Stress on the Showground: Quick Tips to Reduce Horse Show Stress
RELEASE: December 10, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Rachel Torbert
Every competitive horse owner knows that showtime is stressful. However, stress from training to trailering can affect horses, too.
Horses can continue feeling the stress even after stepping off the trailer. Situations such as increased stall time—especially at an unfamiliar facility—and limited turnout, along with training and competing, can often lead to Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGUS). In fact, 63% of nonracing competitive horses can suffer from EGUS.
EGUS can diminish the hard work spent preparing for an event with poor performance and even a change in attitude, meaning horses simply aren’t at the top of their game.
Even for a seasoned show horse, the competitive environment is a prime place to potentially develop painful stomach ulcers. Interrupted and infrequent meals, little turnout, frequent handling, bright lights, loud speakers, longer workouts and little downtime could cause ulcers to develop before the show is over. While it may not be possible to turn off speakers or regulate other horses in the barn, EGUS may be prevented with a few simple travel tips:
—While at the show, try not to change the normal feeding schedule and allow horses ample rest.
—Between extra practices, schedule regular downtime to allow horses to relax.
—If possible, turn off overhead lights at night.
—Additionally, turn off any radios left on at the stalls. A recent study found that a radio left on in the barn could be considered a cause of stress for horses.
Simple changes in the show routine can help reduce stress, but nothing can prevent it entirely. Even seasoned show horses can still fall victim to horse show stressors and EGUS. To help prevent EGUS and help keep horses at the top of their game, ask a veterinarian about ULCERGARD® (omeprazole).
ULCERGARD is the only product approved by the FDA for the prevention of EGUS and has been proven effective in preventing stomach ulcers with just one daily dose. The active ingredient of ULCERGARD inhibits acid production at the acid pump, while the patented formula ensures the omeprazole is stabilized to work effectively in the stomach.
After the long hours of practice and preparation, don’t let stomach ulcers take your horse out of the winner’s circle. Ask your veterinarian about ULCERGARD.