Return to Website

Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition

   Welcome to my forum. 

Here you will find more than 6 years of questions and my answers. It is searchable and offers a great deal of information. 

Currently, I am discontinuing new questions. This may change in the future, but in the meantime, please know that It has been a true pleasure serving you. 

Take a look at my Nutrition Library and Tips of the Month for a variety of answers on selected topics. Be sure to sign up for my monthly e-newsletter, Forage for Thought

I also have a growing number of recordings on "Teleseminars on Nutrition Topics that Concern You" as well as the new, Spotlight on Equine Nutrition Series -- printed versions of favorite teleseminars.

And finally, look for my articles in a variety of local publications and online newsletters, as well as the Horse Journal, where I am the Contributing Nutrition Editor.  


All the best,

 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
This Forum is Locked
7 year old APHA mare


I am at odds what to feed my mare. She is bred (hopefully still in foal - aborted the 1st one - will know next week) - She was being fed straight alfalfa & 2 coffee cans of whole oats per day. I feed a suppliment w/1/2 can of gran am & pm plus 1/2 flake of grass/alfalfa each feeding. She is a pretty easy keeper, but I am hoping her previous owner did not do her harm by feeding her so much high protein. She was only being pleasure riding occassionaly & I don't feel she needed so much protein. She has only been fed "Eastern" Oregon or Washington hay (higher protein than locally grown hay). I am getting ready to put her on a Fastrak Probiotic feed. I take these enzymes as well & totally believe in them. Do you think they are worth the extra money?

Thank you!

Cathy Vandervort

Where are you from? LaCenter

Re: 7 year old APHA mare

Hi Cathy,

Congratulations! I hope all goes well and you get good news next week.

The issue of protein for pregnant mares is no longer a concern like it used to be because we now know that the key is not so much the amount of protein, but rather the quality of protein. If a poor quality protein is fed in too high quantity, it can cause problems for the growing fetus. But, in your case, she was being fed alfalfa, which is a legume, and therefore, has more available protein (higher in quality) than a grass hay. So, I would not let that concern you.

Since she is an easy keeper, she likely doesn’t need to be fed the high amounts she had been receiving. The feeding plan that you have chosen is far better, so long as she is maintaining her weight. You can continue to feed the same amount until she reaches the end of her 7th month of pregnancy. After that time, she will be gaining weight rapidly and you may want to consider feeding her a feed designed for pregnant mares.

I like the idea of feeding probiotic enzymes. This will keep her digestive tract in good condition. Yes, I feel they are worth the money. Also, take a look at her overall calcium and phosphorus intake. This is especially critical as her pregnancy progresses.

Good luck and write again to let me know how she’s doing!

All the best,
Dr. Getty