Owning a mare can be one of the most rewarding and frustrating experiences at the same time. Few of us that own mares are not aware of how their disposition and hormone balance are closely linked. It is also reasonably well known that horses with digestive problems can also suffer changes in temperament. So, is there a link between these two conditions? Can hormone changes affect your mare’s digestive tract?
When a mare comes into season she releases various hormones (oestrogens) into the bloodstream to regulate egg development and release, and to prepare the uterus for pregnancy. During this period the mare’s behavior can change. She may become irritable or sluggish and easily tired; her appetite may become erratic and she can become extremely sensitive to touch. She may also exhibit cramping, and restricted movement during work. Many of these behavioral changes are also clearly seen when digestive balance is upset.
Changes in the acid balance of the gut can be caused by many factors, including hormone changes and imbalances. There are direct links between blood supply (which carries the hormones released by a mare in season) and digestion, with one of the key digestive juices, bile, carrying waste materials from the blood, plus the products of cholesterol metabolism.
Healthy digestion requires a fine balance of the bacterial population in the intestine, which is crucial to the successful breakdown and absorption of food constituents. If this balance is upset, through changes in pH or diet, the bacterial population suffers resulting in indigestion. Symptoms of this poor digestion range from diarrhea or looseness in severe instances to milder stress related behavior, such as discomfort, inconsistency and irritability. All these symptoms can be reversed by rebalancing the microbial population with a high quality probiotic / digestive enzyme blend and healing herbs to balance the hormones.
Smooth Run Equine’s Smooth Mare contains that high quality probiotic and digestive enzyme blend, along with a synergistic blend of herbs and other critical ingredients specifically addressing hormone imbalances. We also add pure bovine colostrum that directly support the immune system. The formula helps maintain hormone balance and the digestive bacteria population naturally, re-establishing the correct acidity and digestive health. Tests in many varied conditions show how establishing the optimum bacterial balance in the gut can have a significant impact on supporting proper gastrointestinal function.
Perhaps then, ‘Moody Mare’ syndrome can in fact be linked to indigestion. Next time your mare is in season consider whether the hormone release is ultimately upsetting the digestive balance and creating associated behavioral problems. Simply added to the daily feed program for maintenance or administered before and/or during the heat cycle Smooth Mare will ensure the beneficial bacteria population in the gut is at optimum levels, helping to minimize the effects of any changes in blood chemistry from hormone changes.