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6 Key Takeaways from EquiSUMMIT™

Last month, over 700 horse owners, trainers, nutritionists, veterinarians and enthusiasts gathered with six industry experts for the 2022 EquiSUMMIT — a virtual, annual educational event to help discuss solutions for stress and gut health. Over the course of two days, attendees had the opportunity to interact with equine industry representatives in booths, converse in social hours and attend six presentations covering health issues such as Leaky Gut Syndrome, laminitis, Fecal Water Syndrome, heat stress and more. If you missed this premier equine event, don’t worry! The recorded presentations and resources are still available. You can sign in to access all materials here: attendequisummit.com.

Here's an overview of what you missed and can catch up on:

1. The Transformative Difference Between a Healthy Gut and a Leaky Gut, and How it Can Affect Your Horse’s Health

During this presentation, Dr. Anthony Blikslager, Professor of Equine Surgery and Gastroenterology at North Carolina State University, covers the crucial topic of Leaky Gut Syndrome. By laying out the basic anatomy and physiology of the equine intestinal system he shows how the gut can have a large impact on horse health. Throughout the presentation, he dives into defining Leaky Gut Syndrome, symptoms and responses of the illness, and offers some potential methods of prevention and treatment.

Tap into this presentation to learn:

  • What is Leaky Gut Syndrome + symptoms
  • Basic anatomy and physiology of the equine intestinal system
  • How the gut can have a large impact on horse health
  • Potential methods of prevention and treatment

2. The Impact of Heat Stress on Your Horse and the Steps you Should Take to Address it

This presentation with Dr. Michael Lindinger, President of the Nutraceutical Alliance, educates the audience about the unavoidable issue of heat stress in equine. Dr. Lindinger starts by defining heat stress and thermoregulation as it relates to horses. This presentation answers the questions: How easily can heat stress occur in your horse? What are the factors affecting body heat gain and heat loss? And what are some things you can do to help your horse thermoregulate?

Be sure to catch these main points:

  • Definition of heat stress + thermoregulation
  • Review of how and when heat stress occurs
  • Factors impacting body heat gain/loss
  • Mitigation tips

3. Gut-Brain Axis: How Your Horse’s Mood and Behavior May be Impacted by Nutrition

Led by Dr. Tania Cubitt, Equine Nutritionist at Performance Horse Nutrition, this presentation helps viewers gain a better understanding of the equine gut-brain axis. Dr. Cubitt provides a quick lesson on the science inside equine anatomy and nervous system followed by a deep dive into gut-brain axis supported by research findings and reports. Lastly, Dr. Cubitt lays out different ways to influence the gut-brain axis through nutrition and management strategies.

Tune into this presentation to dive deeper into:

  • Introduction to the gut-brain axis concept
  • Science behind the nervous systems and key equine anatomy
  • Gut-brain axis research to date
  • Recommended nutrition and management strategies

4. The Equine Microbiome: Exploring the “Second Brain” of the Horse

In this presentation from Dr. Jyme Nichols, Equine Nutritionist at Bluebonnet Feeds and Host of the Feed Room Chemist podcast dives into the “second brain” of the horse. Dr. Nichols shares her expertise in the equine microbiome by likening it to a thriving ecosystem. Throughout the presentation, you will learn about the “good” and the “bad” bugs in the equine microbiome, as well as the numerous factors impacting microbial balance. Dr. Nichols also offers some methods and practical management practices to maintain a healthy microbiome.

Catch the presentation to learn more about:

  • What is the microbiome
  • What lives in the microbiome – the “good” and “bad” bugs
  • Prebiotics, probiotics, postbiotics, and more
  • How to positively influence the microbiome

5. Dietary Fiber, Gastrointestinal Water Movement and Fecal Water Syndrome

Associate Professor of Equine Science at Penn State University, Dr. Burt Staniar, familiarizes participants with Fecal Water Syndrome and the theories surrounding this equine health concern during this session. The presentation focuses on some details regarding water movement into, out of and around the equine gastrointestinal tract. Dr. Staniar also discusses important details regarding dietary fiber that may help horse owners address concerns regarding excessive fecal water.

Join this presentation to learn about the following:

  • Water in the equine digestive system
  • Sources of water utilization and loss in equine
  • How diet can have an impact on water movement
  • Tips and tricks to avoid Fecal Water Syndrome and other water-related illness

6. Feeding the Laminitic Horse: The Importance of a Forage-First Diet

In this session, Dr. Stephen Duren, founder of Performance Horse Nutrition, dives deep into the science behind one of the most prevalent equine issues in the industry: laminitis. Participants watching this presentation learn how to define hoof anatomy and show exactly where and how laminitis impacts their horse. Dr. Duren also explains how to identify laminitis by looking for some common symptoms and behaviors followed by an overview of potential causes and triggers. This presentation also provides viewers some helpful tips about feeding programs based on the unique causes of laminitis. 

Tap into this presentation to cover these key points:

  • The anatomy and physiology of laminitis
  • Symptoms and potential causes of laminitis
  • Feeding tips and tricks to manage laminitis

Don’t miss this chance to equip yourself with knowledge to boost your horse’s health and well-being. Register and gain access here: attendequisummit.com.


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