Equine Athlete Digest-Rite Sport Formula is a nutritional supplement formulated for both sport and pleasure horses whose diets are based on pasture and some hard feed.
Digest-Rite provides a combination of scientifically proven pre-biotics, digestive enzymes, toxin binders and rice bran, all enhance digestion and at the same time help maintain a healthy digestive tract. It also helps prevent the absorption of harmful toxins and acids resulting from the digestion of some grasses and grains.
Horses are browsing animals with very selective grazing habits. Their digestive systems are well adapted to handling grass and forage based diets. The quality and quantity of pastures that horses have access to in New Zealand are generally quite different from those of a natural habitat.
Fresh or actively growing pasture is most often a problem. Horses often lack enzymes necessary to break down the soluble sugars (fructans) found in young grasses, they pass undigested into the large intestine (hindgut) where they undergo bacterial fermentation. Excess lactic acid is generated causing Hindgut Acidosis. This acid kills good bacteria, which as they die , give off a toxin that enters the bloodstream and causes Laminitis. Preventing that occurring by proving enzymes that assist the sugars to be digested more effectively before reaching the hindgut, assist the horse to avoid the possibility of those diet based issues.
Most sport and pleasure horses are kept in situations where the amount of available grass is not sufficient to meet dietary requirements. A mix of concentrates is usually fed to provide the necessary extra energy. Oats and barley are ideally suited because of their high starch content; most pre-mixed feeds contain one if not all of these grains, some even contain maize the most energy intensive grain. As they are not part of a natural diet, horses are limited in the amount of grain they are able to digest at one time. Like grass, if too much is fed at once, or if the passage through the small intestine is too rapid, an undigested amount passes through to the hindgut where it creates the same issues as poorly digested grass sugars.
These issues can also manifest in the horse’s behavior affecting both temperament and performance; over-excitability, seemly difficult to handle , also muscle type-up can be aresult. Feeding a product like Digest-Rite that will enhance digestion of grasses and grains has obvious advantages for sport and pleasure horses, especially those prone to these problems.
Ryegrass Staggers is another common grass related problem. It occurs when horses graze pastures containing certain types of perennial ryegrass. As the name suggests, affected horses develop a staggery gait, most noticeable at the walk. The symptoms are caused by the toxin Lolitrem b, released by a fungus called an endophyte, that is found in the grass stem and mature leaves during the late summer/early autumn. Horses become affected when they ingest these parts of the plant . Other grasses such as Paspalum and Kikuyu can also create toxin type problems.
Being able to feed a product that contains a toxin binding agent has obvious advantages for horses grazing problem pastures. The silicate oxides in Digest-Rite have a high capacity for binding harmful fungal and grass toxins . Once bound, the toxins cannot be absorbed and are passed out in the faeces.
Digest-Rite is more than just a simple digestive additive – (like those containing live yeast cultures). Digest-Rite contains pre-biotics (mannan oligosaccharides), digestive enzymes (α amylase and β glucanase), rice bran and binding silicated oxides.
It has a 4 way action:
Firstly by slowing the passage of food through the small intestine, allowing more time for the horse’s own digestive enzymes to work.
Secondly, by enhancing digestion through the inclusion of enzymes that break down sugar and starch.
The inclusion of the pre-biotics helps maintain a functional gut wall and ensures that nutrients are absorbed efficiently following digestion.
Finally the silicated oxides help prevent the absorption of potentially harmful toxins .
Digest-Rite should be fed to sport and pleasure horses receiving a grass and grain diet or those grazing pastures where conditions are likely to cause nutritional problems such as over-excitability, muscle tye-up, laminitis or are grazing on fresh pasture or containing endophyte rye grass , paspalum or kikuyu.
Digest-Rite contains no prohibited substances so can be safely fed before and during competition.
Daily Dose Rate:
20gm per Kg of hard feed (grains or pre-mixes) or 50gms per day for horses whose food intake is predominately forage (fibre) and pasture . Available in 2kg, 5kg and 20kg bags
The science references :
Equine x-Amyase : Richards,N:Choct,M;Hinch,GN;Rowe,JB
Feeding Non Starch Polysacchrides Choct,M.
Yeast Cell walls in animal nutrition; differentiation & specific properties of MOS &beta1, 6-glucans. Detlef Kampf, Marc Rovers, Felipe De Conti Horta
Effects of dietary Short-chain fructo-oligosaccharides on the intestinal microflora of horses subjected to a sudden change in diet. F. Respondek, A.G. Goachet, V. Julliand
Dietary fructans carbohydrate increases amine production in the equine large intestine : Implications for pasture-associated laminitis C. Crawford, M.F. Sepulveda, J. Elliott, P.A. Harris & S.R. Bailey.
Dietary supplementation with short-chain fructo-oligosaccharides improves insulin sensitivity in obese horses. F.Respondek, K.Myers, T.L. Smith, A. Wagner & R.J. Geor
Effects of feeding a blend of grains naturally contaminated with fusarium mycotoxins ….. the efficacy of a polymeric glucomannan mycotoxins absorbent. S.L. Raymond, T.K. Smith, & H.V. Swamy.
Read about carbohydrate digestion and sugars in grasses
Read about behavioural issues, causes and solutions
View our 'Laminitis from Dietary Intake' article here