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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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Abused, stressful pony

Hello Dr. Getty,

My pony is really cranky and when i will go in his stall he trys to kick me and bit me. We have already stopped giving him treats outside of his bucket. What can i do because i really love him and i want to give him a better life then at his old barn (he was abused).

Thank you.

Re: Abused, stressful pony

Hi Patty,

It’s perfectly understandable that he acts the way you described since he has learned to not trust people. It’s going to take patience and very slow steps to get him to respond to you. There is a lot of information available on training horses to trust again. I think you would enjoy the website Natural Horse People – There are several equine behaviorists available – Jenni Nellist is one that I have respect a great deal.

From a nutritional perspective, there are ways to calm his nervous system. The B vitamins, in particular, are beneficial. Ration Plus ( is a liquid probiotic that contains B vitamins. You may want to add this to his ration.

I would also suggest that you avoid feeding him oats or a sweet feed, since the high sugar content causes mood fluctuations in many horses. Instead, feed him a high quality hay (grass and alfalfa, for example), along with a stabilized rice bran produce or flaxseed product (such as SafeChoice by Nutrena).

If he is underweight, he’ll need more calories and I can give you some guidance on how to do that.

I hope this is helpful. Please keep me posted on your progress. He is lucky to have you.

All the best,

Dr. Getty