The Gut Brain Axis

The Gut Brain Axis

The Biggest Secret in the Equine World 



The unknown factor of horse health that makes horses spooky, calmers useless and has the single biggest impact on overall health. We uncover the secret and give you actionable steps to boost your horse’s health. 


There is a little-known element to horse (and human) health which has a huge impact on behaviour, mood and gut function. 


As a loving horse owner, you know how important gut health is to overall horse health. You know all of the scary gut-related conditions that can befall your horse from gastric ulcers to fecal water syndrome and colic. 


The numbers are shocking.


We recently conducted a survey to find out how many horse owners know about this biological mechanism. 


We were shocked to learn that 89% of horse owners have no knowledge of this critically important key to horse health. And they have no idea how the two most common and challenging issues faced by horse owners are interconnected.


What makes the stat above so astonishing is that 95% of horse owners say that at some point their horses have had issues with the two body systems involved here - the gastrointestinal system and the nervous system. 


That’s nearly every single horse owner. 


If you have a horse with gut issues or nervous/ behavioural struggles - this is going to change your life (and your horse’s)!



What’s the Secret? 


So, what is this almost totally unknown piece of the horse health puzzle? It’s a biological mechanism known as the Gut-Brain Axis.


Now, it’s pretty technical but we’re going to demystify it  and try to keep things simple by breaking down the main things you absolutely need to know here. 


Scientists have identified a key relationship between the gut and the nervous system and that relationship is called the Gut-brain axis. 


What is the Gut-Brain axis?


Essentially, it is the bidirectional communication between the central nervous and the digestive system meaning it links behavioural functions of the brain with intestinal function of the gut. So, if your horse has a behavioural, spookiness or nervousness problem, you can be certain that they will have a gut problem too. And vice versa - remember, the connection between the two systems goes both ways. 


The other extremely important thing to know to have a good understanding of the gut-brain axis is this: The gut microbiome heavily influences the interactions between the two systems. 


What does this mean?


Just like us humans, horses have a unique and complex microbiome in their gut. A microbiome is a community of microorganisms that live in a particular environment. In the gut microbiome, the microbes are responsible for keeping the gut in good working order, getting the most nutrition possible out of the diet and maintaining health throughout the entire body. 


These microbes are extremely important and they’re also very, very sensitive. If the good microbes that keep the horse’s gut healthy die off and ‘bad microbes’ thrive, you will see all kinds of problems start to emerge. 


Take a ‘Gut First’ Approach


It can feel totally counterintuitive, but it’s important to take a gut-first approach, even if your horse is nervous, spooky, reactive and anxious. Perhaps your horse has recently started showing changes in their demeanour and behaviour. Of course, if you have concerns, its important to contact your vet. 


But, before you reach for a calmer, think about the gut first. It’s most likely that there is a microbiome imbalance or some other gut disturbance causing a reactivity/ behavioural issue through the gut-brain axis pathway. By focusing on the gut first, you’ll be able to reduce the reactivity and avoid buying a calmer that can’t be fully effective unless the gut is sound and which you may find you don’t need at all once the gut is restored to full health and function. 


You’re probably wondering how or why your horse’s microbiome could become unbalanced. We’ve uncovered all the biggest pain points for the microbiome in modern horse management here. 

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