The horse’s (non-ruminant herbivore) gastrointestinal tract differs from that of cattle (ruminant). The horse’s soft palate closes after it swallows food, trapping the food in the larynx. In addition, the horse has muscular contractions in the esophagus that only go in a downward direction. Unlike cattle, the horse cannot reverse the direction of esophageal contractions. The cardiac sphincter muscle closes tightly when food enters the stomach and does not release, trapping food in the stomach. Therefore, horses cannot regurgitate their food and chew it again like cattle can.