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Sand colic in horses

Grazing horse in bare pasture

Horse lovers know that colic is one of the biggest threats to the health of their horses and ponies. It comes in different forms, but especially in the fall and winter the danger of sand colic lurks around the corner. In this article, we offer insight into recognizing symptoms, acting on suspicions and preventive maactions you can take yourself.  

Colic suspicions? Call the vet

When colic is suspected, quick action is crucial. Contacting a veterinarian immediately is of utmost importance. Colic is often an acute problem and comes in various forms. Alonly a professional can make the correct diagnosis and take appropriate action. 

Different types of colic

There are different types of colic:

  • Colic: the intestines contract resulting in painful spasms.  
  • Gas colic: Normally, gas is discharged through the intestinal tract in the form of farts. When this fails, gas builds up in the gastrointestinal tract  
  • Sand colic: when a horse or pony eats too much sand, it accumulates in the intestinal system, which can cause sand colic.  
  • Congestive colic: constipation colic occurs when your horse's intestines are clogged. This often happens when a lot of straw is eaten or not enough is drunk.  
  • Torsion colic: this is a life-threatening condition in which the intestines twist, obstructing the blood supply.  

Although these forms each have their own symptoms, in this article we will focus specifically on sand colic, a common problem especially lurking in the fall and winter. 

Symptoms of sand colic

Colic is difficult to diagnose. Not all symptoms are equally obvious. Therefore, when in doubt, always consult a veterinarian. These are common symptoms of sand colic:  

  • Reduced appetite 
  • Frequent rolling 
  • Heavy breathing and increased heart rate 
  • Regular flank watching or belly kicking 
  • Fever and sweating  

Do you think your horse or pony has colic? If so, don't wait, call your veterinarian immediately and describe in detail the symptoms you observe.  

What you can do to prevent sand colic in horses

As you've read before, colic comes in different forms AND has different causes. That makes it difficult to predict. Still, we have some tips for you:  

  • Be sure to offer the roughage on a hard surface or from a feeder so that your horse cannot absorb sand while eating.  
  • Regular manure checking is a good practice to respond quickly to possible cases of sand colic. With sand colic, the manure may be sandy and watery. Changes in the frequency of manure production and the presence of small amounts of sand in the manure are also indicators. 
  • Subli Psyllium Slobber is a supplement for horses and ponies containing 23% psyllium seed, which stimulates sand removal in the intestines. In fact, when psyllium seed gets wet, it forms a gel that can take sand with it. Always feed Subli Psyllium Slobber diluted with water. You can always feed this supplement preventively for a short period of time. 
  • Horses may eat sand out of boredom or as a result of mineral deficiencies. The Mineralen Likemmer contains a complete blend of vitamins, minerals and trace elements for horses and ponies to support health and prevent deficiencies.  
  • Subli Mineralenbikkels are also a good option. These are 10 mm pellets with a concentrated, balanced amount of vitamins, minerals and trace elements. This ensures that your horse gets all the vitamins, minerals and trace elements it needs on a daily basis. 

Taking care of your horse optimally, we are happy to help. Ask for a custom feed advice to or contact our specialists directly at or 0317-499595. 

Summer eczema in horses

Summer eczema, also called tail and mane eczema (SME), is a nasty condition that affects many horses during the warm months. It is caused by an allergic reaction to the bites of the Culicoïdes Robertii mosquito, also known as the midge. These are small mosquitoes that are especially active at dusk. The horses get itchy and scrub, which can lead to bald patches, wounds and infections.

In this article, we share some practical tips and explain how you can support your horse's immune system with the right nutrition, making your horse or pony less susceptible to the midge bites.

Increasing your horse's resistance with the right nutrition

Omega 3 fatty acids, biotin and zinc are important substances that keep your horse's skin and coat healthy and strong. Thus, you can increase your horse's resistance to the midges and reduce the inflammatory reaction. In our assortment we have a number of suitable products that you can use for this purpose:

  • Subli Biotin Mix is a powdered dietary supplement to support hoof, coat and skin health.
  • Subli Omega 369 Mix is a flour-shaped energy supplement with a very high content of vegetable oils. It is high in omega 3 fatty acids, which can have an anti-inflammatory effect, reducing itching and allergy.
  • It is important not to overload your horse with too much concentrate feed, as the body is already stressed when an allergic reaction occurs. Choose a feed product that is low in sugar and starch. The Subli Diet Mix is a granola without grains, grain by-products and molasses. As a result, sugar and starch levels are extremely low.

Practical tips to reduce itching

In addition to scrutinizing your horse or pony's ration, there are several measures you can take to prevent itching as much as possible:

  • Protect your horse or pony from midges with an eczema blanket.
  • Coat your horse or pony with insect repellent. Be sure to repeat this regularly, as it can evaporate or wash off quickly.
  • Gnats are most active around dusk. So try to keep your horse or pony indoors around sunrise and sunset.
  • Put your horse or pony in a pasture where there is a lot of wind. In the wind, midges are less able to fly. It is also advisable to make sure there is no standing water nearby.

Want to learn more about which horse feed is right for your horse or pony with summer eczema? Ask tailored feeding advice to our website or ask your questions directly to our customer service team at We would love to help you and your horse get through the summer months comfortably.