Equine Care & Anatomy

Special Needs of Domesticated Horses
Horses in the wild are social animals who get a large amount of exercise on a daily basis and graze on relatively low quality food in small amounts all day. Once domesticated, their exercise program is influenced by their “occupation,” and they are usually fed high quality feed in a large quantity two to three times a day.
While domesticated horses live much longer than horses in the wild, domestication brings with it significant problems such as vices triggered by boredom, gastric ulcers initiated by stress, and colic, which may be caused by lack of exercise and the feeding of high quality feeds. The horses’ gastro-intestinal tract is not optimally designed for the feeding program that is consistent with the “domesticated lifestyle.” This can be a significant factor in the incidence of colic and illnesses in our domesticated horses.

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