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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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Feed & Suppliments

my horse has become increasing anxious and is unable to relax to her work, even when being hacked out over the last 3 months, she is very fit and we compete at prelim dressage, she is 12 years old and is a welsh x TB mare.
she is fed 1 scoop of pony nuts with chaff twice a day she also has codlivite and codliver oil in each feed i am considering putting her on a calm suppliment

Where are you from? Newport

How did you locate this forum? search engine

Re: Feed & Suppliments

Hi Alison,

I would recommend that you either discontinue feeding the pony nuts, or significantly reduce the amount you are feeding her. Pony nuts are made from grain – wheat and oats. They also contain molasses. Feeding starch (from grains) and sugar creates peaks and valleys in blood glucose levels and blood insulin levels. Many horses develop difficult temperaments from these highs and lows. The best way to keep her blood sugar levels more even is to feed her a high protein/high fat/low starch feed.

I would suggest that you add alfalfa to her chaff, along with some stabilized rice bran (Miracle Glo is a popular brand). And, instead of the cod liver oil, offer her a flaxseed meal or flaxseed oil. Cod liver oil is something I do not recommend because I prefer to avoid animal products when feeding horses. It is also very high in vitamin A, and it is possible to induce a vitamin A toxicity when supplementing cod liver oil. Anxiety and irritability can also be caused by a vitamin A toxicity, so take a look at her overall intake of this vitamin.

Since she is a performance horse, she would likely benefit from a probiotic to help the bacterial flora that live her hind gut to produce more of the B vitamins. This will calm her.

I hope this is helpful.

All the best,

Dr. Getty