The Experiment

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.

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This is a 650 gram bag that should do one month for a 500kg horse
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What it looks like – not much in the bag!

 

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!

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