Hindgut Health

Your horse’s hindgut is responsible for digesting the complex carbohydrates your horse eats, including all of his forage (hay, pasture, and other roughage). Since the majority of your horse’s diet should be made up of forage, there’s a lot of work to be done!

The primary digestive function in the hindgut is fermentation. In this process, friendly bacteria break down fiber into volatile fatty acids, which are usable sources of energy for your horse. Additionally, these bacteria are responsible for producing some B-vitamins and other vital nutrients.


• Much like the foregut, the hindgut was built for constant grazing, and therefore, constant digestion. However, when large meals are fed infrequently, an unhealthy cecum and colon can develop, resulting in excess gas, impaction, loose stool, and other types of digestive upset.

• Large grain meals are full of simple carbohydrates (sugars and starches), which are often difficult for the stomach and small intestine to digest fast enough. This allows sugars and starches to pass undigested into the hindgut. Because the microorganisms in the hindgut weren’t meant to digest simple carbs, doing so can alter the delicate pH balance and lead to problems in the hindgut itself and even conditions such as laminitis.