Can I muzzle an overweight pony that eats from a round bale of hay?
Grazing muzzle works well for many horses in limiting intake of carbohydrate-rich grass, but still allowing horses the many benefits of turnout.
Am I feeding my mule adequately?
My young gelding develops diarrhea in response to many common forages. What gives?
What are your thoughts on extruded feeds?
How do I feed my Quarter Horse mare to avoid recurrent gas colic?
Will my Quarter Horse mare maintain her weight on this diet or should I add a bit of high-fiber, high-fat feed?
My aged mare gets diarrhea every fall when she starts eating hay. When she begins consuming pasture in the spring, she’s fine. Do you have any thoughts?
Rethinking a complete hoof management program for these horses with poor hooves often involves a closer look at the horse's diet.
Two factors typically work together to undermine moderate body condition among Miniature Horses: relatively sedentary lifestyles and efficient metabolism. Because of these factors, nutritional management of these horses involves careful planning.
What is a good feed or supplement for a horse with hindgut acidosis?
Can you help me piece together a diet for my Welsh pony mare that competes in driving competitions?
Equine diets should be based on forage, and hay is the forage form of choice for stalled horses and those that don’t have access to fresh pasture grass because of season or another factor. There are several ways to prepare or treat hay to make it more appealing to horses or to change its nutrient profile.
Various studies have investigated the benefits of feeding yeast to horses. A recent study examined the effects of yeast supplementation on closure of articular growth plates in young horses.
Processing grain makes the starch in the grain more digestible for horses. Increased digestibility is desirable because starch that is not completely digested in the horse’s small intestine can flow into the hindgut, leading to rapid fermentation and digestive upsets.
With drought conditions beginning to ease in many parts of the country, hay growers may have questions about whether to do a late fall mowing or just leave their fields alone until spring.
Dry growing conditions in many areas of the country have reduced the forage harvest, leading horse owners to consider alternatives to traditional square hay bales. Round bales are often a suitable option.
Refeeding emaciated horses is a challenge because they have often lost all fat and carbohydrate stores and are staying alive by metabolizing protein, including heart and organ tissues. A recent study compared three different rations for refeeding starved horses.
Would it hurt to put my horse on an ulcer supplement even though he doesn’t have any signs of ulcers?
Horse owners may have heard suggestions as to how much hay to give their horses, typically around 1.5 to 2% of the horse’s weight in hay each day. This amount of hay is designated as a “dry matter” weight. What is meant by “dry matter,” and what is the importance of this designation?
Horses have a specialized digestive system based on their natural feeding pattern of continuous ingestion of grass and other forage. Variations to this pattern can easily lead to gastrointestinal upsets that can have serious consequences.
Digestibility of nutrients varies somewhat by feed source, and there are also interactions between certain nutrients that affect how well each is digested. Kentucky Equine Research (KER) has conducted numerous digestibility trials to evaluate different types of feeds and feed ingredients for horses.
Crude fiber and crude protein are designations that are sometimes found on feed tags. A brief explanation of both will help horse owners better understand these values.
The horse is a grazing animal by nature, with free-ranging horses spending up to 75% of their time grazing. Many horses to live in confinement now and are subjected to meal feeding. Does feeding frequency improve digestibility of nutrients?
Researchers set up a feeding trial to find out whether horses have a sensitivity to gluten that could contribute to inflammatory small bowel disease, similar to what is diagnosed in humans.
Can your choice of feed for your horse have an effect on the environment? Theoretically, yes, according to the results of recent research.
There are a number of different types of carbohydrates in horse feed, and they vary considerably as to how well horses digest and utilize each one.
During times when pasture is not available, the selection and purchase of hay or other forage sources becomes a vital decision for horse owners.
The end effect that consumption of a diet has on the gastrointestinal tract is a function of physical form of the diet, percent concentrate compared to percent forage in the diet, chemical composition of the diet, and feeding rate.
Feeding frequency affects various physiological parameters, particularly gastric and intestinal function, as well as behavior, but number of meals per day depends largely on forage availability, workload, metabolism, age, and body condition.
Requirements for protein and energy are closely linked in young horses, and a deficiency of either will result in a reduced growth rate.
Ingested forage holds water in the horse’s gut. While this may be advantageous for some equine athletes, it may not be for others.
Infestations of parasites usually aren’t fatal to horses, but parasites damage the gastrointestinal tract, may lead to diarrhea or colic, often cause a pot-bellied appearance and a rough coat, and may adversely affect the growth of young horses.
The small colon and rectum are the most posterior segments of the equine gastrointestinal tract. While fewer problems arise in these areas than in more anterior regions of the tract, knowledge of their function remains important.
Following these ten nutritional management strategies will go a long way in keeping your horse healthy and content.
My Lipizzan gelding has chronic loose manure on a high-fiber diet. What could be the cause?
Made up of the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum, the small intestine is an important organ for nutrient absorption. Its health is therefore of utmost importance.
Correcting dental abnormalities allow a horse to get the most nutritive value from its grain, helping to keep the horse healthy and possibly saving the owner some money.
A horse’s stomach is relatively small when compared to the capacity of the entire tract. Rate of passage through the stomach is such that the food remains for only a short time in this organ.
The cecum and large intestine (hindgut) house billions of bacteria and protozoa that enable the digestion of cellulose and other fibrous fractions of the feed. From microbial fermentation of feeds, the horse is able to derive energy and other nutrients.
A thorough understanding of the physiology of the digestive tract is important in order to grasp how it may influence the horse’s health and well-being, and first up is the mouth and esophagus.
Can EquiShure and probiotics be fed together?
The importance of maintaining a balanced microbial population in the equine digestive tract is often underscored in popular-press articles and primers on horse nutrition, but what does “balanced” mean?
Scientific study supports the theory that horses with dental problems or painful mouths derive less nourishment from ingested feed.
Hungry horses will try a bite of just about anything green, but given their choice, what type of grass do they find most appealing?
Horses evolved as wandering herbivores, moving slowly for hours and taking bites of whatever forage they came across in their rambles.
Season of the year, workload, reproductive status, diet, and climate factor into the volume of water needed by a particular horse on a specific day.
How different does the strange taste, smell, or level of acidity have to be before horses will back off from a bucket of water?
Like humans, horses produce saliva primarily to moisten and soften food, which in turn eases its passage from the mouth through the esophagus and into the stomach.
Formulate a plan to make changes in your new horse's nutrition as smooth as possible.
Would Re-Leve Original be an appropriate feed for a 26-year-old mare prone to laminitis?
Do changes in weather increase the frequency of colic in horses? Some owners and veterinarians think so, while others are skeptical.
Recent research has identified one reason why stabled horses have a higher risk/incidence of colic.
Hay pellets and cubes made from good-quality forage can help satisfy a horse's nutritional requirements, providing adequate fiber to keep the gastrointestinal tract fully functioning.
Horse owners with dusty, brown pastures can take simple steps to keep their horses healthy and preserve their land for when rain does finally fall.
While traditional lore holds that horses with strange appetites are seeking to make up for a nutritional imbalance, studies have shown that’s not the case.
I have several older horses that just aren't thriving. How can I safely put a little meat on their bones?
Does decreased intake affect saliva production and potentially gastric health?
Wheat bran, wheat pollard, and rice bran are common ingredients in pelleted feeds for horses, but are also used by horse owners as separate feedstuffs.
In a recent study, no digestibility differences were noted between adult and aged horses, regardless of diet, and there were no differences recorded in daily feed, hay, or water intake, or urine or fecal output.
The method by which you deliver your horse’s meals could affect insulin concentrations, and this could be valuable for horses with insulin resistance.
Slight malocclusions often have no associated health problems, but those horses with severe cases might have trouble grazing and grinding feedstuffs.
In order to prevent horses from bingeing in one session and extend the amount of time horses spend eating hay, many companies now offer hay nets, bags, and other devices designed to ration out small quantities of hay over a longer period.
Horse owners know to be cautious when allowing horses access to lush green pasture in the spring. But that tired-looking autumn grass can be just as dangerous for some animals at risk of laminitis.
New research has shown that the most effective way to supplement horses with vitamin K is in the form of K3, or menadione.
Horses are creatures of habit, especially when it comes to their feed and management.
As understanding of laminitis and metabolic issues increases among horse owners, drylots are becoming more commonplace on farms.
A horse bingeing on grain is always a cause for concern, but with a plan and veterinary assistance, horse owners can help to keep ill effects of equine overeating to a minimum.
Careful management of horses’ nutrition while on the road can help to alleviate some potential causes of stress.
A little pre-planning can help your travelling horse to remain healthy and well-fed.
It seems like your thin horse is constantly eating, but he just doesn’t seem to hold any weight. What might be going on?
While many horses can still graze day after day without developing problems, some classes of horses should have limited pasture access to avoid the serious metabolic upsets triggered by consumption of the sugars in fresh grass.
Horses supplemented with psyllium had lower blood glucose levels, both post-feeding and average, than control horses.
Managing your horse's nutritional well-being should not be frustrating or intimidating. Here are eight simple feeding rules that will keep your horse happy and healthy.
Dietary fiber is the most important consideration when designing a diet for old horses, particularly those with dental problems.
The taste of cider vinegar is appealing to some horses, and in small quantities, it can be used in a variety of ways to aid feed management.
Better digestion of fiber has been reported in horses that were supplemented with yeast.
Meals of hay and concentrates cause gastrin levels to rise, increasing gastric acid production.
A thorough understanding of the equine gastrointestinal tract will enhance your knowledge of digestion and will help you get the most out of your horse and the feedstuffs you dole out to him.
A myriad of gastrointestinal disorders beset horses, ranging in severity from mild to life-threatening.
Basic steps to helping a clinically normal horse gain weight.
Forage is perhaps the single most important ingredient in an endurance horse's diet.
The horse is a hindgut fermenter, meaning that the large intestine is the site of fermentation of ingested fiber.
A stalled horse's chewing instinct apparently remains strong even if the horse's nutritional needs are fully met by various feed products other than hay.
Knowing the architecture of the equine gastrointestinal tract is the first step in understanding proper feeding management.
The horse's digestive tract is designed to handle copious quantities of fiber and thrives best if it has a variety of fiber types to feed the different microbes in the gut.
How to feed a horse after it has colicked depends largely on where the colic occurred--in the small or large intestine--and if the horse had abdominal surgery to resolve the colic.
The horse's tongue is anchored at the back of the throat and can be as much as 11 inches (28 centimeters) long.
<p> How can I be sure my gelding's hindgut is as healthy as his stomach appears to be?</p>
Horses in training and competition must often be maintained in environments and systems that are not complementary to their natural needs.
Long-stem forage is best defined as hay or pasture. Forage products that include extremely short pieces of fiber such as cubes, pellets, or chaff are often fed in lieu of long-stem forage.
<p> Will a hindgut buffer help this mature gelding gain weight?</p>
<p> Is high-fiber, high-fat feed appropriate for horses that are susceptible to gastric ulcers?</p>
In instances of strenuous exercise, natural stores of antioxidants have difficulty providing sufficient protection against the cascade of free radicals generated from aerobic metabolism. Supplementation of antioxidants is therefore necessary to help ward off the ill effects of mass-produced free radicals associated with intense exercise.
The horse's digestive system is made up of the foregut (stomach and small intestine) and the hindgut (cecum and colon). Each part has an important function, and each can also be the site of problems ranging from the slightly troublesome to the deadly serious.
Understanding the effects of starvation, the likelihood for recovery, and basic principles of refeeding will help horse owners should they encounter a horse that requires a nutritional overhaul.
Horses have evolved over millions of years as grazers, with specialized digestive tracts adapted to digest and utilize diets containing high levels of plant fiber.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications are effective in relieving pain, but extended use of bute and other common NSAIDs frequently causes irritation of the horse's gastrointestinal tract.
Severe discomfort may not be noticed until several months after ingestion of persimmons, so if horses with access to persimmons develop colic signs at any time, owners need to mention this possibility to an attending veterinarian.
A study at the Island Whirl Equine Colic Research Laboratory at the University of Florida has uncovered information showing a possible link between gastric ulcers and exercise.
Should you keep a radio playing in the barn to keep the horses company?
Stereotypies are repetitive behaviors such as weaving or cribbing
Equine proliferative enteropathy is an emerging disease caused by the Lawsonia intracellularis bacterium. It is seen most commonly in recently weaned foals but can affect adult horses.
Horses recovering from an acute case of laminitis must have a carefully designed feed management plan in order to avoid a recurrence of the problem.
In a presentation at the recent Veterinary Sport Horse Symposium, Dr. Kyle Newman indicated supplementing horses with omega-3 fatty acids could have a positive effect on their health and endurance during exercise.
As selective grazers, horses tend to eat some pasture plants and avoid others, leading to fields with some overgrazed and some undergrazed areas.
Reports of horses poisoned by pasture plants tend to increase in late fall and early winter, possibly because pasture grasses are less available due to dry conditions and the beginning of dormancy.
Colic is a fact of life for horse owners. Chances are very good that anyone who keeps several horses for several years will encounter colic at some time. Mild episodes may resolve on their own before a veterinarian can arrive, and more serious equine abdominal discomfort can often be managed with medication.
A common name for the problem is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is also known as recurrent airway disease, recurrent airway obstruction, or inflammatory airway disease. The descriptions of the gelding and mare seem to discuss very different conditions because the disease can result from reactions to varying environmental stimuli.
<p> Can supplementing 60 ml of fish oil a day give a horse diarrhea? </p>
Few sights are worse than the tragedy of malnourished or starved horses. It is important to consider that not all underweight horses are the victims of abuse or neglect. Occasionally, horses may have or be recovering from serious conditions (cancer, inflammatory/infiltrative bowel disease, parasitism, colitis, surgery, etc.) that have led to weight loss, and their owners are doing all they can to help the horse regain its previous condition.
Horse owners want to provide their horses with adequate nourishment, but they may be confused about the best way to meet the protein requirements of animals with different workloads or ages.
Teff hay is a warm-season grass that thrives in a variety of climates and soil types. Despite low resistance to frost and pests, researchers have recently tested teff to see how the grass stacks up against cool-season standbys, timothy and orchardgrass.
California researchers performed a retrospective study on the prevalence of cecal intussusceptions. An intussusception occurs when a segment of intestine pushes into another section of the organ, similar to the way in which a camera lens slides in and out of its casing, and remains fixed.
Small intestinal colic can result from gas or fluid distension, obstruction of the small intestine (ileal impaction or roundworms), or twisting of the gut (small intestinal volvulus or pedunculated lipoma in old horses).
Colic of the large intestine can result from gas or fluid distension, obstruction (impaction or enteroliths), or twisting of the gut (as in large intestinal volvulus or displacement of the large colon).
Endoscopic examination of the stomach, sometimes referred to as gastroscopy, removed all guesswork from gastric ulcer diagnosis.
Obstruction of the esophagus, commonly known as choke, is a life-threatening condition for horses and a panic-inducing event for their caretakers.
In cases where a thorough veterinary exam does not turn up a medical explanation for the horse's actions, changes in feed management may be important in modifying the way a horse behaves. Advice from a professional horse trainer or riding coach is also an option, especially if the horse presents a danger, rather than just an aggravation, to it owner or handler.
Suppose that unexpected events- floods, fire, winter storms-play havoc with horse management. As horse owners put together a disaster plan and cope with difficult situations, one of the first concerns should be minimizing changes in feed management.
The most important nutrient in the horse's diet is one that is rarely added to feeds: water. The amount of water required by the horse is determined by the magnitude of water losses from its body. These losses occur through feces, urine, respiratory gases, and sweat and, in the case of lactating mares, milk.
A number of treatment options have been used to evacuate sand from horses' gastrointestinal tracts. Previous research projects studying the effects of feeding psyllium to remove intestinal sand have had mixed results.
Gastric ulcers are very common in performance horses, affecting more than 90% of racehorses and 60% of show horses. There is growing evidence that the type of hay fed to horses has a significant impact on acid neutralization and the incidence of gastric ulcers.
Therefore, a basic understanding of the function fermentation plays in a wide range of species is critical when considering its importance in the horse. An appreciation of the continuity of microbial fermentation across several species allows information gathered in one species to be used for the benefit of other species.
Certain situations trigger the pH of the hindgut to drop sharply. The two most common causes are the overconsumption of high-starch concentrates or pasture grasses rich in fructan. The demands placed on horses-as athletes and as breeding animals-dictate that substantial quantities of energy-laden feeds be consumed.
Colic is a catch all term used to describe abdominal discomfort from any cause. Signs of horse colic include pawing, kicking at the belly, looking at or nipping the flanks, rolling, sweating, or straining as if to pass urine or feces.
Hay, or some other source of fiber, is absolutely necessary to the health and function of the horse's digestive tract. Because of a scarcity of hay in many regions, can you just skip feeding hay this winter and make up the deficit by doubling your horse's grain ration?
Scientists have revealed that Dr. Green may not be the best prescription for all horses. Under specific growing conditions, common pasture plants can harbor sufficient sugar to cause metabolic problems in certain horses that are especially sensitive to carbohydrates.
When a pile of lawn clippings is placed in front of him, the horse can consume the cut grass much more quickly than if he were grazing naturally. If your horse has a tendency to bolt his feed (eat it very quickly), he may do the same with lawn clippings.
All horses are subject to digestive upsets associated with lush spring pasture. The content of highly fermentable carbohydrates in lush pasture can be overwhelming to the unadapted digestive system.
Digestibility of various grains was quantified and fecal analyses were conducted to establish which grains held the greatest risk of hindgut starch fermentation and acidosis. Hindgut acidosis can impair performance, and could be career-threatening if it leads to laminitis.
Horses have evolved over millions of years as grazers, with specialized digestive tracts adapted to digest and utilize diets containing high levels of plant fiber.
The most popular types of forage cubes are made from coarsely chopped alfalfa hay, timothy hay, alfalfa/grass hay, whole corn plants, and alfalfa hay/whole corn plants," said Crandell. Horsemen derive numerous benefits by choosing hay cubes over more traditional long-stem hay.
Forages, concentrates, and other basics of equine nutrition.
Following Hurricane Katrina it became clear that thousands of cattle, horses, and other livestock were in need of basic food and care. Tons of hay and pallets of feed were required immediately, and in enormous quantities. It was clear that no quick or easy "fix" was going to sustain these large animals throughout the months ahead.
Can't live with them, can't live without them. Humans have been inundated with the supposed evils of carbohydrates. But what contributions-good or bad-do carbohydrates make to the equine diet? Must horsemen be mindful of counting carbs in their horses' diets? As with most topics in equine nutrition, the question cannot be answered with a simple yes or no.
A sound nutritional plan, along with careful attention from a handler, veterinarian, and farrier, can save many starved horses. Recovery may take several months, and during this time each horse must be evaluated and treated on an individual basis.
Soybean hulls are high in pectin and other soluble fibers. Because they are digested mostly in the cecum and contain relatively small amounts of starch, their use in equine diets does not pose a high risk for colic and laminitis.
Mares come into estrus about seven to 14 days after giving birth. This period coincides with the occurrence of diarrhea in about 80% of foals, hence the name "foal heat diarrhea." There is no certain explanation as to why foals get diarrhea at this time, and various possible causes-influence of hormonal changes in mare's milk, foal begins to eat mare's manure, bacterial infection, parasite infestation-have been advanced.
Most oats fed to horses are whole, meaning each kernel is encased in a hull or fibrous sheath. Oats are frequently subjected to processing, typically rolling or crimping, which cracks the hulls and adds slightly to their digestibility.
In addition to the type and amount of concentrate being fed, owners of hyperactive horses should look at other areas of management. Horses that are kept in a stall or small corral much of the day will likely be more difficult to handle than horses that have more liberal access to free exercise. Full-time turnout and regular work are sometimes all that is necessary to curtail the expression of excess energy.
Horses, like humans, come in a variety of body shapes. Some breeds and individuals tend to be "easy keepers," naturally assuming a well-rounded shape. Others always seem to look a bit thin and ribby, no matter how they are managed.
Equine colic is loosely defined as abdominal pain. The causes are numerous, and the signs of discomfort (rolling, kicking at the abdomen, pawing, sweating) are familiar to most experienced horse handlers. Colic is one of the most common health emergencies, with an incidence of just over 9 cases per 100 horses in an average year. It is a leading reason for surgery and a frequent cause of death in horses.
<p> What is sand colic and how can I safeguard my horse from it? </p>
The importance of calcium in the diet of horses and ponies is crucial. When coupled with phosphorus, the two minerals compose up to 70% of the total mineral content in the body. Calcium is necessary for skeletal, cardiac, and smooth muscle function, nerve conduction, and a host of other metabolic reactions.
Products defined as digestive aids can be broadly categorized as either probiotics or prebiotics. These aids can be fed as part of the horse's regular diet, or administered only occasionally in response to a particular need.
Plain oats may have a place in the diets of some horses. Mature horses in light work and without the demands of reproduction may do just fine on plain oats, especially if pasture is scarce or low quality or if the forage source is low in energy. If oats are chosen as a way to increase caloric intake, a feed balancer should be used to ensure proper levels of vitamins and minerals are consumed.
Manufacturers of horse feeds use molasses to improve palatability, reduce dustiness, eliminate or decrease sorting of certain components in a textured feed, aid in the pelleting process, improve mixing integrity of a concentrate, and add nutrients or other ingredients to a ration.
In an effort to determine the effect of yeast on digestion in horses, researchers in France carried out a study to look at the influence of feeding a preparation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a strain of yeast, on microbial profiles and fermentation patterns in the large intestine of horses fed a high fiber or a high starch diet.
Proper nutrition is extremely important in managing horses with metabolic disorders. Regulating the amount and type of feed, with special attention to carbohydrates, allows many horses to show minimal disease signs, maintain healthy body condition, stay comfortable, and safely perform exercise.
Unlike some fungus or mold species that cause problems in stored grain, Fusarium grows on corn plants before they are harvested. Stress from weather or insect damage can make plants more susceptible.
Regardless of their size, all equines have the same basic nutritional needs. Each animal must consume enough water, forage, and (possibly) grain to meet the requirements of growth, tissue repair, reproduction, exercise, and maintenance of all body systems. Factors such as body size, age, breed, work, climate, health status, and metabolism affect the type and amount of hay, pasture, and grain a particular horse should be given.
Depending upon the severity of the disease, horses may have to receive nutrition parenterally (intravenously) during treatment. This is particularly true if a bout of anterior enteritis lasts longer than three or four days.
Forage remains the primary constituent of most well-balanced equine diets, but nowadays it can be proffered in a multitude of forms, from traditional long-stemmed hay to symmetrical cubes. The five most common forage forms are pasture, hay, cubes, pellets, and haylage.
Optimal nutrition of the performance horse hinges foremost on the exercise it performs. Just as the diet of a human bodybuilder is dissimilar to that of a marathon runner, horses are fed with performance goals in mind.
Weaning is a stressful time for foals and mares. While mares are often ready to say good-bye to their rambunctious, rowdy charges, foals can be far more fretful. As such, weaning rarely negatively impacts a mare. In fact, some mares may blossom and begin to flesh out once they are freed from the burden of milk production.
Forage is chock full of fiber, a dietary component that is subjected to microbial fermentation in the cecum and colon of the horse. This fermentative process produces volatile fatty acids, important sources of energy for horses fed high-forage diets. Fiber can supply a horse with 30-70% of its digestible energy requirements.
Feeding horses properly is not difficult. Reliance upon an educated horseman, a veterinarian, or an equine nutritionist is paramount if a feeding management question arises. This is particularly true when confronted with an old wives' tale.
<p> How much feed should be fed to a horse in a single meal?</p>
Understanding the methods used to process feeds and knowing why they are used will make the idea of feeding processed feedstuffs more savory.
<p> How do you slow down a horse who bolts his feed?</p>
There are many additional "tricks of the trade" that can be applied to help the halter horse reach his optimum potential, but the successful basics remain the same. It is essential for halter horses to be on a properly balanced diet. Exercise must be carefully designed for each individual animal to avoid potential injury and build the valuable muscle tone that can make a difference between winning and being just another horse in the class.
Every equine practitioner appreciates the delicate nature of the equine gut. Problems related to the small intestine and large intestine are well understood and routinely treated. What may be surprising to many is how often the stomach is affected. Specifically, the incidence of gastric ulcers is extremely high, particularly in performance horses.
Rice bran is a highly digestible by-product of the rice milling industry. It should be heat and pressure stabilized prior to feeding to prevent rancidity and digestive upset. The primary feature of stabilized rice bran is its high (20%) fat content.
This diet food scenario has proven very effective when feeding broodmares in late pregnancy. Most mares will sail through pregnancy in good body condition and can be fed the recommended amounts of sweet feed to provide essential protein, vitamins and minerals.
Signs of equine dental problems are as varied as are the horses that present them. From the obvious, handfuls of feed dropping from the mouth as the horse eats and grain passing directly through the animal, to the subtler head tilting and weight loss, the solutions involve knowledge, proper equipment, and fortitude.