Have you ever wondered why some horses are prone to colic, while others seem to have a steel gut? Like humans, every horse is different. This is especially true when discussing the horse’s microbiome.
Merriam Webster defines microbiome as, “a community of microorganisms that inhabit a particular environment, especially in or on the body.” In horses, a microbiome exists inside the horse’s gut and fluctuates with daily activities or stressors like being turned out, getting a new neighbor or traveling somewhere different.
This microbiome within the horse’s gut is like a tiny city working to keep the community healthy and happy. When your horse’s stomach hurts, it likely is due to the “city” being out of order. Tiny microorganisms, often called “bugs,” ferment food in the hindgut for the horse to use as energy. However, bad pathogens can also make their way into the gut, so it is important to keep the good bugs growing so the ratio of good microorganisms outweighs the bad ones – keeping the “city” in order.
To keep the peace, many horsemen turn to probiotics, which is not always the best answer. It is important to understand probiotics will only be beneficial to your horse if 1) they are viable at the time of feeding and 2) they match up with the ones in your horse’s gut. So, although Horse A may do well on a probiotic, that is not always the case for Horse B, since all microbiomes are different. A probiotic may claim to contain “1 billion” strands of microorganisms that can help the gut flora thrive, but the problem is if none of those strands harmonize with your horse, they are useless.
For example, if half the population in the “city” suddenly spoke different languages, communicating with one another would be quite difficult. This is what can happen when supplementing with probiotics alone – it can be a gamble with whether or not the bugs will be compatible. But, if a teacher came to the city and taught the new language, then taught another, and eventually everyone spoke the same language, things would go much smoother and the city would thrive. This is what happens with a prebiotic.
The prebiotic Amaferm® is your ticket to a good gut feeling. It works differently because it encourages the bugs that are already in the gut to grow, rather than introducing entirely new ones. This also means you can feed it to all of your horses in the barn and expect to see positive results, since it works with each horse individually to grow its internal bacteria and allows the gut microbe ratio to remain consistent. Amaferm has been research-proven to improve digestibility and nutrient absorption for more than 50 years.