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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
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I run barrel horses and I have been interested in nutrition for so long. I have done a lot of reading and I feel as though I am more confused as to what to feed to have my horses be at their best. I train and also rodeo. I have bought some horses over the past year that have come to me in poor shape as far as coat and hoof. My horse I run looks good but I don't know if she is always on her game. I would like to know how to find my way through all the supplements out there so I don't over feed. Thank you. Oh I live in Montana.

Re: Supplements

Hi Christa,

You are not alone in your confusion regarding supplementation! There are literally hundreds from which to choose.

The way to know if you are over-supplementing is to literally go through each nutrient listed on the label and calculate how much your mare is getting each day. You can then compare these amounts to the guidelines published by the NRC for horses. The guidelines are generally on the low side, so it’s generally fine to exceed them slightly. However, some vitamins, such as Vitamin A and Vitamin D can be potentially toxic if too much is in the diet.

In general, a good, all-purpose multivitamin/mineral supplement is adequate if your mare is getting a variety of forages. Individual nutrients can then be added, as required, for specific situations such as dealing with stress, hoof problems, joint and muscle pain, additional energy requirements, weight gain, weight loss, etc.

Thanks so much for writing. I hope this was helpful. I had to be somewhat general, since I do not know your mare’s exact circumstances. If you would like, we can visit more about her overall diet and nutritional needs on the phone. As a performance mare, I know you’re aware of the additional demands on her body. Let me know if I can assist you further.

All the best,

Dr. Getty