Loose Manure When Trailering

Hello All,

I’m looking for some suggestions. My gelding has loose manure only when trailering. Consistency becomes cow-patty plops in the trailer and while off property. As soon as we return home, consistency and frequency go right back to normal and remain normal.

He gets GutX 2x per day as a preventative to ulcers. I also usually give him a preventative dose of Ulcergard the day before, the day of, and the day after trailering. My trainer suggested that the cow-patty plops are more indicative of hind-gut issues, and the preventative dose of Ulcergard may be doing more harm then good.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to anything else I could do to help support his GI tract, specific to trailering?

This sounds like the all-too-common trailer anxiety/excitement poops. I would not worry about it if he is otherwise fine. Since it seems to be about trailering, not general GI upset, the fix is mental - I would do more positive trailer desensitizing - make sure he is 150% comfortable loading, standing, trailering, unloading, etc. But this is otherwise very common.

If he had cow-patty manure all the time, then yes, I would think some kind of GI upset you should look into. But since it is so clearly about trailering, I would imagine its just nerves.

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Horses and people too have a standard peristaltic motion that keeps things moving along thru the digestive system.
When the autonomic system that regulates so much, including that process, is ramped up as the horse becomes agitated, stressed or just excited, peristaltic motion also increases.

As things move on faster, there is less time to exchange fluids and for that matter in the digestive system to become drier and firmer, it rushes thru loose.

As mentioned, training the horse’s system not to become excited would help give more time for the process to firm up things.

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And put a lot of absorbent shavings in the trailer where he goes so he doesn’t step in the cow pile and slip. That has happened to a friend’s horse.

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Oh I do. I have also seen this happen. Lots of clean shavings, and I muck before I load up to go home as well.

Soft manure while in the trailer I thought was pretty darn common to the point of considering it normal.

That is why sometimes when a horse is acting a little colicky people suggest a trailer ride to get things moving. (@Bluey describes the actual reasons for this quite well above.)

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^ This !

If it just happens when trailering it is anxiety. There is no hind gut supplement for this. Things may improve as the horse gets calmer about trailering. My horse will poop more in her paddock even waiting to load although its not soft.

Tail wrap, deep bedding.

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Funny, I get “loose manure” when traveling to shows myself :rofl:

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Mum always used to complain. She would scrub and scrub Tommy while it seemed I only waved a brush in Pepper’s direction.

Pepper would arrive black, glowing and gorgeous.

Tommy would arrive grey with green back legs.

A short course of magnesium, like MagRestore to relieve anxiety might help. But unfortunately it can also cause loose bowel movements. I use it for one of my guys for anxiety going shows and it seems to help.

He’s a big draft cross so drivers who follow the trailer too closely occasionally get a surprise coming out over the ramp.