Jo had always suspected Seb, her 10-year-old 15hh Trakehner X, had a sensitive gut and wanted to explore the impact this would have in his behaviour, sensitivity and performance and the EquiBiome test offered Jo the chance to take some of the guess work out if the situation.
Said Jo: “Seb has always been on the ball but his performance took a downturn in the autumn of 2018. He underwent treatment for joint issues and was scoped with grade 2 squamous ulcers which were treated. My daughter has evented him at BE100 throughout 2018 and previous to that built up from BE80-90 to 100.
“I knew he was sensitive to alfalfa as that brought him out in hives but he also always looked bloated. I was aware that the spring grass or any sudden uplift in the grass would cause him to become very unsettled and sensitive behind the saddle, dipping when you checked his back. Physio and a saddle refit didn’t give any relief. The more I researched it the more convinced I became it was more about what he was eating and the impact this was having on the gut - hind gut specifically
“The EquiBiome test revealed Seb had a wide range of biome issues in the hind gut with only two types of bacteria at optimum levels. The great thing about the test was it also gave advice on how to make diet changes to improve the biome. Simple things like Hawthorne, bruised oats and herbs etc.
“I have totally changed how I feed my horse, taken everything back to natural basics; removing soya has changed him overnight! Seb is looking really well, so much more content in and out the stable and happily jumping and travelling. Hopefully he will be back out competing at the end of the month! He hasn’t competed since April 2019.
“Our journey was a mix of skeletal and gut issues. The test offers an insight into what is happening in the hind gut, taking out some of the guess work and more importantly giving feeding advice to a happier horse! I would urge horse owners to honestly review the processed foods and the grass types we are giving our horses and understand the possible implications this has on their wellbeing. Use the EquiBiome test if you have any concerns regarding your horse’s hind gut health. I have re-seeded two of my paddocks, changed the hard feed to all natural and currently have a much happier horse!”