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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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My granddaughter's 20 year-old-gelding.....

My daughter bought my grandaughter a 20yo gelding for her birthday last year..Yep, she got took! We've taken him to the vet to be checked and had his teeth floated. He was a little lean when we got him but we figured we could put some weight on him . We have had him for almost a year now.( He follows Abby(6), around like a puppy). We've had him on a good coastal hay, feed him twice a day with a mixture of Senior feed, oats; and we mix in a supplement called WeightGainer that is suppose to help him put on weight..Nada..He acts like he's starving to death and practically knocks us down when we go out to feed..Any suggestions???

Where are you from? Texas

How did you locate this forum? searching for answers

Re: My granddaughter's 20 year-old-gelding.....

Hi Shari,

As horses age, their ability to digest and absorb nutrients diminishes. So, I have several suggestions for you:

1. Give him a probiotic – these are good bacteria to support his digestive tract.

2. Provide him with B vitamins – as horses age, their requirements increase. A good B vitamin supplement that is also a probiotic is Ration Plus.

3. Offer him a mixture of grass and alfalfa hays throughout the day, not just at meal times. He needs to be able to graze 24/7 and there’s not much quality grass around this time of year, so offer hay at all times. The fact that he is ravenous at feeding times indicates that he may be going too long in between meals without eating. This can lead to ulcers. So, keep in mind that horse’s digestive systems are designed to have feed throughout the day and night.

4. Reduce, or even eliminate the oats. They are not as good an energy source as other feeds and increase his risk of foundering. Instead, offer him rice bran or flaxseed meal. These contain valuable fats that will provide extra calories and improve his overall health.

5. If he isn’t on a regular worming program, have him assessed by your veterinarian and then start either a daily wormer or paste worming every 2 to 3 months.

If you follow these guidelines, he will very likely gain weight. It may take a few months to see a difference in his weight, but you will see a change in him demeanor and outward appearance rather quickly.

Keep me posted.

All the best,

Dr. Getty