There’s so much heresay and she says and he says and yada yada about what is a good way to get rid of sand out of your horse’s belly. So I thought, why not run a good old experiment?
I will be testing two popular methods – the first is Sand Flush, a new product in WA that is pelleted psyllium husk with a few added bits to make it more appealing for the horse.
To make the experiment as fair as possible here are the controlled variables (The things that stay the same throughout the experiment)
- Amount of hay & type – the tester receives two biscuits of meadow hay (from the same supplier/batch) morning and night at roughly the same time.
- Exercise – the paddock is the same through out the experiment, and the exercise is also roughly the same (nothing strenuous)
- Time of administering – the tested product is offered in the morning every day, for the prescribed duration of 5 days
- Amount of administering – the recommended 2 scoops for a 500kg horse
But with the test subject being a horse, I cannot really control the following
- Grazing – I cannot control the amount of grass taken in daily, but it will be a very small amount as it’s a small kikuyu paddock that is overgrazed.
- Sand intake – As it is on a shonky little pasture, I cannot control the amount of sand taken in with daily grazing or with feeding (but I do sweep the rubber mats pre-feeding)
So how am I monitoring the results?
- Stethoscope – every morning, I listen to the stomach and report on volume of sand movement (how loud the ocean waves are) and how far back they go. Note: I am no vet, vet nurse, or even student – so this is not exactly correct, it’s just me having a go
- Faecal Test – In the afternoon, I don my plastic glove and go in search of a pile of manure on the grass (not near sand), and pick a lovely nugget (oh the joys) from the innard of said poo pile. I fill up the glove with water to the same level, give it a shake, and let it sit. The sand settles to the fingers of the glove.
As we go through the days, I will monitor different aspects of the horse to let you know!