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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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23 year old quarter horse

Dr. Getty,

We have a 23 year old horse, when the weather starts getting cold, I usually double the feed that he takes in. I also add carrots and apples occassionally. Lately he has lost alot of weight. We had the Vet out he wormed Charlie and said that he was having a little problems with his back teeth. He also suggested that we go to the Senior feed and alfalfa which we did. He does not seem to like the senior feed, anything else that we can add to get him back to his weight. I noticed that you recommend the b-plex and flexseed meal would this help
Thanks Laurie

Where are you from? Kansas

How did you locate this forum? through google

Re: 23 year old quarter horse

Hi Laurie,

I’m assuming that you were able to have his teeth checked and treated. Teeth problems are one of the main causes for weight loss in aging horses.

From a nutritional perspective, he would likely do well on a stabilized rice bran product, such as Natural Glo. This will help him gain weight without adding a large amount of starch to the diet. I would also suggest flaxseed meal and Ration Plus. Ration Plus is a very good source of B vitamins and serves as a probiotic to assist in helping him get the nutrients he needs from his feed.

During the cold months, you can also offer him some beet pulp. Many horses especially enjoy this softened with warm water, though it is not necessary to wet it. But, soaking it in water is a good way to help him get the extra water he needs. Older horses typically do not drink as much as they need to. Adding salt to his diet to encourage him to drink would also be beneficial.

So bottom line – rice bran/flax/beetpulp mixture along with Ration Plus. Also, offer him a 50/50 mixture of grass/alfalfa hays throughout the day.
Measure his weight to give yourself a baseline and then in a month, see if you notice any improvement.
Let me know.

All the best,

Dr. Getty