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My horse is an EXTREMELY picky eater and I am at my wits end trying to get her to eat powdered treatments for both hindgut and gastric ulcers (shes an ex-racehorse). She will put the food and powder in her mouth but spit it back out again. She hates the taste so much she will only eat a tiny bit. Paste form will not work either, any tube near her head sends her into a frenzy so I'm trying to avoid that. I have tried a couple of different kinds of treatments which has been expensive and annoying, and then I was recommended to try a herbal remedy. My horse will eat herbs because at her previous home that's how her owner treated everything.
So, I've been doing research on google and apparently, herbs can be used to heal ulcers.
I was wondering how much (and what) you feed, for how long and what the results have been. I'm keen to give it a go so any information is helpful.

TIA :)
 

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I don't think herbs can heal ulcers, however, they may help soothe them somewhat. I am currently having some success with a mix of slippery elm bark, licorice root, and marshmallow root. Some people find aloe vera useful - I didn't.

Are you making sure your horse never goes long without eating? Eliminating sources of stress is really important. Hay 24/7 is a good idea, but I have an easy keeper, so I use slow-feeder haynet to make sure he has access to hay most of the day. Good turnout would be my next suggestion, ideally 24/7, but if that's not possible, then as long as possible.
 

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I have not heard of anyone who successfully treated and healed ulcers with herbs but go ahead and give it a try and let us know, all learning is good learning! If you need to go the paste route, or for future worming treatment, Warwick Schiller has a great video showing how to worm a difficult horse. I've used this myself and it really does work.

https://youtu.be/qCZLjlBp9dQ
 

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She is on 24/7 turnout with a beet pulp feed each night. I give her hay if the grass is scare but as it is summer in New Zealand she isn't getting hay at the moment. Her life is pretty low stress, she doesn't go to shows or anything, she just has a trail riding life.

I'll look at Warwick's video, sounds interesting :)
 

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A member here recommended to me to try a little bit of honey, molasses or vegetable oil stirred into the pellets. It helps the powdered supplement stick and most horses love the flavor.


My one mare will only take her supplements with some soaked alfalfa cubes mixed with a bit of molasses. She can detect the supplement in her pellets but not in her "mash".
 

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A member here recommended to me to try a little bit of honey, molasses or vegetable oil stirred into the pellets. It helps the powdered supplement stick and most horses love the flavor.
Or, if you don't want to add sugar, a drop of peppermint oil! That's how I got my fussy eater to take his meds. I doubt it would work with something like Omeprazole though, because of the sheer quantity that would be hard to mask. But to mask the taste of herbs, it works wonders. I know a lot of people also use fenugreek for this purpose, but my fussy gelding hates fenugreek. He's a weirdo.
 

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Or, if you don't want to add sugar, a drop of peppermint oil! That's how I got my fussy eater to take his meds. I doubt it would work with something like Omeprazole though, because of the sheer quantity that would be hard to mask. But to mask the taste of herbs, it works wonders. I know a lot of people also use fenugreek for this purpose, but my fussy gelding hates fenugreek. He's a weirdo.
Is fenugreek the new paprika or something? I've seen it toted so much this week, curing everything from fevers to arthitis to this.

OP, can you get your hand on some Abler pop rocks? They are coated and easy to mix into feed. Very little quantity too.
 

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Sadly I can't use abler pop rocks because NZ border security will not let them in. As with many chemical treatments for ulcers. It's a shame because there seems to be lots of effective treatments out there they just can't get into NZ! :(
 

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Hi, if you're only feeding once a day for supps, that may be your issue, or the beet pulp is not tasty enough to cover the supps. If you could feed a 'weaker' mix a few times daily that would be better. One of mine is a really picky eater & as they're all fat & only get 'hard feed' for supps to go in, I generally only give them a very small feed once daily. And beet pulp or straight lucerne(alfalfa for you Americans) base wasn't good enough - I add a small scoop of copra to their feed too. But the fuss pot just still won't eat much of his share. So I put it away when he's done & add a little more lucerne & copra to it & he gets the rest in the evening. Oh and as it's the same price as regular chaff, meant to be better for their gut and it's obviously a winner for taste, I've recently started feeding them a new product, fermented lucerne, instead of regular chaff to mix their supps in. It's called 'Fibre Protect' or something similar.

I have, I believe, successfully treated a horse for hind gut ulcers with herbal stuff - it was a mix of slippery elm, liquorice & marshmallow, among other ingreds I can't remember. But I was told it was likely a minor 'bout' & that probably wouldn't be too effective for anything really major. There's nothing vet-wise they can give for hind gut ulcers anyway though - meds only work to inhibit stomach acid. I tried herbal for my standie when I got her off the track last year, to no apparent avail. Then I was put onto a supp that Dr Kerry Ridgeway recommended, Gastro-Aid - I think it's by KER. That seems to have helped her finally kick them & it's also quite palatable - I caught my fussy horse in the shed one day, someone hadn't done it up properly & he was licking the powder directly from the tub!
 

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Are you sure she has ulcers - quite often they'll clear up on their own when the horse is living a less stressful life and has access to appropriate food 24/7
If you're worried then aloe vera is the only thing that I know of that does help with healing ulcers but its a succulent not a herb.
Pectin provides a good stomach acid buffer so you can feed things that are high in it - that includes sugar beet and also apples and pears that most horses will eat.
You can feed alfalfa which is high calcium or try a magnesium supplement which will act as antacids.

The best way to deal with the hindgut ulcers is to cut out the high starch/sugar feeds that have to sit too long in the hindgut while they digest and you seem to have done that
 

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If you're worried then aloe vera is the only thing that I know of that does help with healing ulcers but its a succulent not a herb.
I take 'herbal' to mean natural plant supps, so Slippery Elm(tree bark), liquorice(root), cinnamon(tree bark) & Aloe is included under that banner IMO ;-)
 

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I saw where you do not like to add sugar, but for the picky ones I have had over the years, Karo syrup in a mash of bran ( whichever type of bran you have) with the meds. I usually just use cool/cold water,but you could also try some warm water. I had one horse whom refused cold water mash, but would suck down a warm water mash . I also have one horse that is very uncooperative about wormers so I have just put the wormer in the mash of bran with alfalfa pellets soaked until the pellets fall apart. Not ideal, but it works. Also have you had her teeth checked out ?
 
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