Horses - Diet and Nutrition/defecating by force


hello ma'am, at the riding club, i have seen a mare defecating by force and making some sounds. what does it mean?

Hi Rohit,

Thank you for your question.  It is not uncommon for horses to appear as though they need to push to pass manure and some may even make slight groaning noises.  It would be more concerning of the horse were straining without being able to pass manure.  This could be (amongst other things) a sign of the manure impacting in the cecum or large intestine, often stemming from dehydration or the result of a horse eating large volumes of overly mature forage.  

Thanks, Corlena

Horses - Diet and Nutrition

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Corlena Patterson


I can help with any of your horse nutrition questions and concerns. I have been involved with horses for closing on 40 years, with a B.Sc in Animal Science and currently working on an M.Sc in Equine Science with the University of Edinburgh. I have owned my own feed store, consulted professionally as an equine nutritionist, and lectured in the fields of equine and dairy nutrition at the University level for 5 years. I have developed and currently market 'Ration-X', a ration formulation program for horses...designed for the everyday horse owner. I am happy to help in any way I can.


Experienced in developing and implementing feed programs for horses of all disciplines, creating custom horse supplements and managing inter-disciplinary equine facilities. Specialize in equine nutrition consulting.

The American Society of Equine Appraisers

'Stable Management' Handbook, Equine Canada.

M.Sc (Equine Science-current), B.Sc(Agr) Animal Science, Equine Sports Massage Therapy Certification, Farrier Certification, Equine Consultant Certification, Certified Equine Appraiser, Certified in Emergency Equine Rescue.

©2017 All rights reserved.