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Ep. 060: The Truth About Horses with Hay Belly

On this episode, co-hosts Dr. Tania Cubitt and Katy Starr discuss what a true hay belly is in horses, as it is not well understood by many horse owners. They dive further into detail including ruling out pregnancy and parasites to determine if it’s a hay belly, as well as the specific cause and how to get rid of it and improve your horse’s topline.

Episode Notes

Dr. Tania Cubitt and Katy Starr discuss what a true hay belly is in horses, as it is not well understood by many horse owners. They dive further into detail including ruling out pregnancy and parasites to determine if it’s a hay belly, as well as the specific cause and how to get rid of it and improve your horse’s topline.


Have any topics you want to hear more about? Let us know at


Episode Notes: 

Past episodes referenced in this episode - 

~ 11:08 – “Managing Body Condition with Forage” – Nutritional White Paper 




  • *Views and opinions expressed by guests are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of Standlee Premium Products, LLC.*

Katy Starr (00:01):

Hi, I'm Katy.


Dr. Tania Cubitt (00:02):

And I'm Dr. Cubitt. We're going Beyond the Barn. Come join us on this journey as we bust equine and livestock nutrition myths and interview some of the most intriguing experts in the country.


Katy Starr (00:15):

We'll go behind the scenes of how premium Western quality forage is grown and brought to your favorite farm and ranch retail store. We're so glad you're here.


Welcome back to another episode of Beyond the Barn. Dr. Cubitt, thanks for joining me today.


Dr. Tania Cubitt (00:33):

I'm glad to be here.


Katy Starr (00:34):

Today we're going to be talking about the topic of hay belly in horses, and I think a lot of horse owners feel like or look at their horses and sometimes they're just like, my horse has a hay belly. Or they just don't know exactly what's going on with their horse or how to fix it. And so I think this will be a good topic for us to discuss today. And before we get started, any of the topics that we do cover on the Beyond the Barn podcast are more generalized and not specific to any individual horse or any specific situation. Be sure to always work with your veterinarian and nutritionist before making any drastic changes to your horse's feed program. Or you can feel free to reach out and talk directly with Dr. Cubitt or Dr. Duren on any specifics that you would like to know for your situation. Just to get started, Dr. Cubitt, can you describe what is a true hay belly in horses? I've heard horse owners commonly say that their horse has a hay belly because they eat too much, but what's actually happening with the horse when they have a hay belly?


Dr. Tania Cubitt (01:43):

Well, we'll just say what it particularly looks like and when somebody might say that, what they're actually visualizing on their horse. And I think if you think about, if you visualize shut your eyes and visualize a horse from the side, and then you see the neck and then the fore limbs and the back limbs and visualize where the ribs would be. So kind of if you're sitting on the horse, the ribs go to just behind where your leg would sit, and then from there back, there's no ribs. And that area there can become enlarged, look kind of puffy. And that is the hindgut of the horse. So the cecum, the large colon, the small colon, that's where all the fiber gets fermented and that is what kind of looks large. It's kind of the back part of the horse's abdomen, and it'll get large and sink down. Oftentimes we also see a narrowing of the top line as well, which makes that distended belly area or abdomen area look even worse. So when somebody says, oh, I think my horse has a hay belly, that is what they are visualizing.


Katy Starr (02:53):

Is there a difference between a horse being bloated and having a hay belly, or does being bloated come with having a hay belly?


Dr. Tania Cubitt (03:01):

That's two different things. Now, being bloated means you've got a lot of excess air in the belly in the, it's not really the belly. We consider the belly, the stomach really. And so in that hindgut and you think about those bacteria, there's thousands, millions, trillions of different bacteria that live in that hindgut, the cecum, large colon, small colon. And their goal is to ferment that fiber, break it down. Well, a byproduct is that they can produce excess gas. Now if you rapidly change the diet or we go from say hay to spring grass, we can start to see a little bit of bloating if those bacteria get out of balance and start to build up a little excess gas, especially if that gas is not being expelled by the horse, then worst case scenario, we will actually can see some twisting of the gut when that gas in there will move the gut around. So bloat is different to hay belly.


Katy Starr (04:02):

Okay. And then hay belly can actually sometimes be mistaken for parasites or pregnancy. Can you speak on that a bit and are there any other things to work with? And obviously you're not a veterinarian, but just from your experience, are there any other things that we need to be working on with a veterinarian to possibly rule out?


Dr. Tania Cubitt (04:25):

Hmm. Well absolutely. When it comes to pregnancy, that is also where the developing foal will sit in the body of the horse, is back behind the ribs. So that's also why a horse and say, a mare in late gestation, she's got this giant foal growing in her abdomen. She's got very high nutritional requirements, but there's not a lot of room to put a lot of food. So that's why we need to make sure she's on the highest nutritional value forage, like an alfalfa or something. So pregnancy and then parasites. Parasites, if they're invading that hindgut and overtaking, you know, we have parasites like bot larvae that will attach themselves to the intestinal wall and cause inflammation. They decrease the ability for the hindgut and those bugs to actually break down that fiber so that gut fill will sit there longer. So certainly we want to rule out, did I rapidly change the diet and do I have a lot of excess gas in there?


Dr. Tania Cubitt (05:24):

And that would be more transient. Is it full of parasites? Well, okay, maybe if I rescue a horse from a sale or a bad situation, it could be hay belly or it could be parasites. And you definitely, that would be part of your initial program to evaluate parasite load. And then obviously pregnancy. Again, if you own the horse and you know that it's never been in a field with a stallion and you've never artificially inseminated it, then it's not pregnant. This could be if you get a horse that you don't know it's backstory or again, you bought a horse for an auction that you don't know it's backstory or they accidentally got out of their field, then we need to rule out pregnancy. We've ruled all those things out.


Katy Starr (06:06):

And that's probably, I mean, aside from the fact that that horse owners should probably be doing this anyway, but I can't even tell you how many times I've seen people asking others about, does my horse look pregnant? Or you know, is it just a hay belly? And you know, it's especially after they've just got the horse. And I think it just shows how important it is to when you first get a horse. I mean, we've talked about this before, right? Where we should have a really good veterinarian on our team, but making sure that we do that before we get a horse. If this is maybe our first time getting a horse. And I think this just kind of goes to show how important it is to get a good vet on your team so that way when you get them, you can do some of these initial checks to rule out, make sure the horse is in good, healthy standing before moving forward on any of what your goals are with that horse.


Dr. Tania Cubitt (06:58):

Yeah. And I think especially if you, it really comes into play if you're rescuing a horse or buying a horse from an auction and you don't know the backstory. 100%, there is a checklist of things that you need to do when you bring them home. Number one, you keep them quarantined from any other animal or horse on your property until these things have been done and you get your veterinarian and you'll get their teeth checked, you'll go over their foot care, you'll do a fecal egg count to determine what parasite load they have and then work with your veterinarian to address that correctly. If you don't think that they've been vaccinated, then they should be vaccinated for whatever diseases are prevalent in your area. So there's certainly a checklist of things that should be done. And then if possible, it's always good to keep that horse quarantined away from your other horses for, I'd love to say, 30 days before you commingle them with your other animals.


Katy Starr (07:56):

Right. And that's good practice I think, whenever you're getting any kind of livestock in general and bringing it onto your farm, ranch or your little, little spot that you have just because you never know what that animal could be bringing in disease wise or anything like that in case you have to get something taken care of.


Dr. Tania Cubitt (08:14):

Absolutely. I personally made a rookie mistake and I bought some steers from the local livestock auction. They were a little thin and I dewormed them, I vaccinated them, I put fly control on them, but, and then I thought I was keeping them separate from the rest of the herd. But what I forgot about was my waterers, I have those waterers with the blue ball in them. And it's on a fence line.


Katy Starr (08:45):



Dr. Tania Cubitt (08:45):

And guess what spread throughout my fields, ring worm. Now it comes and it goes. But it came from those guys. Interestingly enough though, what was funny, the ringworm didn't spread to all the cows on my property. Only the ones that had a slightly lower immune system. That was interesting too. But yes, I didn't fully quarantine them for 30 days and that was my compensation for that.


Katy Starr (09:11):

I think that's good that you brought that up because some people might not think about that when they're thinking about quarantining. They might be in different pens, but there are still other areas where they can make contact.


Dr. Tania Cubitt (09:22):

And I didn't see it, but the process of going through the sale, that's stressful for any animal, be it a horse or a steer. And so just the stress of going through the sale, being transported to a completely new farm, which I think my farm's great, but it's still a new environment for them. So their immune system was a little down and then the ringworm came out. But by the time I had, I actually saw it because they were also a little hairy. Oh, well now everybody's got it.


Katy Starr (09:51):

. Well, that's a good lesson and hopefully a good lesson for everybody else just to kind of know when they're bringing in new animals. Does having a hay belly mean that a horse is actually fat or overweight?


Dr. Tania Cubitt (10:04):

No, and it can certainly be mistaken for that. But when you evaluate the whole body, like when we do a body condition score and there's so many graphics that we can attach to where you post this visual of a hay belly, visual of a pregnant mare visual, of what it looks like with parasites, but also a visual of a fat horse and how to body condition score a horse. And ideally you would take over the neck, over the shoulders, over the rump, you all, you break the horse up into all the different parts and you would assign each one of those areas a score from one to nine and then you would average them out. And so it's very easy to look at this fat, distended belly and think, oh, the horse is fat. But then when you look at the rest of him, oh, but he's got no top line. He's not really fat over the hindquarter or over the neck. So he is really not fat overall, he's just distended in that one area.


Katy Starr (11:02):

Okay. And we will link this in our show notes just for reference. I know visuals can be so helpful for a lot of these situations, but can you walk us briefly walk us through the body condition scoring system and kind of what we look for in those different levels just so we can really get a better understanding of what you were just talking about?


Dr. Tania Cubitt (11:25):

Yeah, so it's a one to nine scoring system, one being emaciated, nine being morbidly obese. We look for an animal to be in that five to six range as a perfect weight. Under that you are going to visually see the ribs, you're going to see the bones. From a one to a three, it's very easy to distinguish all of the bones, the skeletal structure of the horse. As we get into a three and a half, four, there's certainly a lot more even coverage of flesh over, but you can still see that visual outline when you get to a five, you've really got to palpate, touch the horse, press a little bit to find the ribs, but you don't have to press very hard. When you get above a six, a seven, eight, nine, you are pressing really hard. The horse horse is now starting to be very rounded in certain areas over the rump, over the shoulders.


Dr. Tania Cubitt (12:19):

Some, we say some horses that are a nine, you can't even see the wither because the fat beside the wither is so developed, over the neck, where you would do the girth up. Now there's also horses that develop fat pads and maybe skinny but have these weird fat pads. That's a whole other podcast. But that's what we look for with metabolic syndrome. But overall body fatness. We're really pressing hard to find the ribs and we've got a very round, overly round horse. That's what we're going to see as a seven, eight, and nine. So ideally we want to sit in that five or six, but we'll definitely show pictures of that.


Katy Starr (12:55):

Okay. Excellent. So basically just being able to distinguish a hay belly is really just that back area, where the hindgut sits is where you'll be looking at. It's interesting. So, can horses I want to just go into this a little bit further. Can horses have a hay belly and be overweight though as well?


Dr. Tania Cubitt (13:14):

Oh, of course.


Katy Starr (13:14):

And are there certain horses that are more prone to getting a hay belly than others?


Dr. Tania Cubitt (13:22):

Yeah, I think if we say, what is the cause of hay belly, I'm going to skip forward a couple of questions. Because I think that if we discuss what causes a hay belly, then we can come back to which horses may be at more risk on.


Katy Starr (13:34):



Dr. Tania Cubitt (13:35):

What causes hay belly, ultimately is when we're feeding forages that are pretty poorly digestible. So when we look at that forage analysis, we look at those values, the NDF values, that's the neutral detergent fiber and that's, its palatability. And when we look at neutral detergent fiber and acid detergent fiber, these are two measures of fiber content. And when those two values go up, we find that the hay is less palatable and less digestible. So a really high-quality forage, when we were talking about nutrient digestibility, the NDF value will sit between 40 and 50 and the ADF value would sit between 30 and 35. You are not going to see a hay belly on a horse that is eating a hay like this because it's very highly digestible. But if we go to a lower quality forage, as far as digestibility, the NDF value would be above 60 on a forage analysis and the ADF value would be above 40 on that forage analysis.


Dr. Tania Cubitt (14:37):

Which means it's not very digestible. It's going to sit in that hindgut much longer because it's going to take those bugs a lot longer to digest. That causes that distended hindgut look because it's the rate of passage of that fiber through that hindgut is much longer. So it's just sitting there longer and longer waiting for that microbial population to break it down. The other thing that usually happens with these horses is if you're feeding a lower quality forage, then it's potentially a horse that doesn't need a lot of calories. Or maybe it's an older horse that has, their ability to digest those fibers has just gone down anyway. So maybe a hay that was easily digested by a five year old, you're feeding to a 25 year old and they have just lost their ability to break down that fiber as well. And that is oftentimes coupled with poor top line.


Dr. Tania Cubitt (15:36):

When you're feeding a lower quality hay, we're not getting as much protein as much calories and so we lose and maybe they're not doing a lot of exercise and we lose some top line. So that narrower top line, bigger belly makes it look even more pronounced because when you have a very balanced horse that has a kind of a flat back and nice weight covering over the back and then they have a bit of a distended belly, it doesn't look nearly as bad. The horses where it's a very visibly evident is when they have a poor top line and this big wide belly sticking out.


Katy Starr (16:11):

Is it common that they would have that go hand in hand with the top line and the distended belly?


Dr. Tania Cubitt (16:17):



Katy Starr (16:18):

Okay. I was wondering because I've seen a lot of people asking about that. And they always say that my horse has a hay belly and they have a really poor topline.


Dr. Tania Cubitt (16:28):

And oftentimes poor-quality hay, low in nutritional value, is not giving them enough to develop a topline and it's hard for them to digest. So we're seeing this distended belly.


Katy Starr (16:38):

Okay. So certain horses then, like older horses can sometimes have issues digesting food. I've heard younger horses can sometimes develop hay bellies?


Dr. Tania Cubitt (16:49):

So if we go to the older horse. Older horse, he's not getting exercise as much. So he is not getting that nice top line from exercise. He's decreasing his ability to digest fiber. A lot of protein comes from fiber. So he is not getting that fiber. That's also helping him build out that top line. Then we think about ponies, some ponies that we're feeding them a low calorie or a low nutritional value hay because we don't want them to gain weight.


Dr. Tania Cubitt (17:16):

And then yeah, younger horses as well. Younger horses go through when I mean young horse, I mean young, growing horses, they go through growth spurts. Where they're putting all of their energy into growing taller and they don't have any excess calories for putting a top line on. So their hay belly will sometimes look a little bit more distended because he's putting all his energy into going up and not actually developing that muscle structure. I once had a very dear friend who bred warmbloods in Australia, I shouldn't say once, I still have a very dear friend, , but she said three days, three weeks, three years were the times that you should look at these young growing horses and all the times in between, just put your blinders on and keep feeding them because they're going to be high, behind, have a hay belly, look all out of place.


Katy Starr (18:04):

Just kind of fluctuate.


Dr. Tania Cubitt (18:06):

So certainly with those young growing horses as well. Now if I get called to a farm and I have a young growing, horse who has that distended belly, we certainly evaluate parasite load. Because we know young horses are more at risk for parasites as well. We evaluate the hay quality, the nutritional value. Is it digestible enough for this young guy? Maybe we add in a pro or prebiotic to help them digest that fiber if changing the hay is not an option, but if we determine that all those things are taken care of, then it just could be a growth stage for that young horse.


Katy Starr (18:41):

Yes. I'm glad that you brought that up. What you do when you come and make a visit, because sometimes I think people think that, oh I can just, I can just throw one thing in and it's just a one thing, it just fixes everything. But you just described just how important it is to, even if you know it is a young, growing horse. And they tend to get a hay belly you just said, right. That they also have a tendency to be, they might get a parasite or something more likely to get a parasite. So evaluating all these different areas, the quality of the hay, things like that, just to make sure that everything is right where it should be. That there are no issues. You're looking at this larger scope of things.


Dr. Tania Cubitt (19:21):

A holistic view of the horse. Absolutely. Yes. Because too often people will go down a rabbit hole, hay belly or poor top line.


Dr. Tania Cubitt (19:29):

I'm going to buy protein supplement and I'm going to power them with a protein supplement. And I'm like, well, and nothing changes and you just wasted all that money when at the beginning you should evaluate all things and then make a more educated decision on what might be causing it. And then we'll try and fix that. And if that doesn't work we'll try something else. But just throwing mud at the wall and hoping it sticks is what a lot of us tend to do. But it will cause a lot of heartache in the long run.


Katy Starr (19:58):

And maybe cost more money.


Dr. Tania Cubitt (20:01):

And a lot of money. You really should, you’ve really got wads of money balled up in that mud that you're throwing on the wall. ANd you don’t get that money back.


Katy Starr (20:08):

Do any types of horses tend to just maybe carry a larger belly in general or? Usually if we see something like that, there is something else going on.


Dr. Tania Cubitt (20:20):

I wouldn't say necessarily certain types of horses carry a hay belly. But there are certain types of certain horses or certain stages of life where their belly just may hang a little lower. An older horse for example, you're going to see a little lower top line and maybe the musculature has just gotten a little looser and so everything's hanging down a little bit more. A mare, a broodmare that's had 10, 12 babies and is nearing the end of her career, she certainly carried a lot of weight, stretched a lot of muscles. It's going to sag a little lower in that general area.


Katy Starr (20:57):

Makes sense. And this next question I'm going to ask is, because I hear people often say this, can a horse overeat hay? Because usually when they talk about their horse having a hay belly, they'll say, my horse has a hay belly. They eat all the time. They eat too much. Can they overeat it?


Dr. Tania Cubitt (21:18):

And there's a lot of points that I would address in answering this question. Let's say your horse has got a round bale, which you know, I'm not opposed to, especially in the wintertime, something to chew on. Typically not the highest nutritional value. Probably pretty high ADF and NDF numbers. So not that nutritionally dense, let's say. Yeah. And they might just stand there all day and munch, munch, munch on it and develop a hay belly. Well it's not because they overate hay, it's because the hay wasn't that digestible and it is causing a lot of gut fill in the hindgut that the bacteria aren't able to digest. I certainly wouldn't say decrease the amount of hay you're feeding. I would say, why don't we add in some more nutritionally dense hay. A hay that's got a little higher, a little better digestibility values, for example.


Dr. Tania Cubitt (22:12):

Now the other part would be, yeah, a horse can overeat hay if they're fat and they're just gaining weight and that would be any hay. Alfalfa, timothy, good quality hay, poor quality hay. It gives them a lot of calories. And if you're letting them eat 3 to 5% of their body weight a day in hay and they're getting super fat, then yes they are eating too much hay. The general rule of thumb is we'd really like to stick between above one and a half percent of their body weight in fiber intake, dry matter fiber intake per day or hay intake. But it all depends. Again, we holistically stand back and look at all things that we are evaluating the horse for. And if it's overweight and it's eating two and a half to 3% of its body weight in hay per day, then let's cut back on the hay.


Katy Starr (23:02):

Right. Excellent. So just knowing that just cause your horse has a hay belly, it doesn't necessarily mean it is because the horse is overeating hay in general. There is more going on to that situation with the digestibility of that hay that they're actually consuming as well. So, and then can horses who have a hay belly graze and if so, would they need a grazing muzzle, and I'm guessing this might just depend on the, I guess the nutrient density of the pasture that's available to them as well.


Dr. Tania Cubitt (23:36):

Typically horses grazing good quality pasture won't have a hay belly. Right. Because that pasture's very digestible. That is, unless we're out in the range eating dried out old summer pasture or middle of winter dormant grasses or they're warm seasoned grasses at really local native grasses that don't have a lot of nutritional value, then maybe they would, the grazing muzzle for me would be another. I wouldn't put a grazing muzzle on a horse thinking it was going to take away the hay belly. If anything, if your horse is eating low quality hay which caused the hay belly and then eating, also having access to really nice grass that is very digestible. Putting a grazing muzzle on would just prolong your hay belly. So grazing muzzles I would use when we're trying to limit intake.


Katy Starr (24:26):

Okay. Excellent. We always talk about how important prevention is in the long run. It's so much better for the health of your animal. It's so much better for your pocketbook. If we have a horse that is good, we haven't really had issues with hay belly, what kinds of things can we keep in mind to make sure that we prevent our horse from getting a hay belly in the future? What would you recommend?


Dr. Tania Cubitt (24:49):

Good quality forages that are digestible, exercise so that we're maintaining that top line, potentially if a lower nutritional value forage is all that you have available, adding in a digestive health supplement that can help with digestibility. And when I say that, supplements that have things like saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is a yeast, have been shown in research to actually help break down fiber. So just help those bugs in the hindgut breakdown that fiber.


Katy Starr (25:18):

Excellent. And then, and maybe this answer is going to be similar just because of the, what the topic is, but if we have a horse that currently has a pretty good hay belly, and maybe this might depend also on the life stage of the horse on what your recommendations are, but what should we do to try to get rid of that hay belly if they currently have one?


Dr. Tania Cubitt (25:40):

If it's a young growing horse and we've determined that they don't have any parasites and it's just kind of a growing stage and they're in good condition and they're just growing in the back 40, I'm less concerned. If it's a horse that we want to be a performance horse and he's got no top line, he's got this distended hindgut and maybe we're trying to build up his overall body weight and condition. Then certainly I would start adding in some alfalfa, maybe start adding in some better quality, more digestible forages to slowly get that to go away along with our exercise.


Katy Starr (26:18):

Right, okay, and so when you're talking about kind of that diet then like let's say this horse just kind of has free choice hay, that is not necessarily high nutrient dense or anything like that and we are looking to add in a little bit higher quality there. How would you suggest that we make that shift? Could you kind of give us an example of a horse and kind of what you would add in? How quickly would you add it in? Things like that.


Dr. Tania Cubitt (26:50):

Well, making any dietary change, you know, we want to do that slowly. It takes a full 21 days for those bugs in the hindgut to adjust to new types of food and that includes different types of fibers that you're putting in the diet. So, that 10 to 14 day window is a good one. So I would slowly, let's say we're going to use some alfalfa pellets or some chopped alfalfa. I would just start slowing slowly adding that maybe half a pound the first day, two pounds a second, you know, slowly do it over that 10 to 14 day window. Probably get away with closer to the 10 day window. Cause we're not adding a completely different type of food. Like we're not adding grain at this point, we're just changing the fiber but just slow and steady.


Katy Starr (27:38):

If they didn't tend to be an easy keeper, would you still be feeding them that free choice hay as you're adding this in or would it be replacing some of that hay?


Dr. Tania Cubitt (27:48):

A hard keeper, I'm going to have hay available to them all the time. They are going to preferentially want to eat a fiber that's more nutrient dense. So when ADF and NDF go up, digestibility goes down but so does palatability. So horses don't really want to eat it that readily. But if you add something that's got lower, more digestibility, more palatability, they will preferentially choose that. So I would always have that hay available but then add in more of that better quality forage. Especially with a harder keeper. With an easier keeper, it becomes a little challenging with an easier keeper. We don't necessarily want a lot of the added nutrition from a more digestible hay. We're maintaining our body weight well, but we'd like to get rid of that hay belly. That's where I'd probably use a digestive health supplement and some exercise and maybe just swap out a couple of pounds of that poorer nutritional value hay with something a little higher quality but probably not go to something like an alfalfa, maybe stick with a timothy pellet for example. Not going to give me a lot of extra protein and calories, but I know that it is more digestible.


Katy Starr (29:04):

More digestible. Right. Key there. And then someone had actually mentioned, I saw that they had an off the track thoroughbred gelding who was on an all alfalfa diet. They said it used to be grass and alfalfa with a trace supplement and a topline grain, up to date on worming. The horse owner mentioned that his belly tends to get bigger in the fall and winter and more normal in the spring and summer and he's worked regularly. And I don't know if that working means more often, obviously when the weather's nice and maybe not as much in the winter. But what are your thoughts on this situation with the information that's been provided?


Dr. Tania Cubitt (29:43):

In the fall and winter, he's eating more hay than he is in the spring and summer. In the spring and summer he's probably has access to grass and then that's kind of diluting out some of that non-digestible fiber that you're getting from the hay. So I just think in the spring and summer his total overall diet is a little more digestible.


Katy Starr (30:05):

Right. So then just given the question previous to that, what we were just talking about, in the fall and winter, then they could just look at maybe as long as of course it's not like an easy keeper, looking at maybe improving the hay to where it would be a more digestible hay. Excellent. Okay. This was a really informative talk. What would you say are your key takeaways that you would like to leave our listeners with on the topic of hay belly.


Dr. Tania Cubitt (30:35):

What we discussed at the very beginning about taking a step back, evaluating all of the different pieces that might be contributing to the distended hindgut, parasites, dental, we didn't talk about teeth, but we really should talk about teeth cause that would also decrease the horse's ability to break down and digest that fiber, a growth stage or life stage, exercise level, evaluate all of those things to work out what is actually going on in the horse and which areas we can correct before we start throwing mud at the wall. So to speak. So just, I would say take a step back, evaluate all the different parts of what's going on and make decisions from there.


Katy Starr (31:19):

Excellent. And if you work with your veterinarian, nutritionist, if you can, would probably help you out a lot as well with getting this all lined out. Excellent. Well, Dr. Cubitt, thank you so much for being on with me today and appreciate the discussion.


Dr. Tania Cubitt (31:35):

Not a problem.


Katy Starr (31:38):

Thanks for listening to The Beyond the Barn podcast by Standlee Forage. We'd love for you to share our podcast with your favorite people and subscribe on Apple, Spotify, or your favorite listening platform. Until next time, keep your cinch tight and don't forget to turn off the water.


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