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Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition

   Welcome to my forum. 

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 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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low energy horse


I have a 4 yr old draft cross (Percheron x Saddlebred) gelding and he has low energy. Of course he can zip around when he wants to, but typically he is lazy and hard to "motivate". I lunge him for about 2 minutes and he falls asleep. I don't know if it is his personality or attitude, or if it relates to his feed.

He gets a pellet and average quality hay.

Someone just suggested crimped oats. Will that help?


Where are you from? Vermont

How did you locate this forum? google search

Re: low energy horse

Hi Bekah,

Couldn’t help but chuckle – he sounds like a treasure!

His laziness is likely due to his personality, but it can also be affected by his feed. I would suggest that you reduce his level of starch and not feed the oats. Most pellets are also high in starch. You see, starch elevates the hormone insulin, which leads to low blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels are low, he gets tired. In addition, excess starch increases the production of a neurotransmitter called serotonin, which makes him sleepy and very relaxed!

So, see if you can find a low starch feed. There are several on the market: Nutrena’s SafeChoice, Triple Crown Low Starch, and Purina’s Ultium.

I would also recommend that you offer him either a B vitamin supplement or boost the bacterial flora’s ability to produce B vitamins by adding Ration Plus to his feed. B vitamins increase his ability to get energy from his feed.

Keep me posted on his progress.

All the best,

Dr. Getty