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Taylor Moss: Balanced nutrition program critical to horse performance

Photo by Gayle SmithTaylor Moss shows how to feel over the back of the horse for fat when body condition scoring.

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Equine owners need to have a basic understanding of nutrition in order to design a desirable feeding program for their horses. This was the focus of a presentation by Purina Feeds nutritionist Taylor Moss during the Big Wyoming Horse Expo in Douglas, WY.

“Horses are non-ruminant herbivores, and can’t be fed like a ruminant animal,” she explained. The horse has an esophagus, which is a muscular tube extending from the mouth into the stomach. “It is a one-way trip,” she said.

The stomach of a horse is much smaller than the rumen in cattle, she continued. The stomach can only hold 2 to 4 gallons of feedstuffs. “The stomach makes up about 10 percent of the total capacity of the digestive tract. The rate of passage is less than two hours.”

Once digested food leaves the stomach, it travels to the small intestine, which in horses is about 60-70 feet in length. “It can hold about 12 gallons at a time, and it takes between 45 minutes to eight hours to process,” she said. The small intestine is the major site of nutrient absorption.

Moss shared some familiar terms with the group and what they mean. When people mention “foregut,” it refers to the stomach and small intestine, she said. The “hindgut” is the large intestine and the cecum. The cecum is considered a large fermentation vat with billions of bacteria and protozoa. “The cecum is located at the junction of the small and large intestine and is capable of holding 18.5 gallons at a time. It breaks down fiber, cellulose and the remainder of soluble CHO’s not broken down in the stomach or small intestine.”

Equine owners need to have a basic understanding of nutrition in order to design a desirable feeding program for their horses. This was the focus of a presentation by Purina Feeds nutritionist Taylor Moss during the Big Wyoming Horse Expo in Douglas, WY.

“Horses are non-ruminant herbivores, and can’t be fed like a ruminant animal,” she explained. The horse has an esophagus, which is a muscular tube extending from the mouth into the stomach. “It is a one-way trip,” she said.

The stomach of a horse is much smaller than the rumen in cattle, she continued. The stomach can only hold 2 to 4 gallons of feedstuffs. “The stomach makes up about 10 percent of the total capacity of the digestive tract. The rate of passage is less than two hours.”

Once digested food leaves the stomach, it travels to the small intestine, which in horses is about 60-70 feet in length. “It can hold about 12 gallons at a time, and it takes between 45 minutes to eight hours to process,” she said. The small intestine is the major site of nutrient absorption.

Moss shared some familiar terms with the group and what they mean. When people mention “foregut,” it refers to the stomach and small intestine, she said. The “hindgut” is the large intestine and the cecum. The cecum is considered a large fermentation vat with billions of bacteria and protozoa. “The cecum is located at the junction of the small and large intestine and is capable of holding 18.5 gallons at a time. It breaks down fiber, cellulose and the remainder of soluble CHO’s not broken down in the stomach or small intestine.”

Equine owners need to have a basic understanding of nutrition in order to design a desirable feeding program for their horses. This was the focus of a presentation by Purina Feeds nutritionist Taylor Moss during the Big Wyoming Horse Expo in Douglas, WY.

“Horses are non-ruminant herbivores, and can’t be fed like a ruminant animal,” she explained. The horse has an esophagus, which is a muscular tube extending from the mouth into the stomach. “It is a one-way trip,” she said.

The stomach of a horse is much smaller than the rumen in cattle, she continued. The stomach can only hold 2 to 4 gallons of feedstuffs. “The stomach makes up about 10 percent of the total capacity of the digestive tract. The rate of passage is less than two hours.”

Once digested food leaves the stomach, it travels to the small intestine, which in horses is about 60-70 feet in length. “It can hold about 12 gallons at a time, and it takes between 45 minutes to eight hours to process,” she said. The small intestine is the major site of nutrient absorption.

Moss shared some familiar terms with the group and what they mean. When people mention “foregut,” it refers to the stomach and small intestine, she said. The “hindgut” is the large intestine and the cecum. The cecum is considered a large fermentation vat with billions of bacteria and protozoa. “The cecum is located at the junction of the small and large intestine and is capable of holding 18.5 gallons at a time. It breaks down fiber, cellulose and the remainder of soluble CHO’s not broken down in the stomach or small intestine.”

Equine owners need to have a basic understanding of nutrition in order to design a desirable feeding program for their horses. This was the focus of a presentation by Purina Feeds nutritionist Taylor Moss during the Big Wyoming Horse Expo in Douglas, WY.

“Horses are non-ruminant herbivores, and can’t be fed like a ruminant animal,” she explained. The horse has an esophagus, which is a muscular tube extending from the mouth into the stomach. “It is a one-way trip,” she said.

The stomach of a horse is much smaller than the rumen in cattle, she continued. The stomach can only hold 2 to 4 gallons of feedstuffs. “The stomach makes up about 10 percent of the total capacity of the digestive tract. The rate of passage is less than two hours.”

Once digested food leaves the stomach, it travels to the small intestine, which in horses is about 60-70 feet in length. “It can hold about 12 gallons at a time, and it takes between 45 minutes to eight hours to process,” she said. The small intestine is the major site of nutrient absorption.

Moss shared some familiar terms with the group and what they mean. When people mention “foregut,” it refers to the stomach and small intestine, she said. The “hindgut” is the large intestine and the cecum. The cecum is considered a large fermentation vat with billions of bacteria and protozoa. “The cecum is located at the junction of the small and large intestine and is capable of holding 18.5 gallons at a time. It breaks down fiber, cellulose and the remainder of soluble CHO’s not broken down in the stomach or small intestine.”

Equine owners need to have a basic understanding of nutrition in order to design a desirable feeding program for their horses. This was the focus of a presentation by Purina Feeds nutritionist Taylor Moss during the Big Wyoming Horse Expo in Douglas, WY.

“Horses are non-ruminant herbivores, and can’t be fed like a ruminant animal,” she explained. The horse has an esophagus, which is a muscular tube extending from the mouth into the stomach. “It is a one-way trip,” she said.

The stomach of a horse is much smaller than the rumen in cattle, she continued. The stomach can only hold 2 to 4 gallons of feedstuffs. “The stomach makes up about 10 percent of the total capacity of the digestive tract. The rate of passage is less than two hours.”

Once digested food leaves the stomach, it travels to the small intestine, which in horses is about 60-70 feet in length. “It can hold about 12 gallons at a time, and it takes between 45 minutes to eight hours to process,” she said. The small intestine is the major site of nutrient absorption.

Moss shared some familiar terms with the group and what they mean. When people mention “foregut,” it refers to the stomach and small intestine, she said. The “hindgut” is the large intestine and the cecum. The cecum is considered a large fermentation vat with billions of bacteria and protozoa. “The cecum is located at the junction of the small and large intestine and is capable of holding 18.5 gallons at a time. It breaks down fiber, cellulose and the remainder of soluble CHO’s not broken down in the stomach or small intestine.”

Equine owners need to have a basic understanding of nutrition in order to design a desirable feeding program for their horses. This was the focus of a presentation by Purina Feeds nutritionist Taylor Moss during the Big Wyoming Horse Expo in Douglas, WY.

“Horses are non-ruminant herbivores, and can’t be fed like a ruminant animal,” she explained. The horse has an esophagus, which is a muscular tube extending from the mouth into the stomach. “It is a one-way trip,” she said.

The stomach of a horse is much smaller than the rumen in cattle, she continued. The stomach can only hold 2 to 4 gallons of feedstuffs. “The stomach makes up about 10 percent of the total capacity of the digestive tract. The rate of passage is less than two hours.”

Once digested food leaves the stomach, it travels to the small intestine, which in horses is about 60-70 feet in length. “It can hold about 12 gallons at a time, and it takes between 45 minutes to eight hours to process,” she said. The small intestine is the major site of nutrient absorption.

Moss shared some familiar terms with the group and what they mean. When people mention “foregut,” it refers to the stomach and small intestine, she said. The “hindgut” is the large intestine and the cecum. The cecum is considered a large fermentation vat with billions of bacteria and protozoa. “The cecum is located at the junction of the small and large intestine and is capable of holding 18.5 gallons at a time. It breaks down fiber, cellulose and the remainder of soluble CHO’s not broken down in the stomach or small intestine.”


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