Almost every article you read about probiotics will tell you that the word itself literally means “for life”. Probiotics are the live beneficial bacterial organisms that contribute to the health and balance of the intestinal tract and because of this, have become an increasingly popular ingredient in horse supplements. The use of probiotics dates back thousands of years. In fact, many people today rely on yogurt with active cultures as their source of probiotics. But what does that mean for the horse owner?
Horses are by definition a repository of good and bad bacteria. Managing the delicate harmony between the two is the key to maintaining good digestive health. The equine athlete, pony, miniature, trail horse or breeding stock all have nutritional requirements that evolved from centuries of grazing in lush pastures. With domestication, most horses now face a diet of processed food, stored hays and grasses provided on intermittent feed schedules. There are few grazing opportunities, especially in winter months. Performance horses are often kept in small stalls year round and rarely turned out. Add to this the use of worming products, rounds of antibiotics or other medications, regular vaccinations and the stress of training you can begin to see that the probability of naturally cultivating an ample source of friendly intestinal flora found in probiotics is unlikely.
The fragile composure of bacteria in the gut is also easily disturbed by changes in weather, stall confinement, altering the diet, and stress. The rigors of competition can cause drastic shifts in the micro flora brought about by the strain of transportation, intense workouts, dehydration and nervousness.
Feeding probiotics help support health by utilizing good bacteria to edge out the effects of the bad bacteria. This balancing act is necessary to maintain maximum digestive efficiency. Providing a consistent level of friendly bacteria in the digestive tract has been proven to help support gastrointestinal health, support the immune system and effectively allow maximum absorption of all other ingredients and nutrients.
When considering the beneficial health effects of probiotics, it’s also important to contemplate the journey through the digestive system that the product must survive in order to be advantageous. The process of digestion begins by grinding the food and mixing it with saliva. It then passes through the esophagus, into the acidic environment of the stomach and finally its destination within the gut. Smooth Run Equine’s probiotics are microencapsulated which allows them to survive oral ingestion, the journey through the stomach and finally reach the intestinal tract where it’s potential can be realized.
Daily use of Smooth Run Equine’s proprietary blend of microencapsulated probiotics, digestive enzymes and colostrum promotes efficient feed utilization and aids digestion while supporting general health, temperament and performance. Our philosophy is simple: What really matters when supplementing your horse is how well he utilizes the ingredients and nutrients you provide.