It is important to remember that free radicals are natural byproducts of the oxidation of carbohydrates, fats and proteins for use as energy—processes that are necessary for our bodies to function. This means that when horses work, free radicals are generated due to energy stores being utilized for work. Free radicals are inevitable and can also be beneficial. Oxidation is used as a way for the body to neutralize infections and viruses.
Although it is commonly accepted that horses have a sweet tooth, research on horse’s palatability indicates this may not be the case. Horses’ palatability is measured by their preference for a feed over another. Research has shown that horses’ preference for feeds was not affected by the sugar content, and they prefer a slightly bitter flavour over sweet flavours. The traditional belief that horses have a sweet tooth may be a case of anthropomorphizing (humanizing) their diet.
The horse’s thick winter coat has an insulating effect against cold and wind. In addition, horses in good body condition prior to winter months will be able to use the extra body fat as an additional insulating effect against wind and also serves them as an energy reserve.
Exercise improves the delivery of blood and therefore oxygen and nutrients to the skin. In time, the number of blood vessels and density of the capillaries supplying the skin actually increase so that nutrient flow is improved even when the horse isn’t exercising. Exercise is also beneficial by stimulating the flow of sweat and sebum. Sebum prevents excess moisture loss and drying.
The color of the hoof is influenced by the color of the skin above it, so if a horse has white markings directly above the hoof, the hoof itself may carry the same pigmentation. Many people believe that hooves with black walls are stronger than hooves with white walls. There is no quality difference on the same horse between white and black hooves, no scientific data to sustain any difference. www.hygain.com.au
Diarrhea is a signal that something isn’t right in a horse’s gut. So, many people assume that diarrhea may be a symptom of, or otherwise associated with, gastric ulcers. In reality, a horse’s stomach has no influence on the texture of a horse’s manure. Loose or watery stools always originate from a problem beyond the stomach, most often the hindgut.