Sand colic is prevalent in parts of the world when there are periods of no rain or drought and the soil is sandy, such as here in Perth, Western Australia. If the grass dries out from a lack of rain, the horses are hungry for the new shoots when the rain does come. This means the new grass can be pulled up by their roots. Although horses usually spit out the roots, with its covering of sand, some inevitably gets ingested. Over time this can develop into sand colic.
When I first got my mare, she had a huge stomach. I gave her psyllium husk (about 2 tablespoon) in her daily food. Within a week, she had slimmed down to a normal size.
Now I start to feed the horses the psyllium husk a week or two before the rains start, all through the wet period and into the spring for a time, too. You can see the psyllium working – the sand comes out as the last part of their stool so it lands on top. It is also a different colour to the surrounding sand.
When I can’t see that anymore, in the dry summer months, I stop the psyllium.
I understand that soaked (not boiled) linseed would have the same effect as it’s quite gluey, but I haven’t tested it out for myself yet.
I have never known a horse to get sand colic under this treatment.
Psyllium husk is a natural plant fibre, with no detrimental effects. Drenching horses with a petroleum based oil can have many side effects including destroying their oil soluble vitamins.
Sand colic can be treated by feeding a tablespoon of the psyllium husk in a very small feed, about once an hour, for how ever long it takes to fully recover. You should see some encouraging results after the first dose or two.
Natural treatments for horses is so effective, non-invasive, economical and easy to administer.