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What Is The Best Gut Balancer For Horses in 2023?

Updated: June 21, 2023 by Cathy Benson
best gut balancers for horses

Gut balancers for horses are supplements designed to support the gut’s natural balance of good bacteria. They aim to promote healthy digestion, improve nutrient absorption, and boost overall well-being.

From dealing with changes in diet or routine to managing the stresses of competition and travel, a gut balancer can be a helpful addition to your horse’s diet. But with so many products on the market, how do you know which one to choose?

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of gut balancers in detail, and review some of the top products on the market. Our aim is to give you a comprehensive understanding of what a gut balancer is, how it might benefit your horse, and how to make an informed choice when selecting a product.

So, let’s dive in and get started on our journey towards better gut health for our horses!

What Does a Gut Balancer Do for Horses?

Picture your horse’s gut as a bustling city of microscopic residents, the ‘microbiota’. These are bacteria, yeasts, and other microbes that play a crucial role in your horse’s overall health. They help in the digestion of food, absorption of nutrients, and function of the immune system.

A gut balancer, also known as a ‘probiotic’ or ‘digestive supplement’, is like a supportive mayor for this city. Its job is to make sure this population stays balanced and works as efficiently as possible.

So, how does it do that?

Firstly, a gut balancer helps to maintain a healthy number of beneficial microbes. They work in your horse’s favour, aiding in digesting feed, producing essential vitamins, and crowding out harmful bacteria. It’s like bolstering the city’s workforce, ensuring everything runs smoothly.

Next, gut balancers can contain prebiotics. Think of these as the food for our beneficial bacteria. They encourage their growth and help them to thrive.

Thirdly, some gut balancers also contain yeast. Yeasts enhance the action of the beneficial bacteria, aid in digestion, and can help protect the gut wall. It’s a bit like improving the city’s infrastructure.

Lastly, some gut balancers may have added digestive enzymes to break down food particles more efficiently, supporting the overall digestive process.

Why Might Your Horse Need a Gut Balancer?

Stress, sudden changes in diet, antibiotics, or worming treatments can all disrupt the balance of your horse’s gut microbiota. This disruption can lead to issues like loose droppings, loss of appetite, or poor coat condition.

If your horse shows signs of digestive upset, a gut balancer might be a good shout. Even if your horse appears healthy, using a gut balancer can be a useful preventive measure, particularly during periods of change or stress.

What Is the Best Gut Balancers for Horses?

Choosing the best gut balancer for your horse depends on various factors, including your horse’s specific needs, its current diet, and its overall health. Here are a few key things to consider:

  1. Ingredients: Quality gut balancers often contain probiotics (beneficial bacteria), prebiotics (food for the beneficial bacteria), and sometimes yeast or specific enzymes to support digestion. Look for a product with high-quality, natural ingredients and avoid those with unnecessary fillers or additives.
  2. Horse’s needs: Consider why you’re looking for a gut balancer. Is it due to digestive issues, stress, change in diet, or a specific health concern like ulcers? Different products target different issues, so it’s important to choose one that matches your horse’s needs.
  3. Brand reputation: Opt for a product from a reputable brand known for their quality and commitment to equine health. Researching reviews and talking to other horse owners or professionals can provide helpful insights.
  4. Ease of use: Some gut balancers come in pellet form, others as a powder. Consider your horse’s feeding habits and what form they’re most likely to accept.
  5. Cost: Price can vary significantly among gut balancers. While you want the best for your horse, it’s also important to find a product that fits within your budget.

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the best gut balancer as each horse is unique. However, products like Protexin Equine Premium Gut Balancer, Equine America Pro Gut Balancer, and Science Supplements Gut Balancer for Horses & Ponies have been positively reviewed by many horse owners.

Remember, the best gut balancer for your horse is the one that meets their specific needs and contributes to their overall health and wellbeing. The goal is not just to find a good product, but the right product for your horse.

Top-Rated Gut Balancers For Horses

Here’s our round-up of tried and tested reviews for the best gut balancers for horses available in the UK.

Our goal is to provide you with genuine, down-to-earth reviews based on real experiences to help you find the best gut balancer for your equine friend.

Each of these products has been carefully assessed for its effectiveness, ingredients, ease of use, and value for money.

1. Protexin Equine Premium Gut Balancer Review

I was drawn to Protexin because of its reputable brand and its focus on natural ingredients. It contains a blend of prebiotics, probiotics, and yeast, all designed to promote a healthy gut environment. It also has no artificial substances, which is a big plus for me.

Protexin Equine Premium Gut Balancer 700 g
934 Reviews
Protexin Equine Premium Gut Balancer 700 g
  • A daily probiotic supplement to help bolster...
  • Gut balancer is a regular supplement to help...
  • Containing only protexin probiotic and preplex...
  • Gut balancer helps ensure the gut microflora is...

I decided to give Protexin a go when Bella started showing signs of mild digestive discomfort. She wasn’t as eager to eat her feed, and I noticed a few instances of loose droppings. So, I thought a gut balancer might be just what she needed.

The good news is that after a few weeks of using Protexin, I started noticing some positive changes. Bella’s appetite seemed to improve, and the consistency of her droppings returned to normal. Even better, her overall demeanour seemed more upbeat, and she appeared more comfortable during our riding sessions.

The product was also easy to use. It comes in powdered form with a measuring scoop, which I simply mixed in with Bella’s regular feed. She seemed to take to it well, showing no signs of disliking the taste or texture.

However, there were a few challenges. Firstly, Protexin Equine Premium Gut Balancer is not the cheapest option on the market. While I believe in investing in Bella’s health, the cost might be a consideration for some horse owners.

Secondly, patience is key. I didn’t see instant results. It took a few weeks before Bella showed signs of improvement. This is pretty standard for gut balancers, but it’s worth noting for anyone expecting quick fixes.

In conclusion, my experience with Protexin Equine Premium Gut Balancer has been positive. It appeared to help Bella’s digestive issues, and the natural ingredients were a bonus. However, it does require some financial investment and patience to see results.

2. Equine America Pro Gut Balancer Review

Equine America is a respected brand, and their Pro Gut Balancer caught my attention due to its specific formulation aimed at maintaining a healthy gut environment and supporting digestion.

Equine America Pro Gut Balancer | Premium Ready To Use Horse & Pony Supplement | Support For Digestive Function & Performance | 450g
33 Reviews
Equine America Pro Gut Balancer | Premium Ready To Use Horse & Pony Supplement | Support For Digestive Function & Performance | 450g
  • NATURAL INGREDIENTS – A unique blend of...
  • READY TO USE - The palatable linseed and alfalfa...
  • DOSAGE – A 450g tub lasts a 500kg horse 30...

The Pro Gut Balancer contains probiotics and prebiotics, along with a mix of specific enzymes to aid digestion. It also includes ingredients like psyllium husk and montmorillonite clay, which are said to help absorb toxins in the gut. This all sounded like a great fit for Jasper, who had been showing signs of digestive upset.

Within a few weeks of starting Jasper on the Pro Gut Balancer, I started to see an improvement. He seemed more comfortable, his droppings returned to their normal consistency, and his appetite picked up. An unexpected plus was that his coat started to look shinier and healthier – a lovely bonus!

Using the product was straightforward. It comes in a powder form, and Jasper didn’t seem to mind it mixed into his regular feed.

However, as with all supplements, there were some considerations. First, it took some time to see results. I noticed minor improvements within a week, but it was a few weeks before the more significant changes became apparent.

Additionally, while the price point is reasonable compared to some other gut balancers on the market, it’s still an investment, and you’ll want to factor that into your horse care budget.

One more thing to note: Jasper had a mild reaction to the supplement initially, with a bit of bloating and gas. I checked with my vet, who suggested this might be a normal response as Jasper’s gut adjusted to the new supplement. After a few days, these symptoms disappeared.

3. Science Supplements Gut Balancer For Horses & Ponies Review

Science Supplements Gut Balancer for Horses & Ponies is a supplement designed to support gut health and promote the balance of good bacteria. It contains ingredients like prebiotics and beta-glucans, which are aimed at supporting healthy gut flora and boosting the immune system.

Alfie had been going through a stressful period due to a change in his routine, which led to him showing signs of mild gut discomfort, such as irregular droppings and a decreased appetite. I decided to try the Science Supplements Gut Balancer to see if it could provide some relief.

I found that the supplement was quite easy to use. It comes in a powder form that you can mix into your horse’s feed. Alfie took to it without any fuss, which was a relief!

After a couple of weeks of using the Gut Balancer, I noticed some positive changes. Alfie’s droppings started to become more regular, and he seemed more interested in his feed. Additionally, his general demeanour seemed to improve; he appeared more comfortable and relaxed.

However, like all supplements, it didn’t come without its considerations. Firstly, it took a little time before I noticed any improvements. I started seeing minor changes within a week, but it was closer to a month before the major improvements kicked in.

Additionally, Science Supplements Gut Balancer is on the higher end of the price scale when it comes to gut balancers. It’s an investment, but for Alfie, it turned out to be a worthwhile one.

What Are the Signs of Poor Gut Health in Horses?

Understanding the signs of poor gut health in horses is very important, as it can help you respond promptly and seek professional help when needed.

There are several indicators of poor gut health in horses. Here are some key signs:

  1. Changes in Appetite: A horse with an upset gut may eat less or show less interest in their feed.
  2. Change in Body Condition or Weight Loss: If your horse is losing weight or if their body condition is deteriorating despite a good diet, it could be due to poor nutrient absorption resulting from gut issues.
  3. Loose Droppings or Diarrhoea: Changes in the consistency of your horse’s droppings can be a sign of digestive upset.
  4. Dull Coat: A horse’s coat can reflect their overall health. A dull, lacklustre coat might suggest poor nutrient absorption due to gut issues.
  5. Behavioural Changes: Some horses may show signs of discomfort or pain, such as excessive rolling, pawing at the ground, or appearing unusually agitated or lethargic.
  6. Excessive Gas or Colic: These can indicate an imbalance in the gut microbiota or other digestive problems.

To put it into perspective, let’s imagine a scenario. Let’s say your horse, Daisy, used to be eager at feeding times. Lately, you’ve noticed she’s not as interested in her feed, leaving some behind. You’ve also noticed she’s been passing a lot of gas, more than she used to. On top of that, her coat, which used to be shiny and vibrant, now seems a bit dull.

These changes – decreased appetite, increased flatulence, and a dull coat – might suggest that Daisy’s gut health isn’t at its best. It would be wise to get a vet to check her over. They might advise dietary changes, and perhaps the introduction of a gut balancer or other measures, depending on what they find.

Does Gut Balancer Stop a Horse Farting?

So, does a gut balancer stop a horse from farting? Not exactly, but it can help manage excessive flatulence in some cases. Here’s why:

Horses, like us, produce gas as a byproduct of digestion. Certain foods, especially those rich in fibre like hay or grass, lead to more gas production. This gas usually gets passed out – yes, via farting – and is entirely normal.

However, an overabundance of gas could indicate a disruption in your horse’s gut microbiota, that bustling city of microbes we talked about earlier. This might be due to dietary changes, stress, or illness, resulting in more gas-producing bacteria and less of the helpful ones.

Here’s where a gut balancer comes in. It helps restore the balance of the gut microbiota. By promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria and reducing the population of gas-producing ones, a gut balancer may reduce excessive flatulence.

But it’s important to remember that some level of farting is normal and healthy in horses. If your horse seems to be passing more gas than usual, and especially if this is accompanied by other signs of discomfort or illness, it’s crucial to contact a vet.

Does My Horse Need a Gut Balancer?

Every horse is unique, and the need for a gut balancer can be influenced by several factors like diet, stress, health history, and lifestyle.

As an example, let’s imagine you have a horse named Charlie. Charlie has recently had a course of antibiotics due to a minor infection. Antibiotics, while often necessary, can have the side effect of disrupting the balance of the gut microbiota by wiping out both harmful and beneficial bacteria. This disruption can lead to issues like loose stools, a decrease in appetite, or a dull coat.

In this scenario, a gut balancer might be beneficial for Charlie. It could help repopulate his gut with beneficial bacteria, support healthy digestion, and aid his recovery.

Alternatively, suppose Charlie is experiencing significant changes in his life, such as moving to a new stable or undergoing a substantial alteration in his diet. These situations can cause stress and might throw off the balance in his gut. Using a gut balancer as a preventative measure during these periods of change can help maintain the balance of Charlie’s gut microbiota, ensuring his digestion stays on track.

However, not all horses need a gut balancer. If your horse is in good health, with a stable lifestyle, a well-balanced diet, and no signs of digestive upset, a gut balancer might not be necessary.

Is Gut Balancer Good for Horses with Ulcers?

When it comes to horses with ulcers, gut balancers can be a part of the management strategy, but they are not a cure on their own. Here’s why:

Gastric ulcers in horses are sores or lesions that form in the stomach lining, often as a result of excessive stomach acid. The condition is quite common in domesticated horses due to factors like stress, diet, and exercise regimes.

A gut balancer can help in this situation, but not directly. It can’t heal the ulcers or neutralise the stomach acid causing the problem. However, it can support overall gut health, which is particularly important when your horse is dealing with ulcers.

By promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria, a gut balancer can support digestion and nutrient absorption, processes that can be negatively impacted by ulcers. The aim here is to strengthen the overall gut environment and make it more resilient.

Additionally, some gut balancers contain ingredients that can soothe and protect the gut lining, providing indirect support in the management of ulcers.

Now, it’s crucial to understand that if you suspect your horse has ulcers, a vet should be your first port of call. Ulcers can cause severe discomfort and lead to other health complications if not properly treated. Your vet will likely prescribe medication to reduce stomach acid and may recommend changes to your horse’s diet or lifestyle.

Before making any changes to your horse’s diet or introducing any new supplements, always consult with a qualified vet or equine nutritionist. Your horse’s health and wellbeing should always be the primary concern, and professional advice should be sought whenever making decisions related to their care.

Remember, this information should never replace professional veterinary advice. If your horse is showing signs of poor health, always consult with a veterinary professional.

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, it’s important to remember that every horse is unique, and what works for one might not necessarily work for another. As such, the benefits or effectiveness of a specific product may vary between individual horses.

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