Plaidcast 350: Amanda Drobnis, Maggie Clancy, Elizabeth Ehrlich & Dr. Meg Miller by Taylor, Harris Insurance Services

Plaidcast Episode 350 Amanda Drobnis Maggie Clancy Elizabeth Ehrlich Dr. Meg Miller


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Piper speaks with Amanda Drobnis about her company, Hilltop BioSciences and Maggie Clancy about her horse sales app, the Enbarr app. Elizabeth Ehrlich of Equine Elixirs and Dr. Meg Miller also join to talk about gastric issues in horses. Brought to you by Taylor, Harris Insurance Services. Listen in!


  • Host: Piper Klemm of The Plaid Horse Magazine
  • Guest: Amanda Drobnis is the Chief Executive Officer of Hilltop BioSciences. Amanda grew up riding in the hunters and switched to dressage in college. Amanda studied animal science and business at the University of Vermont, where she was also a member of the well-known UVM Co-op, a program where students bring their horses to school and work at the barn in exchange for most of their board.
  • Guest: Maggie Clancy has made it possible to “swipe right” while horse shopping. Maggie is a lifelong equestrian, trainer and facility owner. Years in the industry led her to question the way things are done in the horse buying and selling process and out of this inspiration the Enbarr app was developed. Enbarr provides app users a platform to buy and sell horses at their fingertips. It has never been easier to list, view, like, message and share horses. 
  • Guest: Elizabeth Ehrlich is the founder and president of Equine Elixirs.  Her unique approach to creating all-natural, whole food based supplements that address a wide range of equine health needs has taken the supplement industry by storm over the last five years. Formerly an attorney in New York, Liz now spends her days focused on equine nutrition.
  • Guest: Dr. Miller Turpin was raised in Nova Scotia, Canada but attended Penn State University for her undergraduate degree in Animal Science. She obtained her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at the Atlantic College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Prince Edward Island, in 1995. Her primary interests are the gastrointestinal tract, specializing in chronic colics and gastric ulcer disease, cardiac and respiratory diseases associated with poor performance along with endocrine and neurologic diseases. 
  • Title Sponsor: Taylor, Harris Insurance Services, Taylor, Harris Insurance Services (THIS) was founded in 1987 to provide specialized insurance for all types of equine risk. THIS places their policies with the highest rated and most secure carriers, meticulously selected for reliability and prompt claims settlement. THIS is proud of their worldwide reputation for responsive and courteous service, and welcomes the opportunity to discuss your equine insurance needs and provide you with a quote.
  • Photo Credit: Jon Drobnis, Chelsea Squibbs Photography, Giana Terranova Photography
  • Subscribe To: The Plaid Horse Magazine
  • Sponsors: Purina Animal NutritionAmerica CryoAlexis Kletjian Jewelry, LAURACEA, BoneKare, Austin Hardware, Show Strides Book Series, With Purpose: The Balmoral Standard and Good Boy, Eddie

This transcript was generated automatically. Its accuracy may vary.

Piper Klemm 
[00:00:34] This is the Plaidcast. I’m Piper Klemm, publisher of the Plaid Horse magazine. And coming up today on episode 350. We’re going to talk with entrepreneurs leading different aspects of our sport and our horses lives to be better. First, we’re going to talk with Amanda Drobnis about her company, Hilltop Biosciences, and the exciting new therapeutics they’ve brought to the market for both horses and dogs. Next, we’re going to talk to Maggie Clancy, who’s hoping to revolutionize your way you purchase horses and save trainers time so they can spend more time doing what they love with their horses and teaching. She’s introducing the Enbarr app, which you can also read about in the August issue of the magazine. And then finally, Elizabeth Ehrlich of Equine Elixirs and Dr. Meg Miller are going to join us to talk about gastric issues in horses. This episode is brought to you by Taylor Harris Insurance Services. . 

Piper Klemm [00:04:18] Amanda Drobnis is the chief executive officer of Hilltop Biosciences.  Amanda grew up riding in the hunters and switched to dressage in college. She studied animal science and business at the University of Vermont, where she was a member of the well-known UVM Co-op, a program where students bring their horses to school and work at the barn in exchange for most of their board. Welcome to the plaiddcast, Amanda. Tell us about growing up riding and your kind of pathway riding as a kid up through college. 

Amanda Drobnis [00:04:49] And growing up riding, I rode everywhere. My parents didn’t really have horses, so they didn’t have any general idea about horses and just sort of found places to go, as most parents do. So I didn’t really start much heavy riding until I was in high school and I was leasing a horse and really understood the hunters. Hunters and jumpers, space. And that was really fun. And then I went to college and discovered dressage and fell in love. And that that -I brought my had my horse in college and. And we I rode on the team and just learned a ton at the UVM co-op – horse barn co-op. And so overall, that’s kind of my my most of my strong memories and and understanding of riding really came from high school and college. 

Piper Klemm [00:05:43] We recently had on the podcast earlier this year, some members of the UVM Horse Co-op, which sounds like an incredible place. So you all are responsible as as team members in college for kind of setting the schedule, setting the timing schedule, assigning eachother hours and jobs. I mean, it sounded fascinating and what a great kind of test at responsibility. 

Amanda Drobnis [00:06:08] Yeah the UVM Horse Barn Co-op is the most amazing experience anybody can have. You learn so much about handling and just dealing with the everyday barn, handling different horses, working through different things with everybody. You have to take care of not only your own horse but all of the other horses in the barn and really pay attention. So it’s an excellent opportunity, you know, when you’re just getting started, especially if you think you want to stay in the horse industry, you know, professionally. The barn, the, UVM Horse Barn Co-op is awesome. Plus the friendships. I’m still friends with so many people from the barn that that it was an excellent way to to enjoy college, I guess. 

Piper Klemm [00:06:56] So you graduate college, you have your degree in animal science, you go off into the world and then you yourself suffer from a serious injury. Do you want to tell us a little bit about that and what your prognosis was? 

Amanda Drobnis [00:07:11] So my injury wasn’t so much immediate. It was a long time coming after years of probably riding and dancing. And then eventually I had a I was skiing and I really noticed it that I really couldn’t get down the mountain. And then I went back on to my horse and like, couldn’t ride. And so at that point I had an MRI and they they diagnosed with a tear on the articular cartilage, which there really weren’t too many options at the time. And it was recommended that we try this new biologic that they were investigating for a variety of different uses. And so they cleaned up my they went in surgically and cleaned up the injury and then injected this new biologic, which at the time was a birth tissue allograft. Six weeks later I was back on my horse and riding. It was the best decision I ever made. 

Piper Klemm [00:08:14] That’s so amazing. And it sounds like a miracle. Basically. 

Amanda Drobnis [00:08:19] It I mean, I don’t know. It would have been it would be considered a miracle, but it was it was pretty awesome. And I was very happy to be in my twenties and not have to face a future hip replacement in the more recent, more near future than than not. So that was a much better decision. 

Piper Klemm [00:08:41] So how did this get you excited about thinking about therapeutics for for our horse friends and you know, how we could change how we’re thinking about their rehab? 

Amanda Drobnis [00:08:53] Yeah. So it didn’t actually occur to me until about a year later. And a friend’s horse was dealing with a chronic injury that wasn’t getting better. And we were talking about my hip and how much better it was feeling. And the conversation just evolved like, Hey, why can’t we try? What was in your hip on our horses? And so it was a long, convoluted story after that to try and figure out how to get it for horses and how to start a company to do that. But but that’s pretty much where the original idea came from, was on a trail ride with a chronic injury. 

Piper Klemm [00:09:33] What did you decide to get started with with Hilltop bio. What products did you aim at first? Kind of what? What was your how and how did that growth get moving? 

Amanda Drobnis [00:09:44] Yeah, so we did start with soft tissue injuries thinking especially for this horse, but we weren’t fast enough. The horse, not for the reasons of chronic injury, was she was in her late twenties. So eventually she did get put down just old age, but it was in honor of her to be working and figuring out something that could help these chronic injuries. So we we started off in soft tissue. We did some beta studies with some friends and horses that we knew of to see if it would work like we thought it would like. We knew it worked on the human side. And then from there we really started to build out the idea of forming an actual company and getting investors and really pulling it all together. And so we finally did that in about 2018, where we had some early data points. We knew how we were. We would make it in the lab and in 2018, well 2019, we closed our first round of funding in order to really bring Hilltop bio to life. 

Piper Klemm [00:10:56] So tell us about RegenaFlex, R.T., which is your first soft tissue repair injectable. 

Amanda Drobnis [00:11:05] So our first was actually not R.T.. First was C, which was Regenaflex cold, because we’re we’re really super creative here. The cold product was the first variation of it because we didn’t quite know how to make it room temperature. And that was that came to life in, in the early stages, 2019. It was very successful. And then as we grew our science and understanding of how to make it room temperature in a powder form really became something that we we learned how to do and sought the resources to do so that we could bring it to our vets. So in 2020 or 20, between 2020 and 2021, we had the the products in a form, in a powder form. So it was room temperature. And that’s where Regena Flex RT came from. And at that point that it came to market, we did our well, we did our studies before then and then it came to market and it’s really taken off and it works very, very well for soft tissue. Almost better than the the cold version of it did. 

Piper Klemm [00:12:20] So how like, how does it work? And in a practical sense, you inject it into where in the body?

Amanda Drobnis [00:12:28] So depending on your where the injury is. Tendons or ligaments, any soft tissue injury. But let’s focus tendons and ligaments. Our vet is going to check via ultrasound and then if you have a core lesion and they’ll inject a little bit into that hole in the tendon or ligament and then around the tendon or ligament to help signal the body to say, hey, this is where the injury is and this is where we need to help it heal. And so at the very broad aspects, that’s how it works. 

Piper Klemm [00:13:07] And so not too long ago, we have a few options now, but not too long ago, holes in tendons or ligaments, you know, basically could have very easily been career ending for horses. 

Amanda Drobnis [00:13:18] Yeah, they absolutely could have. And I think that’s where the original horse that certainly had a core lesion that wasn’t healing, it was very chronic and there really weren’t very many options. PRP wasn’t a big option at that point. And so now we have a few alternatives and they work, but this is more consistent. So we have a product that’s much more consistent than the the older versions of PRP. So we have a newer version of what PRP is. It’s much more consistent. It basically has the same types of growth factors and cytokines and all the great things that make PRP work. But we’re not relying on the body to pull, you know, we’re not relying on the blood to have the exact same amounts of those proteins. And so in essence, what we’re doing is making it so that you’re always getting the same product every time. And PRP is not like that. 

Piper Klemm [00:14:16] So it’s just like a one time thing or you do this multiple times are like, what is the treatment look like in a in a practical setting? 

Amanda Drobnis [00:14:24] Yeah, typically it’s one time for a soft tissue injury. Um, depending on the injury, you may need a second, but it’s very rare that we see that. But that would be up to the vet to see how it’s healing and progressing, to decide whether a second treatment was really necessary. 

Piper Klemm [00:14:43] And then you also have a joint treatment out Now Stridaflex. Can you tell us about how how that works and how that came about? 

Amanda Drobnis [00:14:53] So Strideaflex is really awesome. It we took us a long time to get it right. And now what we have is a product that we formulated specifically for joints that has specific growth factors and cytokines that help reduce the inflammation. It helps bring the healing back into the joint. It helps mitigate the signs and symptoms with inflammation and with joint health issues. And it really overall gives you a much happier, healthier joint. And it’s very different than our our original flex, R T products because we’re taking out some of those pro inflammatory things and the things that can reduce the levels of healing. So we’re making it a very specific joint product to help you and your horse get back to work faster. 

Piper Klemm [00:15:45] So these products are available through your veterinarian. What what kinds of things should people who are interested, be asking their vet about or, you know, how to open that conversation? 

Amanda Drobnis [00:15:59] That’s a great question. So what, you want to talk to your vet about, “Hey, you know, we’ve heard about Hilltop bio that it’s a new version of all the ortho biologics..” That they’ve already seen and started using, and that it’s really easy for them and for our vets to use it because it’s off the shelf. But for our horses, it’s getting them back to work and reducing the risk of re injury and reducing the risk of scar tissue formation. And so they want to say, Hey, I heard about this. Can we can we try it on my horse? Is he a candidate for this type of therapy? And sometimes they’re already using something that’s similar in that that could work, too. But it’s definitely worth asking your vet about if they’ve heard about us. And we’re happy to talk to your vet, too. So if your vet hasn’t heard about us and we’re happy to have them talk to us and reach out or have our our technical vets reach out to your vet. So either way. 

Piper Klemm [00:17:03] Your horse holistically, you know, every even day or week, you can shorten that rehab process so that your horse can move around more comfortably, keeps all of their other systems so much more intact. 

Amanda Drobnis [00:17:15] Exactly. Yeah, it can help all over and. And it can. While it’s not necessarily systemic, but it can definitely keep your horse much happier overall as it as it gets better and. And has some healing effects. 

Piper Klemm [00:17:31] What are you looking forward to in the future? I assume you are heavy into research and development on new things, so anything you can tell us about now? 

Amanda Drobnis [00:17:42] We’re researching a variety of different things. Um, respiratory is a big one, so helping our horses breathe better, especially as all these fires get, you know, get a little crazier. Where keep getting this, keep getting the smoke from them. Our hope is to help our horses through that kind of thing and other respiratory illnesses or respiratory issues. And then we’re also heavily researching in, um, we’re researching a lot in dogs. So arthritis, also soft tissue injuries. And we do have a few products available for dogs similar to the horse products. And so that’s definitely something you can ask your small animal that about as well. But those are really the exciting pieces as the arthritis for Dogs were super excited with our studies and how they’re how they’re performing now. 

Piper Klemm [00:18:39] That’s amazing. Amanda, thank you so much for joining us on the plaidcast. 

Amanda Drobnis [00:18:43] Thanks so much for having me. I appreciate the opportunity. 

Piper Klemm [00:19:57] Maggie Clancy has made it possible to swipe right while horse shopping. Maggie is a lifelong equestrian trainer and facility owner. Years in the industry led her to question the way things are done in the horse buying and selling process and out of this inspiration, the Enbarr app was developed. Enbarr provides users a platform to buy and sell their horses at their fingertips. It has never been easier to list, view, like, message and share horses. Welcome to the plaidcast, Maggie. 

Maggie Clancy [00:20:23] Thank you so much. I’m happy to be here. 

Piper Klemm [00:20:25] Tell us a little bit about your background riding and getting started and your journey in the sport. 

Maggie Clancy [00:20:32] So I started riding about age ten. I had begged my parents for years for lessons, but I was in gymnastics and other sports when I was younger. Both my parents and my whole family are not horse people, so they knew nothing about it. So I started riding at ten. Then early teens kind of got into leasing and half leasing, and then as a teen got into buying a horse. And I kind of have never looked back since. 

Piper Klemm [00:20:55] And then tell us about your business now. 

Maggie Clancy [00:20:57] So currently we own and operate both a riding academy and a horse facility in Northern California. And then we’re also branching out and starting a new horse sales app that we’re really excited about. And the Riding academy is pretty big. We have, you know, at times up to 100 horses on site. We try to keep it a little smaller than that. And then the high school riding teams, college riding teams, things like that, and summer camps like kind of the whole broad spectrum. 

Piper Klemm [00:21:23] It’s getting so difficult to find places to get started in the sport. It’s such an important and valuable service, to provide horses and start our lessons. 

Maggie Clancy [00:21:33] Totally. And it’s it’s actually like such a huge passion of mine. And even if I’m having a rough day, I go down to the barn and teach these kids and they’re so excited to be here and so grateful for the opportunity and work so hard that it’s just kind of like fills you up. It’s a really cool, really cool thing to experience. 

Piper Klemm [00:21:52] It keeps you really connected with the magic of of the horses, which, you know, sometimes in a competitive setting, it gets a little, you know, lost. 

Maggie Clancy [00:22:00] Absolutely. You know, it’s funny. We’re like knee deep in summer camps right now. And I know a lot of I tell a lot of barns or trainer friends or things that we do summer camps. And it’s kind of like, oh my gosh, how do you do that? But that’s what it is. It’s like the magic of these kids getting to trot on a horse for a first time or do poles or learn, you know, it’s it’s so exciting and so raw and genuine. 

Piper Klemm [00:22:25] Tell us about the app and kind of what what started the need for that and and how you got started organizing. 

Maggie Clancy [00:22:32] Yeah. So the app was a concept many, many years ago. I don’t want to date myself too much, but it was a long time ago and I was pretty new in the business and horse shopping for clients. And like, this was probably mid 2000. And I just found it really hard. You know, technology wasn’t as advanced then either, but I just found it really hard to, like, easily access loads of horses to look at or loads of videos to try and things like that. So I spent my days driving around to different counties and different places trying horses for people and ending up frustrated. So way back then I came up with this concept, but it hasn’t really been able to come to light till just now. So the app is basically like a dating app except for horses and horses for sale and horse buyers super easy to access kind of message through the app. Swipe through horses you like things like that. 

Piper Klemm [00:23:24] I think it’s so interesting how like siloed we get in our own communities. And I’m sure by having like that many lesson horses, you probably have a really big mix of breeds and body types and various horses. 

Maggie Clancy [00:23:38] Totally. We have like from, you know, little, teeny tiny, I mean, 12 hands, maybe not that teeny tiny, but little bitty ponies, mostly Welsh ponies is what we end up with through, you know, quarter horses that at some point were Western and we’ve taught them how to jump. And then we actually have a foundation as well that supports our IEA team and our IHSA team. And through that we’ve gotten some like fabulous jumpers, donated former big show horses that are kind of ready for a new career. So we have, like, you know, from the little teeny tiny, cute ponies through 17 hand former big jumpers that are now doing the college circuit. It’s pretty cool. 

Piper Klemm [00:24:16] And then you have people drawing these horses for for high school and college riding. And they kind of might get get any for it in any body type. 

Maggie Clancy [00:24:25] Totally. Totally. What’s so I mean, at least what I think is really fun about it. But I rode in college, which is what kind of inspired me to start these teams. It was like a really special experience for me. As you know. On the one hand, you kind of get what you get, but if you can go into it and really make the best of it and like these these horses, you give them the best ride you can and hope to make them better for the next rider and kind of go into it with that mentality. It’s it’s really cool and it’s a really unique experience. 

Piper Klemm [00:24:55] So there are a lot of other sales, horse websites and stuff. Tell us what makes Enbarr a really unique app. 

Maggie Clancy [00:25:02] Well, I think the biggest thing is ease, you know, I have a facility and we have this riding program. I have kids. Nobody has enough time to do anything. And sitting with the app, I can list a horse in less than 90 seconds while sitting on a mounting block in the arena. And that includes everything, like videos, photos, all of the information, things like that. And in one place, instead of having to post an ad and then say, message me for details and then respond to like 400 random messages, I can post everything really quickly and right at my fingertips. 

Piper Klemm [00:25:32] And then how does the app make sure that you’re looking at horses near you? Or how do you make sure that the settings show you what you want to see? 

Maggie Clancy [00:25:40] So you can either open the app on your phone and just scroll through all of the horses on there. Like if you’re just, I don’t know, sitting in line waiting for something and bored and you can scroll through the pages like you do on social media and look at everything or you can, if you’re registered as a buyer, input your own criteria and you can search by pretty much all the standard criteria like age, height, breed, discipline, location, things like that. And as far as location, there’s one really fun feature, which is after you input your data, you can actually just view the horses on the map. So you could scroll to New York or scroll to California or wherever you like. 

Piper Klemm [00:26:17] Tell us a little bit about kind of that design and creation of the app. I mean, now not many horse trainers embrace technology enough to wantt to dive headfirst into into those decisions. 

Maggie Clancy [00:26:30] Well, I’m one of the both my best and worst features are I’m really good at getting a really exciting idea and like diving in 100%. And then I get in and I’m like, Oh my gosh, what in the world was I thinking? So building an app was a little bit like that. I really did not. And I’m not a big techie person. I really did not know what I was doing. Luckily, we have like an amazing support crew of programmers and developers and have formed some really great relationships. But you know, we have developers that are all over the world that have been working on this, not just in the US, and it’s been a lot more. Intense, I guess. Then I thought I was like, you know, Oh, great. Yeah, let’s build an app. That sounds wonderful, But it wasn’t exactly like that. 

Piper Klemm [00:27:19] What are you hoping to see on the app? How are you hoping that this this changes the industry for trainers? 

Maggie Clancy [00:27:24] Well, I think, you know, it would be so cool to have really one platform for communicating and posting videos and, you know, getting more sales, more at your fingertips. So my goal is that this kind of applies to everybody across the spectrum. So like young more tech trainers, we have a web version for if you’re not ready to do it on your phone and you want sort of more old school website version, I’d be really cool to just get everybody in one spot and have this massive pool of horses that you could view at your fingertips at any point. That’s my goal. 

Piper Klemm [00:28:03] Absolutely. And if we can kind of speed up the pace of horse sales, you know, when when people want to sell, you know, it could shorten from a 3 to 6 month process to a weeks or one month process. I mean, that would totally change the industry. 

Maggie Clancy [00:28:19] Yeah, that would be amazing. Well, and just like the all of the messaging on different platforms and things, for me, I get I get totally overwhelmed when I’m like, okay, I have to remember to message so-and-so back here and this person there and check my 14 different emails and all different texts and WhatsApp and like, it’s a lot to keep track. So be really cool. If somehow it took off enough that like everybody was in one spot eventually. 

Piper Klemm [00:28:46] And what are you looking forward to about kind of the connections and how we keep this positive and an honest and an open communication? Because I know it, everyone gets nervous and scared that the horse that they want to buy, you know, doesn’t actually meet the criteria they’re hoping for. 

Maggie Clancy [00:29:04] Totally. You know, I feel like that’s certainly always a risk. As a community, if we all kind of stay interconnected and messaging together and on the app, we have options for trainer memberships and things. So really working together as trainers to make sure we’re all posting to a certain level and being honest on the back end. I always have the options to, you know, if we find out that something’s not working or not legitimate or not what it was, we we have full control of the website, which is kind of cool. Or the app excuse me, we can message users and say, you know, can you please take this video down? We can take videos down, we can change things on the back end that we need to. So we get any information that something is not legitimate, we can change it on the back right away, which is kind of cool and being. As a business owner, I’ve always been kind of very hands on with things, and I feel like with this it’s like my, you know, my third baby. So I’m going to be pretty involved. So we get any information on the back end that something is not legit. We will certainly be proactive. Thank you, Maggie Clancy, for joining us on the plaidcast. 

Maggie Clancy [00:30:13] Thank you so much. Have a great day. 

Piper Klemm [00:31:38] Elizabeth Ehrlich is the founder and president of Equine Elixirs, her unique approach to creating all natural, whole food based supplements that address a wide variety of equine health needs has taken the supplement industry by storm over the last five years. Formerly an attorney in New York. Liz now spends her days focused on equine nutrition. Dr. Meg Miller. Turpin was raised in Nova Scotia, Canada, and attended Penn State University for her undergraduate degree in animal science. She earned her doctorate of veterinary medicine at the Atlantic College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Prince Edward Island in 1995. Her primary interests are the gastrointestinal tract specializing in chronic Culex and gastric ulcer disease, cardiac and respiratory diseases associated with poor performance, along with the endocrine and neurologic diseases. Welcome to the podcast, Dr. Miller, and welcome back to the plaidcast. Liz Ehrlich. 

Speaker 4 [00:32:31] Thanks. Thank you. 

Piper Klemm [00:32:32] So any time pretty much anyone posts anything on Facebook these days about their horse, one of the early comments, as always, check for ulcers. And it seems like because most things, most behaviors horses can have can really have an underlying stomach condition. And were I feel like learning more about this almost daily, it seems in our industry I think about how how we fed horses when I was a kid growing up and cringe a little bit. Dr. Miller, can you tell us about the signs of ulcers that we see in horses? 

Dr. Miller [00:33:11] Yeah. I mean, the most classic traditional signs are colic, not wanting to eat or eating their grain and then immediately getting uncomfortable acting a little crampy. Weight loss, gastrointestinal disturbances. Sometimes they get diarrhea, sometimes they just don’t pass enough manure. But usually those are the common symptoms. Other symptoms we’re seeing more now and are learning more in sport horses. Is you may, your horse may be suddenly spooky or not want to go forward or not get a lead. You think that’s more commonly you want to do an orthopedic workup, but often they will find nothing or the other veterinarians will find nothing or some people just to go straight to the stomach, because it’s very often a sound horse that suddenly starts doing these things. And we are finding more horses that have ulcers showing a symptom. 

Piper Klemm [00:34:07] The behavioral kind of side of these issues has been really interesting because obviously you can’t no matter how good you are, you can’t train out of the the physical pain or physical discomfort. 

Dr. Miller [00:34:18] Yeah. I mean, some horses are just girthy and they’ll be that way all their lives. But if it’s a new thing or if they try to bite you and you’re grooming their side or that sort of thing. Behavior change, irritability. If you can pinpoint it to a source of pain and they get better from treatment, then you know, that was a true medical problem. 

Piper Klemm [00:34:46] So we have a bunch of different options for for treating ulcers. Can you tell us a little bit about the different types of ulcers? Because I think, you know, as we learn more, we kind of use more general terms that describe more conditions. 

Dr. Miller [00:35:03] So there’s two different linings of the horse’s stomach. They go from their esophagus to the top part of the stomach, which is called squamous mucosa. That’s the type of cell that lines that part of the stomach. And then the bottom half of the stomach is glandular. So acid in the horse’s stomach. It sits more in the glandular. It’s made from the glands in the glandular part of the stomach, so that sitting in their stomach, it touches all parts of the stomach. But there are different things that cause ulcers in the glandular part of the stomach and then the squamous part of the stomach, which is the top half. The glandular part of the stomach is more used to live living in a bath of like acid, so it’s not as sensitive, but the top portion where the food first hit the stomach. That’s the more sensitive area. And then the bottom half, the sum of which is glandular. When you’re going out the exit of the stomach, you go through something called the pyloric, which is basically the bottom sphyncter of the stomach that’s also glandular mucosa, so that when you get ulcers in that region, you may treat them differently than the horses, than the lesions in the squamous or the stomachs. So the squamous lesions are the ones that we treat most commonly with gastro gaurd or some sort of antacid. Glandular may be different, but you don’t know that. So truly, until you scope the stomach, if you don’t look at all parts, you really won’t know. And you may think your horse isn’t getting better from the traditional ulcer treatment when it actually has. Pyloric ulcers. 

Elizabeth Ehlrich [00:36:39] That’s actually the interesting thing that we did with the case studies, with the ulcer around the sea buckthorn, which was for horses that had persistent glandular and pyloric ulcers that had not really responded 100% or as well to the traditional gastro protective therapy. We introduced the ulcereraser and the sea buckthorn at a double dose for a six week period and actually had really incredible results. In the glandular and pyloric region combining those two. So I don’t know if you know that, but. Meg actually did those scopes for us and helped us with those case studies. 

Piper Klemm [00:37:26] Um, Dr. Miller, tell us, like, what scoping is like, what the procedure is like and how these case studies, what you had to do to kind of analyze this. 

Dr. Miller [00:37:37] So the scope is fairly simple. Like people think some people don’t like to do it. They think it’s invasive. It’s really not it takes minimal, light sedation, usually less than what you’re using to inject a joint. So it’s just enough to get the little tube past and then pass the scope into the stomach. The horse needs to be fasted I usually do it for 14 hours before so because if you scope the stomach is full of food, you’re not going to see the lining. So it’s a waste of time. So basically it’s a fasting light sedation. If the horse is very good and the stomach is pretty empty, it might only take actually 10 minutes for the procedure. 10 to 15 minutes. You basically look at the top line and then you dive down to the bottom and look at the kind of..  And you can go into the duodenum, which is the first part of the small intestine. So when Liz approached me and a couple other products, I’ve tried as well. You know I said I’d try some products because I had a. There’s not a lot known still about why horses get these pyloric ulcers and what is the best treatments. And I have a bunch of horses where I’ve used the traditional antacids. Gastro-protectants and they just fail to get better. So that’s why I’m always looking for something else that might help. So we chose to try the ulcer eraser. It’s very high in omega threes. That can help with mucosal healing and any inflammatory effects. So that’s what we chose to try. I told her I wanted I would try it on horses that weren’t getting better with traditional therapy either as an add on or just to try it by itself. And scope it 4 to 6 weeks later, depending on. Depending on where the lesions were. In general, horses with the squamous ulcers, they tend to heal quicker, they tend to be easier to heal, and they don’t take as long as the glandular. They always take, almost always take 6 to 8 weeks or more. Like I said. That can be very challenging to figure out what’s going to help them heal. 

Piper Klemm [00:39:53] What is. 

Dr. Miller [00:39:55] It also It depends on why they got the ulcers in the first place. So that’s why a lot of the nontraditional treatments, I think the homeopathic things like this will help them because it’s it’s not related to drugs that cause the ulcers. 

Elizabeth Ehlrich [00:40:12] I think that actually sort of leads into the importance of diet and how diet can impact. The issue of recurring ulcers. Do you feel that that’s something that we’re learning more about now in terms of diet? 

Dr. Miller [00:40:29] Yeah, I think a lot of people, how we always useed to think straight sweet feed, corn, molasses Yeah. And these things are even cheaper to get corn molasses they need. But then we’re finding that higher sugar or higher protein that causes more of an acid – the stomach will produce more acid to try to digest those. And too much all at once. So they’re more likely to cause ulcers. Certain breeds are different. That’s definitely lower starch, higher fiber seems to be better in general, feeding more frequent small meals and trying to keep hay or ruffage in their stomach as much as possible. That in itself helps to absorb the acid. But then the the added fat is the part of the. I think a big component. Omega three fish oil. They’ve done a study on that was one study that was actually done to prove that. 

Elizabeth Ehlrich [00:41:34] Well with the EPA and the DHEA from the fish oil. Okay. So if you get you get EPA and DHA from an alternate source like, say, from algae, it will still have the anti-inflammatory effect, with the benefit of it being a vegan source for the horse. Yeah. And maybe more palatable the fish just difficult to get horses to eat fish oil alone. So you need to add some things to make it palatable. Yeah. 

Piper Klemm [00:42:00] What is it about horses lifestyles right now that that are make them have high risk factors for ulcers? 

Dr. Miller [00:42:09] I mean, definitely the athlete, the one that’s showing and moving in and out of the showground. Changing its environment. That’s not always as consistent as just staying at home on the farm, living in a stable, not getting- horses are naturally used to 24 hour turnout and grazing all the time that we’ve we’ve changed that and. Most of the ways that we take care of them. So I think that’s an added stressor and then it just depends on what your program is or what your level of competition is. A lot of horses to keep them moving well and sound, they need to get non-steroidal bantamine, bute injections and steroids and that. That those obviously have side effects. They can be harmful. They can be a primary cause of the ulcers. So that and then I like to say every horse is an individual. I’ve had a few horses where I said, stop showing them and give them time off and two horses I know for sure they got worse with that environment. They actually needed exercise, needed constant. It was like to be a counter intuitive, but yeah, they needed a job. So it’s not that they can’t. It’s not a one size fits all. Yeah. Yeah. Keeping them in the stall 23 hours a day, is not good. If you don’t have to and most people now know this they keep hay nets in the stall, they’re feeding night check- we’re trying. Most of this area does that, but I often need to just tweak it a little bit depending on the individual. 

Elizabeth Ehlrich [00:43:54] I feel like people are starting to appreciate more of the importance of a forage based diet and the importance of low sugar and low starch, which is obviously how our products are designed in order to gear it towards them having a successful career and not any gastric issues. 

Piper Klemm [00:44:12] Dr. Miller, you did a 12 months of case studies with the ulcer eraser. Can you tell us a little bit about those studies and kind of that the pace of resolution of ulcers and, you know, if your horse does have ulcers, what are we looking at? Timeframe. What are the expectations to minimize this? 

Dr. Miller [00:44:35] The general take home was that many of these that I would say. Aren’t going to be healed in six weeks or actually better in six weeks. And we don’t say six weeks is the cut off. We just maybe they’re healed in four weeks. We just can’t say, Hey, scope your horse every week so I can look at its stomach to see if it’s better. No one is going to put the horse through that or pay that amount of money to do it weekly. It would be nice, but we can’t do that. So we try to pick my average for squamous stomach. It would be 30 days. If it’s not real severe, should be the majority of it better and the ones are more like six weeks, but sometimes three months, four months. And that’s why that’s too long. And I will say once we added the ulcer eraser, the seabuckthorn I can’t compare. We added the two together. 

Piper Klemm [00:45:27] Liz, tell us about the tummy gummies and what they’re designed to counteract. 

Elizabeth Ehlrich [00:45:32] The Tummy Gummies are designed to buffer gastric acid on contact. So they work immediately and they last for about 40 minutes at a time. So when horses are away from their stall and they’re not able to eat and forage constantly, they have a constant influx of gastric acid that is then being buffered by the continuous influx of food. So the acid can start to make their stomach uncomfortable. And if you can give them four gummies at a time, that will increase the PH so that they don’t have the discomfort of the gastric acid. The gummies are a combination of calcium carbonate and magnesium oxide, so it’s a gummy form of tums and you can take them with you, you can give them before you ride, you can give them when you’re standing at the show ring. And it’s a way to buffer acid immediately and for short periods of time. And then the other benefit being that you do want them to have some acid in their stomach that they can properly digest food. They’re not looking to eliminate it, but just to buffer it during times when they might be more at risk for some discomfort. 

Dr. Miller [00:46:46] And we tell people. The reason that the horses are more likely they’ve shown the horses, which are more likely to get ulcers with stress, with performance, and part of it is just the exercise. But with horses, part of it is the acid spilling around back and forth. So if you’re riding the horse on an empty stomach or partially empty stomach, there’s nothing to buffer that. So that’s exactly the perfect time to do it. Like Liz said, feed the gummy right before you’re going to ride or 15 minutes before buffer the acid. Before that acid is moving around in like a balloon. So the bottom part of the stomach can handle the acid, the glandular part, like any point before more. It’s not as sensitive or fragile, but when the acid start filling up higher on that squamous part, that’s when you start to get ulcers. Unless you have a bunch of hay, something of that stomach’s full. But if it’s not. It’s better to have that buffer keep the acid level low, so the higher then it’s not going to be burning as much like drinking coke on an empty stomach. Yeah, absolutely. Some people can’t even drink coffee on an empty stomach. 

Piper Klemm [00:48:04] Liz can you talk about hind gut issues and and how symbiotic fits into this part of the process? 

Dr. Miller [00:48:09] So hind gut is one thing I want. One of my pet peeves that clients ask me 90% of the time when I’m scoping, they’ll so does it have hind gut ulcers or fore gut. And I think people I think we should change the way we the terminology cause when a lot of people are saying hind gut, they’re talking about the pyloric and squamous, the bottom of the stomach. But then other people are talking about colon ulcers, yeah, the hind gut should be The colon. Right. But a lot of people think of it as the pyloric so. I like to say stomach or colon ulcers. 

Elizabeth Ehlrich [00:48:49] Okay. So. So hind gut is really colon for people who might be confused. 

Dr. Miller [00:48:54] Yeah. 

Elizabeth Ehlrich [00:48:55] But interestingly, Ulcereraser actually does benefit the colon because the forage nature of it helps encourage digestion in the foregut where it belongs rather than in the colon. Because if you have a lot of sugar and starch that goes undigested in the stomach and then starts to break down in the colon, the release of volatile fatty acids can cause the beneficial bacteria to die off, which can cause the pH to plummet. And. Is one of the potential causes of colon ulcers. 

Dr. Miller [00:49:32] Yeah, I agree with that. And I think the omega three content of your product also helps the colon and the inflammatory. 

Elizabeth Ehlrich [00:49:40] Right anti-inflammatory in the stomach as well as the colon. That’s ulcerreaser. Symbiotic is a probiotic that’s designed to survive and bypass the stomach environment in order to make it into the colon, both to help populate beneficial bacteria, but then also serve as a food source for the beneficial bacteria in the colon. 

Piper Klemm [00:51:08] To learn more about anything we’ve discussed on today’s show, visit You can find show notes at Follow The Plaid Horse on all the social medias. You can subscribe to the print edition of the Plaid Horse magazine at Please rate and review the plaidcast anywhere you listen to it. And if you enjoy this episode, please share it with your friends. I will see you at the ring!