Psyllium Husk is suitable to be fed to horses. Psyllium (Plantago) Husks are the thin outer coating on Psyllium Seeds and are rich in the soluble fibre called mucilage.
Large doses of Psyllium Husk form a gel in the intestines and can be used to help horses move sand out of their digestive tract. However, it only works when used for a few days at a time. If used for a more extended period, it becomes a prebiotic, and the intestinal organisms will adapt to its presence and begin to efficiently break it down.
A bonus is that wet Psyllium Husk gives a distinctly slippery/slimy coating to a meal, making it easy to swallow. For this reason, it can also be a beneficial feed ingredient for horses that suffer from Choke.
Horses kept in sandy areas are at high risk for sand colic, especially if they are grazing or fed from the ground.
Dirt ingestion can also cause issues, so horses grazing short pastures, in drought periods, for example, are also at high risk. Feeding the horses Psyllium Husk can be helpful.
Psyllium is the main ingredient in the human product Metamucil, commonly used for constipation. Humans have a much shorter digestive tract and colon than the horse, so when used by people, Psyllium can help move and unblock the bowels. Because we can't ferment fibre like the horse can, the mucilage swells and holds water, making the stool easier to pass.
According to Dr Eleanor Kellon, a nutraceutical specialist in the US, the fermentation of Psyllium Husk in the colon increases butyrate production. This is the primary source of energy for the intestinal lining cells.
As such, this can help heal inflammatory bowel disease or other lesions in the colon. Because of these effects, Psyllium Husk is often a valuable addition to the diet for horses with chronic diarrhoea.
How much Psyllium Husk you should feed your horse depends on why your feeding it. In addition, you must consider their body weight.
Feeding Horses Psyllium Husk For Sand Colic
If you feel your horse needs some help to remove sand from the intestines, then doses up to 450 g/day for the average 500 kg horse have been suggested.
Feeding Horses Psyllium Husk To Prevent Dirt Ingestion
As a preventative addition to your regular feed routine, we suggest a dose of between 100-250g/day, for five consecutive days per month, for the average 500 kg horse.
Adjust these doses according to body weight.
Feeding Horses Psyllium Husk As A Prebiotic
If you are feeding your horse Psyllium Husk for its prebiotic intestinal effects or to assist in lubricating meals, it's best provided daily at around 50 g/day for the average 500 kg horse.