A horse’s gut is even more complex that one thought. There are thought to be trillions of microorganisms living in the gut and affecting the health of the horse. They make up the microbiome.
The intestinal microbiome is therefore an exceptionally complex ecosystem consisting of both beneficial and harmful bacteria that must be kept in constant balance.
If the microbiome is altered, intestinal dysbiosis can occur, meaning a growth of potentially harmful microorganisms at the expense of beneficial ones.
The microbiome is different and unique in every horse, just like fingerprints are in human beings. However, in this complex system there is also a ‘core’, a real microbial nucleus that guarantees the stability of optimal gut function, which is common to all horses.
In order to keep the gut healthy it is therefore essential to:
– provide a diet rich in fibre: it has been proven that horses with a fibre-rich diet have a larger microbiome core
– avoid diets too rich in cereals: cereals lessen key elements of the core microbiome altering it
– encourage the wellbeing of horses by avoiding all forms of stress
Full article on this month’s issue