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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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Switch to oats?

My 6 yo mare is beginning to develop fat pads behind her shoulders. I am planning on showing her in halter and performance. She is 15.2. I am feeding her a pellet feed, and mixed alfalfa hay, percentage 70/30 in favor of alfalfa. I am wanting to switch to rolled oats and keep the hay. I need to maintain her body weight, without the risk of fat deposits and crest issues on her neck. She is rather large muscled. She is not Impressive bred. Thanks for your help

Re: Switch to oats?

Hello Peggie,

Thanks for writing about your mare. The best thing you can do for her to keep her healthy and prevent weight-related problems is to avoid feeding her grain. So, I do not recommend that you switch to oats. Excess body fat leads to insulin resistance and feeding her starchy feeds will increase her tendency to store more body fat. It will also increase her risk of developing laminitis.

So, my suggestion to you would be to stop feeding the pellet feed (since it is also likely grain-based), continue with the alfalfa/grass hay mixture, and feed her a low-starch concentrate such as Purina Ultium or Triple Crown Low Starch.

All the best,

Dr. Getty