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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. 

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 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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fat miniature horse diet

I recently purchased a 8 yr. old mini horse mare. She has a wonderful temperment but she is very fat for only being 27 in. tall. She has been a broodmare for the last 6 yrs. and her last foal died.I dont plan on breeding her and I would like an opion on her diet.I have her on oat and alfalfa pellets three quarters of a coffee can and a small handful of timothy hay twice a day.If I spread the foodout more during the day will that help or is she still eating to much. She is also being made to go for 30 min. walks twice a day.Can you help me?

Where are you from? ca

How did you locate this forum? google

Re: fat miniature horse diet

Hello Kristy,

Yes, aren’t miniature horses wonderful? They can’t get enough petting!

Miniatures do tend to hold their weight very well and being a broodmare for all these years also makes it difficult to lose weight. Here’s a few things you can do to help her shed some of those pounds:

1. I would recommend that you eliminate her oats intake. Oats are high in starch, which stimulates her insulin response. Most overweight horses are somewhat insulin resistant. So, she is likely storing more fat, as a result.

2. You can replace the oats with beet pulp or a stabilized rice bran product.

3. Cut her alfalfa pellets intake by 1/3 and continue feeding the timothy hay, if she does not have access to pasture. If she is grazing freely on pasture, she doesn’t require the extra hay. If she is in a dry paddock, however, she should have hay throughout the day. Horses’ digestive tracts are designed to be eating small amounts of food most of the time.

4. Provide her with a general, all purpose multi vitamin/mineral supplement that contains probiotics. Select I or II (made by Richdel) are good choices. (If she is getting more alfalfa and beet pulp, go with Select I). There are other excellent supplements available, as well.

5. If after two months, she has not shown some weight loss, you may want to add some Magnesium Oxide to her diet for additional magnesium. This has been shown to be useful in helping overweight horses.

6. Spreading the food out over the course of the day is somewhat helpful, especially after her walk. In fact, several feedings are better for all horses, if you can fit it into your schedule.

Keep me posted!

All the best,

Dr. Getty