Reiner May 2014 : Page 138

FROM OUR CORPORATE PARTNERS HELP LOWER YOUR HORSE’S RISK OF COLIC DURING SHOW SEASON “A healthy digestive system is critical for horses to perform at their best,” said NRHA Professional Tom McCutcheon, an NRHA Million Dollar Rider. ccording to the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), an estimated 900,000 horses will colic this year in the U.S. alone, and more horses die from colic each year than any other condition. Researchers have identified a number of situations that are proven to increase a horse’s risk of colic, with the events that occur in and around horse shows frequently among these risks. PROVEN RISK FACTORS FOR COLIC INCLUDE: • Changes in hay • Poor quality hay • Changes in grain • Change in activity or exercise level • Lack of turnout Two of the risk factors that most obviously correlate to show season stresses are lack of turnout and changes in activity or exercise level. Since research shows that an increased number of hours spent in a stall are associated with in-creased risk of colic, aim to provide horses with A “All of my horses receive SmartDigest Ultra as part of their daily supplement program,” said NRHA Professional Tom McCutcheon. activity outside of their stalls each day—for ex-ample, several sessions of hand walking during show days. And because a recent change in ac-tivity level has also been linked to increased colic risk, try to keep turnout and exercise routines consistent from day-to-day. When schedule ad-justments are necessary—as they so often are before or during a competition—make those adjustments as gradually as possible. In addition to an appropriately managed turnout and training schedule, a correct feeding program is essential to every horse’s digestive health. Sudden changes in type or amount of grain are proven to increase a horse’s risk of colic by five times, and sudden changes in hay—in-cluding cut and type of hay—have been shown to increase colic risk an astonishing 10 times! Add to this that poor quality, less digestible hay has also been linked to an increased risk of colic, and it becomes obvious how hazardous making quick diet changes can be. Horse owners, train-ers, and barn managers should take care to bring enough hay and grain from home in order to avoid making sudden changes to different feeds available at competitions. When feed changes are necessary, they should be made gradually over the course of seven to 10 days.

Smartpak™

Help lower your horse's risk of colic during show season.

"A healthy digestive system is critical for horses to perform at their best," said NRHA Professional Tom McCutcheon, an NRHA Million Dollar Rider.

According to the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), an estimated 900,000 horses will colic this year in the U.S. alone, and more horses die from colic each year than any other condition. Researchers have identified a number of situations that are proven to increase a horse's risk of colic, with the events that occur in and around horse shows frequently among these risks.

PROVEN RISK FACTORS FOR COLIC INCLUDE:

• Changes in hay
• Poor quality hay
• Changes in grain
• Change in activity or exercise level
• Lack of turnout

Two of the risk factors that most obviously correlate to show season stresses are lack of turnout and changes in activity or exercise level. Since research shows that an increased number of hours spent in a stall are associated with increased risk of colic, aim to provide horses with activity outside of their stalls each day–for example, several sessions of hand walking during show days. And because a recent change in activity level has also been linked to increased colic risk, try to keep turnout and exercise routines consistent from day-to-day. When schedule adjustments are necessary–as they so often are before or during a competition–make those adjustments as gradually as possible.

In addition to an appropriately managed turnout and training schedule, a correct feeding program is essential to every horse's digestive health. Sudden changes in type or amount of grain are proven to increase a horse's risk of colic by five times, and sudden changes in hay–including cut and type of hay–have been shown to increase colic risk an astonishing 10 times! Add to this that poor quality, less digestible hay has also been linked to an increased risk of colic, and it becomes obvious how hazardous making quick diet changes can be. Horse owners, trainers, and barn managers should take care to bring enough hay and grain from home in order to avoid making sudden changes to different feeds available at competitions. When feed changes are necessary, they should be made gradually over the course of seven to 10 days.

While some stress to the gastrointestinal tract is inevitable during show season, the right digestive health supplement can provide much-needed support. Look for a digestive supplement that provides prebiotics, enzymes, and yeast. These ingredients have been proven to reduce disruption in the cecum and colon, inhibit the absorption of harmful bacteria in the hindgut, improve fiber digestion, assist the beneficial bacteria of the cecum in adjusting to feed changes, and support the proper digestion of starch in the foregut.

SmartDigest® Ultra provides all of these clinically studied ingredients and is backed by ColiCare™, SmartPak's free colic surgery reimbursement program. "Smart-Digest Ultra's innovative formula is perfectly designed to support performance horses during show season, when the hindgut is under extra stress," said Jessica Normand, SmartPak's Senior Director of Equine Health. "The combination of an annual veterinary wellness program and daily support from SmartDigest Ultra are two of the smartest things an owner can do for their horse's digestive health, which is why these are the two key components of the ColiCare program. No other product or program offers horse owners and trainers this incredible kind of peace of mind during show season, and all year round." Visit SmartPak.com/ColiCare or call 1-888-752-5171 to learn more about the ColiCare program.

NRHA Professionals like Tim McQuay, Tom McCutcheon, and Matt Mills support their horses with SmartDigest Ultra and ColiCare. "A healthy digestive system is critical for horses to perform at their best," said McCutcheon, an NRHA Million Dollar Rider. "All of my horses receive SmartDigest Ultra as part of their daily supplement program, which lets me rest assured that their hindgut health is being supported day in and day out, whether we're at home or on the road."

While colic remains at the top of the list of equine health challenges, knowing the factors that are proven to increase a horse's risk is the first step in designing a digestive health management program that will help keep performance horses healthy during show season and throughout the whole year.

From the feed room to the tack room, NRHA Corporate Partner SmartPak offers innovative solutions to help riders take great care of their horses. SmartPak was founded in 1999 with the introduction of the patented SmartPak supplement feeding system. The revolutionary, daily dose SmartPaks are custom-made for your horse, individually labeled and sealed for freshness. With the success of this simple and convenient feeding system, SmartPak has continued to expand its offering of quality products, including its own line of more than 55 supplement formulas called SmartSupplements, and a wide variety of tack, equipment, and supplies. To see SmartPak's full inventory of products for you and your horse, and to place a risk-free order online, just go to SmartPak.com.

Read the full article at http://digitaleditions.sheridan.com/article/Smartpak%E2%84%A2/1697052/206857/article.html.

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