digestive EQ?
We have trained distributors throughout Australia that can not only supply the product but can also assist you with your questions. They have all been trained in horse gut health and are a great resource for you. Additionally, we have it available in select retail stores. To find your closest distributor or retail store head to our Stockists page.
Does The Toxin Binder Bind Any Other Nutritional Or Health Products?
Mycotoxins in animal feed are a serious issue worldwide, causing widespread losses in animal production. Mycotoxins cause innumerable negative effects in all animals including horses, ranging from serious liver damage to reproductive issues and behavioural changes. Mycotoxins are insidious, in that if you get more than one mycotoxin in feed, which is common, they tend to have a cumulative negative effect as one mycotoxin magnifies the effect of another. This allows them to cause issues even when each mycotoxin is present only at low levels.
For decades now feed manufacturers in the pig, poultry and ruminant industries have been adding toxin binders to feeds to essentially trap or cut up these mycotoxins and stop them from affecting animals. And to date it is still a very effective strategy at reducing the negative effects of mycotoxins on animal health.
Quality toxin binders have a specific mode of action and while they are very effective at binding the mycotoxins they are designed to work on, they won’t randomly bind nutrients like vitamins and minerals nor will they deactivate medications. With vitamin and mineral nutrition having very real and measurable effects on animal production in intensive animal industries, the manufacturers of toxin binders have long been concerned with ensuring their products don’t bind nutrients.
The toxin binder in Digestive EQ is a proprietary formulation that has been designed to bind and then deactivate harmful toxins. This active that we have chosen has research that shows us this work had been done and we are satisfied that our product won’t be having a negative effect on a horse’s vitamin and mineral nutrition nor compromise any worming activities.
What Else Do I Need To Know?
Digestive EQ was initiated by a passionate, dedicated horse owner who was frustrated with the amount of money and time she was spending on feed supplements that weren’t working to the level she wanted. A consulting team consisting of a Professor of Equine Science, an Equine Nutritionist who completed her PhD on starch digestion in the horse, an Animal Scientist and a Microbioligist helped make her dream to create Australia’s most complete and affordable gut supplement come true. Poseidon Equine is committed to helping horses become the healthiest they can be, allowing them to perform at their optimal level.
How Should I Introduce Digestive EQ Into My Horse’s Diet?
It is best practice to introduce all new feeds and supplements into a horse’s diet over a period of 14 days. This is particularly important for horses prone to digestive disturbances like colic and diarrhoea. With Digestive EQ, start at ¼ of your horse’s Maintenance serve and build it up gradually, over 2 weeks, to the full Maintenance or Stress Serve.
Can The Full Digestive EQ Serve Be Fed In One Meal?
Yes, but ideally it is best to feed Digestive EQ in two feeds per day. Doing this gives your horse longer periods of buffering in the stomach and may allow for better absorption and utilisation of the nutrients it contains. BUT, we get that sometimes feeding twice per day is not possible. If this is the situation you are in, you can feed the full Maintenance Serve in one meal per day. If using the Stress Serve, it should be divided and fed in two meals.
Is Digestive EQ Safe For Laminitic Horses?
Digestive EQ can safely be used in horses with laminitis and does not contain any ingredients that may cause laminitis. Just, as with all things with laminitics, introduce EQ slowly, as a ‘just to be on the safe side’ measure. They can be unpredictable, so slow is always best when adding something new to their diet.
Laminitis is caused by carbohydrate overload (undigested starch and fructans entering the hindgut) can be triggered by a shift in hindgut pH which then destroys good bacteria. These then release damaging endotoxins which enter the bloodstream and can trigger laminitis. Digestive EQ aims to reduce the likelihood of this happening with improved digestion of starch in the small intestine and promotion of a strong population of good bacteria that minimises the impact of shift is pH within the hindgut.
BUT ... Laminitic horses are sensitive to (almost) EVERYTHING. It is like once the cascade of inflammation associated with laminitis starts their entire system goes on red alert for anything else that may add insult!
So, what we would recommend is this… if your horse is actively laminitic and you aren't currently using Digestive EQ, get that under control first. Get them off whatever it is causing the problem (pasture, hay or feed you are using) and onto a safe hay. Then once everything settles and they are sound at at least the walk, THEN you can start to slowly introduce Digestive EQ into the system.
For any horse with active laminitis or prone to laminitis, strict dietary management is essential. Always seek veterinary advice if you’re unsure of the best management.
How Should I Introduce Digestive EQ To A Stressed Horse?
If your horse is experiencing an acute stress event, for example diarrhoea that is not responding to veterinary treatment or a loss of appetite, we recommend starting the horse first on Stress Paste (twice a day for up to 5 days). During this time, start to gradually introduce Digestive EQ into the feed.
This way your horse gets immediate support from the Stress Paste and you buy yourself some time to get the Digestive EQ introduced in to the diet.
DIGESTIVE VM FAQs
Why Should I Use Digestive VM?
Digestive VM is a comprehensive vitamin, trace mineral and amino acid supplement. It supplies nutrients known to be important for your horse’s everyday functions and health based on established daily requirements.
Digestive VM has been formulated to fill nutrient gaps of forage (pasture or hay) based diets, unfortified grain diets, or diets whereby less than the recommended feeding rate of a commercial feed is being fed.
The yeast derived prebiotic supports the good bacteria in your horse’s hindgut, making fibre digestion more efficient and keeping the good bacteria happy to support overall health. It provides vitamins and minerals in their most bio-available form, including natural Vitamin E, organic selenium and organic chromium.
It does not contain grain, grain by-products or molasses, making it a good option for horses prone to laminitis, diagnosed with PPID (cushings) or PSSM and overweight horses on an energy restricted diet.
What Is In Digestive VM?
Digestive VM is scientifically designed with combination of minerals, essential vitamins and amino acids with an added yeast derived prebiotic.
It contains the macro minerals Calcium, Phosphorous and Magnesium as well as trace minerals Copper, Zinc, Selenium, Manganese, Iodine and Chromium. A complex vitamin premix including Vitamin E, plus amino acids Threonine, Lysine and Glutamine.
Do I Feed VM Once Or Twice Daily?
The daily dose rate of Digestive VM can be fed in one or more meals per day.
Why Would I Use VM Over Other Vitamin & Mineral Supplements?
Digestive VM is formulated to fill the nutrient gaps in most common forage and unfortified diets, meaning you’ll only need one supplement to meet your horse’s daily nutrient requirements for trace minerals and vitamins. It contains the additional benefit of supplying essential amino acids to build top line, strong hooves and promote gut integrity. Plus it supplies a powerful prebiotic to support a healthy hindgut environment which promotes optimal fibre fermentation to supply your horse with a cool source of energy and production of vitamins including b-group vitamins for calm behaviour.
Can I Use Digestive VM On Laminitic Horses?
Yes – Digestive VM contains no grain or grain by-products or molasses making it an excellent vitamin and mineral supplement choice for laminitic prone horses.
How Long Will A 4kg Sachet Of Digestive VM Last?
Each 4 kg sachet will vary in the time that it lasts your horse. In formulating Digestive VM we have been very specific with the feeding rates for each horse and will vary depending on their body weight, age and exercise workload. All feeding rates are clearly outlined on the label.
What Does Digestive VM Look Like And How Do I Feed It?
Digestive VM is a cold pelleted product that has a lucerne aroma. It is fed in your horse’s daily feed/s and mixed throughout.
Where Can I Buy Digestive VM?
We have trained distributors throughout Australia that can not only supply the product but can also assist you with your questions.
Additionally, we have it available in select retail stores. To find your closest distributor or retail store head to Locate Our Products.
Alternatively, you can buy it directly via our website and it will be dispatched to you within 24 hours.
Do I Need To Feed Digestive VM All Year?
Horses have daily requirements for nutrients and therefore it is recommended to feed Digestive VM every day for optimal health.
Even when pasture of good or excellent quality is available or new season hay is fed in adequate amounts, forage-based diets and unfortified grain diets may still be lacking in trace minerals and essential amino acids. So, while your horse may be receiving adequate energy, protein and major minerals (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium) from these unfortified diets, it is likely that nutrients like copper, zinc, selenium and iodine may be deficient within the diet. In addition, the vitamin content of hay decreases rapidly after harvesting and therefore supplying additional vitamins is essential for horses where hay is the sole forage source.
What Does Organic And Chelated Mean?
A chelated mineral is one whereby it is attached to an amino acid, also called a proteinate. Chelates are described as organic minerals in contrast to inorganic minerals, those that are not bound to amino acids. Minerals commonly used in horse feeds and supplements in chelated form include iron, selenium, chromium, cobalt, copper, zinc and manganese.
Based on results from other species, it is thought that some chelated minerals are more digestible than non-chelated forms.
If The Pellets Are Cold Pressed Will That Affect Efficacy?
The process of cold pressing a vitamin and mineral supplement into a pellet ensures vitamins are not damaged by heat, as can occur with steam-pressed pelleted supplements. The benefits of pressing a supplement into a convenient tasty pellet is that it minimises the likelihood of your horse sifting out the supplement.
How Can I Be Sure My Horses Diet Is Balanced?
Digestive VM is formulated to fill the nutrient gaps commonly found in many diets, including forage based (hay or pasture) diets with or without unfortified grains and to top up nutrients in situations where less than the recommended rate of a commercial feed is being fed. You can give yourself peace of mind that you’re providing your horse with balanced diet by consulting with an independent nutritionist or using a program such as FeedAssist (available on our website) or FeedXL to assess the diet for yourself.
I’m Using A Feed That Has Vitamins & Minerals In It, So Can I Use Digestive VM?
Are you feeding the full recommended feeding rate of a good quality commercial feed according to your horse’s age, workload and body weight? If so, it is unlikely you will need additional vitamins and minerals as supplied by Digestive VM. However, if you’re feeding less than the recommended feeding rate it is likely you’ll need to top up some nutrients to ensure the diet is meeting your horse’s requirements. It will depend on your preferred commercial feed as to how much Digestive VM is required to fill nutrient gaps. Again, consult with an independent nutritionist or use a program such as FeedAssist (available on our website) or FeedXL to assess the diet for yourself.
What Horses Will Best Benefit From Digestive VM?
All horses benefit from a diet which meets their nutritional requirements. So, whether your horse is on a forage only diet and not currently feeding a vitamin and mineral supplement or you’re looking for a supplement to compliment your mix-your-own style ration, Digestive VM will fill common nutrient gaps in these types of diets and have your horse feeling, looking and performing at their best.
Why Does Digestive VM Have B Vitamins In It, When The Bacteria Make B Vitamins In The Hindgut?
While we know microbial fermentation in our horse’s hindgut produces B-vitamins, it is unknown to what extent this process can fulfil their requirement for these vitamins.
Stress Paste FAQs
Why Would My Horse Need Stress Paste?
Stress affects horses in many ways. They stop eating. They stop drinking. Muscles can fatigue quickly with dehydration and reduce nutrients available to support energy production. Competition, strenuous work, transport, long days competing, extreme heat and humidity, extended times off feed or other major changes to your horse’s normal routine and illness or extended times off feed can compromise gut health. Gut bacterial populations can shift. Muscles and organs can be damaged with higher rates of oxidative stress. Behaviour can become anxious and highly strung, and this behaviour then starts the stress cascade all over again. They stop eating. They stop drinking… and so it goes.
Stress Paste is designed to specifically address each of these responses to stress and keep the horse eating and hydrated with well-functioning, well protected muscles. Stress Paste aims to support the gut so it and its bacteria can remain healthy during higher stress periods.
Why Is Each Ingredient Included?
Each ingredient plays a vital role in assisting your horse to cope with the stress they are about to be placed under. These ingredients include:
Yeast Derived Prebiotic – Research has shown that stress during travel can change a horse’s gut bacteria populations. Plus any extended time off feed is going to reduce the supply of fibre that is available to support your horse’s good bacteria. The yeast derived prebiotic is added to assist in supporting the good bacteria through times of stress.
Magnesium Hydroxide – this ingredient is a strong buffer and works within Stress Paste to raise the pH of the fluid in your horse’s stomach to reduce the risk of gastric ulcers. Magnesium hydroxide also provides a source of magnesium to support the expected higher requirement of this mineral during stress.
Natural Betaine – betaine is a naturally occurring osmolyte. Osmolytes love water, meaning betaine is able to help your horse stay hydrated and better able to handle strenuous exercise (both training and competing) and heat stress. Research in other animal species has also shown that natural betaine is able to reduce the damage to the gut caused during heat stress.
B-Vitamins – the B-vitamins are crucial during stress to maintain appetite and support muscle energy generation during exercise. Vitamin B1 is also needed to support normal function of the nervous system.
Natural Vitamin E – natural vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and will help protect your horse’s muscles from the higher levels of free radicals generated during stress and exercise.
Vitamin C – Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant and works together with vitamin E to protect your horse from free radical damage. Under normal conditions horses produce their own vitamin C. But research in horses shows that your horse’s natural vitamin C production is reduced during stress. The vitamin C in Stress Paste may support your horse during periods of stress to keep vitamin C at optimal levels.
Pectin – pectin is a sticky substance that is added to coat the upper sections of your horse’s stomach to provide some protection from acid splash during periods of time off feed. Pectin will also feed your horse’s good bacteria.
Amino Acids – threonine, glutamine, proline and serine are four amino acids critical for gut health. These amino acids are used directly by the gut to continuously regenerate and grow new, healthy gut tissue. Plus, they are needed to support the production of the protective mucus in the gut. By adding them to Stress Paste, we give your horse a readily available supply of these amino acids to help the gut stay healthy during periods of stress or time off feed.
Is Stress Paste Swabbable?
No. Our stress paste is competition safe.
Can I Use More Than 2 Tubes Per Day?
2 tubes of Stress Paste per day should cover the majority of horses. However, in extreme circumstances like prolonged travel (e.g. interstate travel lasting more than 8 hours) or prolonged exercise (e.g. during endurance competitions) a third tube may be required. It isn’t recommended to feed 3 tubes of Stress Paste for any longer than two consecutive days.
Will Stress Paste Help My Horse Stay Hydrated?
Stress Paste may also help maintain your horse’s appetite. And when horses eat well, they generally also drink well. So, they stay better hydrated!
When Should I Use The ‘Stress Serve’ Of Digestive EQ And When Should I Use Stress Paste?
Good question! Here are our guidelines:
Use Digestive EQ at the stress dose if your horse has longer term gut health issues. For example, diarrhoea, recovery after oral antibiotics, is a recently off-the-track thoroughbred, a horse losing weight or an aged horse needing support.
Use Stress Paste when your horse is under acute, short term stress. For example, during travel, competition or during and after illness.
If you are looking to feed the stress serve of EQ please make sure your horse has been weaned onto it and is already being fed the normal serve.
Can I Use This Every Day?
Stress Paste won’t cause harm if used every day, but it is not designed to be used every day. For everyday use we recommend you use Digestive EQ.
Stress Paste can be used every day for horses who are unwell and not eating, to help support their gut health and encourage their appetite.
How Many Days In A Row Can I Use This?
Stress Paste can be used for as many days in a row as your horse is under acute levels of stress. If used for more than 5 days in a row we recommend you remove it slowly by reducing to a ½ dose for 2 days and then ¼ dose for 4 days (to allow your horse’s natural vitamin C production and regulation to normalise).
Can It Be Used For Foals And Weanlings?
Yes! And in-fact Stress Paste will do a great job of helping foals and weanlings under stress (for example during travel or weaning). For foals, reduce to ¼ the recommended serve for the foal’s dam. And for weanlings use a half serve.
How Is Stress Paste Different To Other Products On The Market?
Many ‘Calming’ or ‘Stress’ type products contain ingredients that act only on the horse’s nervous system to calm them.
Stress Paste on the other hand is designed to specifically address the many negative responses to stress. Stress Paste may help to keep horses eating and hydrated with well-functioning, well protected muscles. Stress Paste also helps with recovery and most importantly, supports the gut so it, and its bacteria can remain healthy during higher stress periods.
Will Stress Paste Sedate My Horse?
No. Stress Paste works by targeting issues your horse may experience under acute stress (like gastric ulceration, dehydration, muscle damage and loss of appetite). In assisting your horse better cope with stress, Stress Paste helps your horse remain calm.
In assisting your horse to better cope with stress by first targeting the effects stress has on the gut, Stress Paste may help your horse to become more calm in these situations too.
Why Isn’t Tryptophan In Stress Paste?
Many pastes include the amino acid, Tryptophan. It is not included in Stress Paste because in some equine sports it is swabbable. Additionally, we can’t find any research that shows it actually works.
Will Stress Paste Assist With Recovery?
The single most important factor for a good recovery is proper hydration. Stress Paste (combined with your chosen electrolyte) may assist keep your horse hydrated. And in doing so, may help speed up recovery.
PLUS, the vitamin C and natural vitamin E antioxidants may protect muscles during exercise so there is less damage to repair, and the B-vitamins may maintain muscle energy production, making for an easier recovery.
Can Stress Paste Assist With My Horse's Gut Health?
Our years of experience and proof from horses across the globe show that Stress Paste may in fact assist with positive horse gut health. In fact, one of its most important functions is to protect gut health during acute stress. With a powerful buffer to reduce the risk of gastric ulceration, pectin to coat the stomach and protect it from acid splash, amino acids to support your horse’s natural processes of gut repair and protection and our powerful, yeast derived prebiotic to support the hindgut’s good bacteria, a large part of what make Stress Paste so effective is the support it provides in the gut!
How Can Stress Paste Help During Travel?
In many ways, including:
- The magnesium hydroxide may assist to buffer your horse’s stomach while your horse is off feed. This buffering action may increase the pH of the fluid in your horse’s stomach and reduce its ability to burn ulcers into the upper part of your horse’s stomach.
- The pectin is a sticky substance that should coat the upper part of the horse’s stomach and help protect it from any acid splash.
- The amino acids may help feed your horse’s gut wall to allow it to continue to repair and regenerate itself and produce its own protective mucous.
- The vitamin C may help maintain vitamin C status and antioxidant protection. Vitamin C has been shown by research to be reduced in horses when they are travelling.
- The prebiotic may help support the good bacteria in your horse’s hindgut. Travel related stress has been shown to alter equine gut bacterial populations.
- The natural betaine may help to keep your horse hydrated on long journeys.
- The B-vitamins may help to maintain your horse’s appetite and energy levels, so when you arrive at your destination your horse will keep eating and feel great!
Should I Preload With Stress Paste?
You can. If you know your horse is going to have a long, high stress day, you can give a dose of Stress Pastethe night before.
Can Stress Paste Help With My Horse’s Appetite?
By supporting a more stable gut environment and making sure vitamin B1 requirements are met, Stress Paste is designed to help with appetite (and we have already had some great feedback during initial feeding trials that it works!)