The more we look, the more we find gastric ulcers in horses. They are being increasingly diagnosed across all horse populations (including leisure horses) likely due to greater awareness of the signs and symptoms. There have also been developments in technology allowing vets to make earlier and more conclusive diagnoses. Overall, more horses now seem to have ulcers than don’t.
Ulcers are painful for the horse, can impact on their handlers or riders as they react to that pain, and may even reflect our failing to provide a calm and healthy environment. That's not to say all owners of horses with ulcers are to blame - but it really ought to trigger all of us to think more about how we can better care for our horse's needs. Ulcers should not be inevitable or acceptable.