colic · nutrition

The Equine Digestive System

Last winter, the barn lost a horse to a long slow colic, and during the two awful days where we walked him and groomed him and changed IV bags and sent him off to the vet hospital, and then got the news and mourned, I remarked to the barn manager my long-held theory that the equine digestive system is proof against intelligent design.

The more I learn about horse digestion and anatomy, the more I hold fast to that theory. The Vermont Large Animal Clinic, the lovely people who did Tristan’s surgery, posted this really fascinating article in which the author sources various items from Home Depot to explain the makeup and progression of the equine digestive system. It’s fascinating and horrifying in its complexity.

The blog that posted the article, Equine Nutrition Nerd, is on my must-read list now. I’ve been meaning to learn more about equine nutrition for some time now to really carefully assess what Tristan is eating and how it can help him.

What resources do you use to understand nutrition? How involved are you in planning and tweaking your horse’s diet?

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