Best Probiotics for Horses

With much digestive support and probiotic supplements, probiotic utilization in horses and other animals is rising. Probiotics are increasingly being included in specific commercial feed formulations. Even if your horse does not have digestive difficulties, learn about the best probiotics for horses to add to their regular diet.

Quick Comparision

Image Product
Probios® Dispersable Powder 5lb Best Overall: Probios® Dispersable Powder 5lb
Editor's Rating: 9.8 Brand: Probios Check Price
ProbioBlend Probiotics for Horses The Runner-up: ProbioBlend Probiotics for Horses
Editor's Rating: 9.7 Brand: Probioblend Check Price
Silver Lining Herbs Probiotic Powder for Horses Best Value: Silver Lining Herbs Probiotic Powder for Horses
Editor's Rating: 9.4 Brand: Silver Lining Herbs Check Price
UltraCruz Livestock Probiotic Supplement Best High-Quality: UltraCruz Livestock Probiotic Supplement
Editor's Rating: 9.3 Brand: UltraCruz Check Price
Probios Equine Oral Gel Best Design: Probios Equine Oral Gel
Editor's Rating: 9.1 Brand: Probios Check Price
Equa Holistics LLC HealthyGut Maintenance Probiotics for Horses Best Budget: Equa Holistics LLC HealthyGut Maintenance Probiotics for Horses
Editor's Rating: 8.9 Brand: Equa Holistics Check Price
Manna Pro Opti-Zyme Best Supplement: Manna Pro Opti-Zyme
Editor's Rating: 8.6 Brand: Manna Pro Check Price

Top 7 best probiotics for horses

Probios is the market leader in probiotic assistance for horses. We prefer this recipe since it may be used on various animals, including horses and cattle, and domestic pets like sheep or goats.

This formula will need to be mixed with feed or sprinkled on top of meals. Probios also produces pellet and crumble formulations. Each meal contains at least 1 million CFU. Probios complies with stringent food and supplement safety regulations and has earned SQF Level 3 accreditation.

What we like
  • Picky eaters will like the powder.
  • Reasonable cost
  • Dosage for several species
What we dislike
  • Food must be provided.
ProbioBlend Probiotics for Horses

The Runner-up: ProbioBlend Probiotics for Horses

Editor's Rating: 9.7 Brand: Probioblend Check Price ❯
ProbioBlend, from the inventors of MareMagic, boosts fiber absorption and maintains appropriate gut balances by utilizing digestive enzymes and live yeast cultures. The modest 2.5-pound package has enough for 188 days.

It makes it an excellent choice if you don't have enough storage space for supplements in a boarding situation or if your horse is fussy about accessories in their meal. Because the microencapsulated probiotic is so concentrated, a little goes a long way. It is a highly recommended probiotic for picky eaters.

What we like
  • It is affordable
  • Small portion size
  • Digesting enzymes have been added
  • Probiotics in capsules
What we dislike
  • Food must be provided.
  • There is no mention of a minimum live culture count.
Silver Lining Herbs Probiotic Powder for Horses

Best Value: Silver Lining Herbs Probiotic Powder for Horses

Editor's Rating: 9.4 Brand: Silver Lining Herbs Check Price ❯
Silver Lining Herbs produces high-quality horse health products, including their specialized probiotic mix. They employ microencapsulated probiotics that can withstand stomach acid for optimum impact in a horse's hindgut.

It also contains six digestive enzymes that aid in the breakdown of fats and proteins. Silver Lining Herbs proudly displays the NASC Quality Seal, indicating that its facilities and products have been thoroughly inspected.

What we like
  • Product of high grade
  • Enzymes for digestion
  • Probiotics in capsules
What we dislike
  • More costly
  • There is no mention of a minimum live culture count.
This formula contains over 200 million probiotic and prebiotic CFUs! With a robust plastic top, the tub is perfect for barn or feed room storage. The 5-pound tub is reasonably priced and supplies a 150-day supply. The recipe can be used on any type of cattle. The absence of flavor is advantageous with the more significant portion size to be delivered with or over a meal.

What we like
  • Reasonably priced
  • CFU count is high.
  • Excellent for feed room storage.
What we dislike
  • Larger portion sizes
Probios Equine Oral Gel

Best Design: Probios Equine Oral Gel

Editor's Rating: 9.1 Brand: Probios Check Price ❯
Once again, this is one of the most well-known and trustworthy probiotic supplements on the market. This gel, unlike the regular supplements used as a feed dressing, is taken orally. It is a live macrobiotic gel that is delivered via a syringe. It is suitable for administering to newborn foals during transport or at delivery. Many veterinarians will prescribe this product as a must-have "on-hand" barn item.

What we like
  • The administration was scrutinized.
  • Travel-friendly
  • Simple to store
What we dislike
  • It is expensive
  • Not suitable for daily use
This probiotic contains 20 species, 4 grams of prebiotic inulin, and 23 billion CFU per serving. It is significantly more than the industry norm of 100 million CFU per serving. a Healthy gut is produced in the United States and comes with a money-back guarantee. It is available in 30-day and 90-day supplies, costing horse owners less than $1 per day.

What we like
  • CFU count is high.
  • Reasonably priced
  • Several strains
  • There are no sugars.
What we dislike
  • Only a powder formula
Manna Pro Opti-Zyme

Best Supplement: Manna Pro Opti-Zyme

Editor's Rating: 8.6 Brand: Manna Pro Check Price ❯
For optimal gut health, Opti-Zyme contains probiotics, live yeast, and enzymes. It is a no-fuss, low-cost digestive support solution for owners who wish to integrate a daily probiotic but are not essential in addressing any illnesses. The formula is likewise powder-based and must be administered with meals.

What we like
  • Low-Cost
  • Enzyme Supplements
What we dislike
  • There is no mention of a minimum number of living cultures.

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are microorganisms that are alive, such as bacteria and yeast. Horses, like humans, contain both “good” and “bad” microorganisms in their systems. Gut health and a properly functioning digestive system benefit from a correct mix of beneficial bacteria. Humans may obtain probiotics through certain foods and beverages, such as yogurt and kombucha. Horses, on the other hand, do not generally consume a natural source regularly.

The majority of probiotic bacteria are Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium. Lactobacillus is the most frequent strain identified in fermented foods. Bifidobacterium is commonly found in a variety of dairy products. Saccharomyces boulardii is a yeast found in probiotics that is particularly beneficial for digestive issues and diarrhea. 

The administration of probiotics affects the nerves that govern gastrointestinal motility. Probiotics and prebiotics are both found in many supplements. Prebiotics can alter the makeup of organisms present in the horse’s gut microbiome. It is a one-of-a-kind plant fiber that serves as a food source for beneficial microorganisms.

Purpose of Horse Probiotics

Probiotics have a variety of applications in horses. On the other hand, Probiotic supplements are still being studied for their efficacy for hindgut composition. The primary reason horse owners take probiotics is for this reason. Horses employ hindgut fermentation, in which they use their “good” bacteria to digest the majority of their meal in the hindgut. The majority of a horse’s energy source (up to 70%) comes from Volatile Fatty Acids. These are generated in the cecum during the forage digestion process for colon absorption.

When there are changes in their life, horses might benefit from probiotics. It might be due to a change in diet or eating patterns, high-stress levels, travel, or anything else that may upset the hindgut’s equilibrium. Horses’ digestive systems function well as grazers when they have access to fodder 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Disruption is probable if a horse is deprived of hay or grass, rapidly altering the diet, and high starch concentration foods reach the hindgut. Probiotics would be pretty beneficial in these circumstances.

Some owners use probiotic and prebiotic supplements (typically accompanied by stomach ulcers). Maintaining a neutral pH balance can help to reduce the incidence of ulcers.

Use of Probiotics

The majority of probiotic supplements are sold as feed additives. Some are available in powder, pellet, or crumble form. Probios Treats have also grown in popularity. Administration schedules will vary based on your significant demands. Probiotics generally begin before a stressful occasion (such as a competition or travel) if you utilize them for digestive assistance. 

Supplements will be taken regularly by owners dealing with chronic digestive difficulties or attempting to control the development of ulcers. Antibiotics and chemical deworming can also disrupt a horse’s natural equilibrium, so owners may choose to supplement with probiotics following these treatments.

Ongoing research

Unfortunately, scientists’ understanding of probiotic usage in horses remains quite restricted. The main reason for this is a lack of funding for microbiome research. Other trials with healthy horses have not provided any remarkable or notable results before this issue. On the other hand, probiotics will have the same fundamental advantages in horses as they do in other animals. Probiotics assist in keeping harmful microorganisms at bay in the digestive system.

They are also responsible for the production of antimicrobial factors. The usage of probiotics and prebiotics can also boost the immune system and aid in delivering essential nutrients. Probiotics are occasionally advised for chronic skin dermatitis or in acne treatment because they can activate anti-inflammatory mechanisms.

How to select the best probiotics for horses

Probiotics for horses are popular equestrian supplements. They are frequently found in commercial feeds, multivitamin and mineral formulations, and digestive supplements for horses.

Each horse has its microbiome that is influenced by genetics, nutrition, and stress. Knowing which probiotic to take and when to use it assists in addressing your horse’s specific needs, resulting in a healthier and happier horse.

All probiotics for horses are not alike

Yeast probiotics for horses are most effective in the hindgut, where they aid in the fermentation of cellulose from hay and feed.

Most milk-derived probiotics for horses — Lactobacillus, Enterococcus, and Bifidus — operate primarily in the small intestine, with a few strains also working in the respiratory tract. The stomach also contains many Lactobacillus strains.

Bacillus strains, which are prevalent in healthy soils, are soil-based probiotics. When horses eat grass and roll in the dirt, they are exposed to these helpful bacteria. Bacillus strains are resistant to stomach acid and can pass through to the small intestine and colon.

How to evaluate probiotic potency

Because the gastrointestinal system contains tens of trillions of bacteria, the quantity of CFUs in a probiotic supplement is critical.

A label stating “100 million CFUs” seems excellent, but it will not be enough to act therapeutically compared to the trillions in the gut.

A live probiotic that can colonize should provide at least 100 billion CFUs. That is a bare minimum; other studies argue that 400 billion CFUs are required in circumstances when acute probiotic assistance is needed. Bottom line: Horse probiotics should include at least 100 billion CFUs each serving.

Many probiotic supplements never get past the stomach

The acids in a horse’s stomach can corrode metal, so picture what stomach acids can do to probiotic strains administered orally.

When selecting probiotics for horses, seek strains with an enteric coating or those that have been microencapsulated. It means they are shielded from stomach acids and safely pass through the stomach to operate in the small intestine and hindgut. Bacillus strains are among the few that do not require microencapsulation.

Probiotics from an Eastern medicine perspective

All foods and plants are categorized into three groups in Ayurvedic medicine: warming, cooling, and neutral.

For example, milk is a cooling food. It indicates that probiotic milk strains (Lactobacillus, Bifidus, and Enterococcus) chill the digestive system. Cooling probiotics are required if your horse has stomach or hindgut ulcers, which cause heat in the GI system.

Yeast is a comforting meal – probiotic yeasts aid in increasing digestive fire. Horses who need to gain weight, are older and may not be using all of the grain and forage you provide, or have hard stools can benefit from a warming probiotic, such as yeast.

Bacillus strains are soil-based bacteria that are neutral. The GI tract will neither be cooled nor warmed by these strains. It is essential to preserve equilibrium.

Four essential prebiotics for your horse

Prebiotics provide nourishment for the microorganisms in the intestine. They supplement the current microbial colonies for general gut health.

In horse supplements and feed, prebiotics includes inulin, fructooligosaccharides (FOS), beta-glucans, and mannan-oligosaccharides (MOS).

Prebiotics such as FOS and inulin

FOS and inulin can feed both friendly microorganisms and not-so-friendly opportunistic and pathogenic bacteria like Candida and Salmonella in the gut.

If the GI tract already has an imbalance favoring opportunistic microorganisms, FOS, in particular, can assist these organisms in flourishing.

Prebiotic beta-glucans

Beta-glucans from barley, oats, yeast, and mushrooms can reach the hindgut, which is fermented and provides beneficial bacteria for the colon.

Beta-glucans are also helpful because they help to improve nutrient absorption by slowing the transit time of carbohydrates.

MOS prebiotics

Mannan oligosaccharides (MOS) are particularly beneficial for horses suffering from hindgut ulcers.

A shift in pH causes ulcers in the hindgut. It is frequently caused by carbohydrates that are not fully digested in the small intestine and end up in the hindgut. Because hindgut bacteria do not digest carbohydrates, they die off, allowing dangerous bacteria to proliferate.

MOS aids in the regulation of the pH of the hindgut, preventing harmful bacteria from flourishing there. MOS prebiotics can also bind to harmful bacteria and aid in their elimination from the body.

How to determine the right probiotics for your horse

You should look for a COOLING probiotic if

  • Your horse has received antibiotic treatment.
  • Your horse has ulcers in his stomach or hindgut.
  • Your horse is stressed, especially during the warmer months.
  • Your horse is suffering from diarrhea, using smectite or bentonite clay to absorb toxins in situations of long-term diarrhea.
  • Your horse has developed a fever.

You should look for a WARMING probiotic if

  • Your horse is malnourished.
  • Your horse is a problematic keeper.
  • Your horse is a senior who needs digestive assistance.
  • Your horse’s stools are firm and dry.
  • If your horse needs both a cooling and a warming probiotic, do not provide both at the same time. Try to separate the cooling from the heating by 6 to 8 hours.

You should look for a NEUTRAL probiotic if

  • Your horse suffers from IBS.
  • Your horse has had little exposure to new grass.
  • Your horse needs general probiotic assistance.

Conclusion

Even though research on equine probiotic usage is limited, veterinarians and horse owners will both agree on the recognized advantages of include probiotics in an animal’s diet. Many veterinarians will provide a probiotic paste to newborn foals as a routine treatment. Although studies have yet to validate the presumed advantages of probiotics in the hindgut fully, we know that probiotics have benefited numerous horses with digestive problems, ulcer formation, and other forms of inflammation. They’re also an excellent way to improve digestive efficiency in horses who aren’t ill.

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About Vivian Farrell

Vivian Farrell operated a gaited horse farm in Southwestern New York State. He published several equestrian-related books and DVDs on the topic of horses, and for 15 years enjoyed working with gaited horses and their riders. Vivian Farrell presented her training methods at horse expos and private clinics and worked with individuals and small groups from her farm. As a result of her experience with gaited horses, Vivian Farrell designed a unique line of tack that enhances the horse's comfort and improves communication between horse and rider.

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