This little seed is becoming more and more well-known in the equestrian world and quite rightly so, as in my personal opinion, it should be considered a feed room essential!
Horses that eat sand as a nasty habit, or even accidentally ingest it due to being turned out or pastured on a sand track will often eventually end up with some sort of discomfort and usually a colic.
You call the vet, he comes and usually prescribes Sand-out/Sand-clear/Sand-relief or a similar sort of product to help clear the contents of the stomach and then off you go!
Psyllium is almost always going to be your primary active ingredient in all of those sand-clearing products, and that's because it works so very well. After that, you may notice Chia, Linseed and then usually probiotics too
So, how does it work then?
Well, when Psyllium is wettened it swells in size by about 10 times and forms a gel, almost like a melted jelly. This gel mass softens the foreign contents found in the horse's digestive tract and binds with it. Once bound together it travels safely through the remaining digestive system and get's excreted through (get ready to flag me Google) the poop.
It really is that simple! So, why the other ingredients usually? Well, they do all offer an added benefit to this compromised digestive system, especially if these supplements do contain Linseed, Chia and/or probiotics. Perfect for horses who have just had a bit of a rough time with a dodgy colic
For those of you wanting to prevent or do regular treatments BEFORE it becomes a vet problem, Psyllium can be used alone but I would still recommend something like added Linseed or Chia seeds to help with your treatment (Tip: Chia is especially beneficial to feed after you finish your Psyllium cycle)
It comes in two forms; seeds or seed husks. You need to use more Seeds than Husks to get the same effect, which is fine for those of you who 1) have one or two horses only 2) don't have ''texture-fussy'' horses or 3) don't need to run frequent cycles.
Husks in turn would be better for those with more horses or running regular treatments
As with all food products, it is heavily recommended that you provide fresh, clean water at all times but, we know this already.
However in general is it advised heavily that after running an average 5 to 7 day preventative course, that there be minimum 3 week break with NO Psyllium.
Continous use without the advice of a vet, or without evidence of continued sand in the gut, can eventually lead to the effectiveness diminishing as the intestine adapts to it
And of course, I advise you to always consult your vet if you are unsure