Should Have Gone To Free Colic Report Dot Com

Dec 16, 2009 14 Comments by

Learn to recognize, treat, and prevent colic in your horse before it’s too late


In a lifetime of riding, and a little over a year of horse-owning, I finally had to deal with my first bout of colic. Fortunately Ace just had a very minor case of gas colic from which he recovered in a just a couple hours. It’s not always that simple, though. And no matter your experience, it’s always always scary.

It’s absolutely imperative that you learn to recognize the symptoms of possible stomach issues; left alone they could be a death sentence for your horse.

But lest we get too serious, watch this video before you read on. It will lighten the mood, make you laugh a bit, but also impress on you the seriousness of a colic episode:

Free Colic Report Commercial from Douglas Tollett on Vimeo.

What’s the Big Deal About Colic?

Colic is a generic term that refers to any kind of abdominal pain in horses. Horses have a very complex and sensitive digestive system; it can be easy to disrupt and difficult to fix. Anything from a little bit of gas to an impaction (aka blockage) or torsion (twist) falls under the category of colic.

Colic currently stands as the leading cause of death in horses. Still, many cases are mild and are resolved in a short period of time without medical intervention.

The horse’s digestive system has all kinds of great articles and resources on all things related to horse health. Here’s an excerpt from their facet sheet on the equine digestive system (pdf):

From stem to stern, the digestive system is essentially a muscular tube that propels food in the oral to anal direction, breaking down food particles and absorbing nutrients along the way. Horses are grazing animals and hindgut fermenters. As a result, the stomach is small and the large intestines are large.

Digestion begins in the oral cavity when the food is masticated (chewed) and mixed with enzyme-containing saliva. Once swallowed, the food is further, albeit briefly, broken down in the stomach by the action of stomach acid before being propelled into the small intestines. In the small intestine, the liver and pancreas secrete bile and digestive enzymes to further break down the food particles into their basic components: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. These compounds are absorbed from the small intestines along with vitamins and minerals.

The remaining ingesta—the fibrous or starchy components of forage—are passed into the large colon, where they are broken down by microbes (bacteria and protozoa). The resultant breakdown products (volatile fatty acids and lactic acid) are used by the horse, as well as nutrients such as B vitamins produced by the resident microbes.

It’s a sensitive system, and it sure doesn’t take much to disrupt it.

Symptoms Of Colic

As long as you know what behaviors signify a colic episode, a call to your vet will handle the rest. The best thing you can do for your horse is pay attention. Know what his normal behaviors and personality traits are. If you know your horse well, you may sense his discomfort from the look on his face – rather than waiting for signs of even more serious discomfort.

Here are some common symptoms that your horse is experiencing mild abdominal pain:

  • biting at his sides
  • laying down for longer than normal
  • continual shifting of weight on the hind limbs
  • pawing
  • decreased appetite or not eating at all

Signs of moderate pain are:

  • persistent movement (even in the stall)
  • frequently pawing at the ground with a forelimb
  • repetitively lying down and then getting back up
  • rolling after lying down
  • grunting
  • kicking at the belly
  • frequently turning the head to the flank

Clinical manifestations of severe abdominal pain may include the following signs or behaviors:

  • profuse sweating
  • continuous rolling
  • persistent movement
  • getting up and down violently

It’s also important to know if he’s pooped since his symptoms began. Poop is one of the best indicators of a gut that’s functioning!

Stick your ear on his barrel regularly and get to use what his normal stomach gurgles sound like (horse’s stomachs always make noise when they’re healthy). That way, you know if his stomach sounds are increased or decreased when you think he’s in pain.

Here’s a great checklist for colic symptoms from Equisearch that you can download and hang in your barn.

What To Do If Your Horse Shows Signs of Colic

If you have the slightest concern that your horse may have stomach pain, call the vet! He or she will ask what signs your horse is showing, and will help you determine the best course of action.

If your horse is lying down and/or rolling, it’s absolutely imperative that you get him to his feet before you do anything else. Violent rolling in a colic episode can causes often-fatal twists in the gut. Even if it’s a mild or moderate pain, it’s a good idea to get him to an arena or walkway where you can keep him moving. Any further treatment will come at the recommendation of your vet. Remove any untouched feed from his stall; if he would have a blockage additional food will only make it worse.

And remember, wanting to eat, drink, and poop are the best signs that he is recovering.

Preventing Colic

There are a few simple rules to follow to help prevent your horse from colicking.

  • feed only good quality grains and hay that are meant for horses
  • make any changes in feed gradually over 7-10 days
  • make sure he has plenty of water and is drinking enough – particularly important in winter when hay intake increases and water freezes (heated water buckets and heaters for your tanks are your friends!)
  • feed mostly grass and hay; don’t overdo it on the grain
  • feed in multiple small meals spaced throughout the day
  • set a feeding routine and stick to it
  • keep him moving! regular turnout and exercise are essential to gut health as well as overall condition
  • don’t feed in sandy areas, and keep feed off the ground when possible

Additional Resources

This really just skims the surface of good information available on the horse’s digestive system and colic. My two favorite trusted resources are Equisearch and Here are a few of their articles that will give you more details:

Minimizing Winter Colic
Preventing Colic In Horses
10 Tips For Preventing Colic
What’s Your Horse’s Colic Risk?
32 Do’s and Don’ts for Dealing With Colic

Featured, Horse Care, Horse Ownership

14 Responses to “Should Have Gone To Free Colic Report Dot Com”

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  3. says:

    Don t let your horse eat from the floor.
    Little trash let become in colics.
    Best regards

  4. enlightenedhorsemanship says:

    Another alternative while you are waiting for the vet to arrive is Tellington TTouch ear work. It can virtually eliminate shock, which can kill before the colic does.
    I have a few posts on the subject over at enlightened horsemanship.
    Great topic–and that video is great!

  5. Horse Health Signs | My Blog says:

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  6. Rosaura Daris says:

    I am absolutely fascinated with this site. It is very useful and much better than the general stuff that everyone talks about. I would appreciate to see more from you. Thank you very much you have been a great help.

  7. Billie says:

    there is a new product out there that helps stop colic in horses. Equine Colic Relief (USA). An all natural ingredient product that is a great first defense to stop the colic that is in progress. As soon as you think or know your horse has colic, administer Equine Colic Relief, and if your vet gets there an hour later, your horse is probably going to be over their bout of colic. I have seen it work numerous times. IN FACT, my neighbor just came and got a bottle her horse has colic right now and I know he will be okay. check it out

  8. Pamelia says:

    has anybody over heard of a latest mac cosmetics released?

  9. Umzug Berlin says:

    Hello there, I discovered your blog by means of Google whilst searching for a related matter, your website came up, it looks good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  10. Reba says:

    Equine Colic Relief – will treat a bout of impaction colic within 30 minutes. There is no need for surgery with this new Revolutionary product. We have used ECR over the last 2 years. with our 20 horse stable. I have seen it work every time on our cases. Some horese would be even down on the ground. Of course it will not work if the horse has eaten a foreign object, or had twisted, or ulcer. But, 95% of the cases will be normal like gas, spasmoidics, light sand, and heavy food impactions. It has even helped 2 of the horses with chronic diarreha. I cannot say enough about the product. Go visit their website at

  11. Sheila says:

    I have a horse that has colicked every winter for the last 15 years. Really bad impaction winter before last. Vet told me to give him electrolytes night and day during the winter to make him drink more water and we wet down his food (real sloppy) and wet his hay so that everything he eats is wet. We changed him from grass hay (to fine of blade of hay for him to digest) to alfalfa/orchard mix (can be any wide, long blade of hay) and he has gone through a year and a half without colicking. He just did not drink enough water through the winter. This way he gets plenty of water plus the electrolytes make him drink more water. 2 scoops morning and night when its cold. Just wet hay and food during warmer months. This has worked great for him.

  12. hi says:

    hi all

  13. Amelia says:

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  14. Nicole Edwards says:

    Sometimes I have horses are given a net mask on their mouth to avoid any foreign object ingestion. Initially they can object to this but once seasoned it is not harmful but can save a lot of harm. I have seen lot many farmers do this on their horses and cows.

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