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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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Why does my horse eat dirt?

My horse is a 5 yr old gelding mustang. We moved him to a new boarding facility 1 month ago - from pipe corral to a temporary box stall. I've noticed that when I turn him out in one of the arenas, he is eating the dirt from a hard dirt bank which is on the outside of the arena pen.

What would cause this behavior?

Thanks, DSBART

Where are you from? southern california

How did you locate this forum? internet surfing

Re: Why does my horse eat dirt?


Since you just moved him to a new environment, his dirt-eating is likely a stress and/or boredom response. Be cautious of this because he can develop colic from consuming dirt, especially if it is sandy.

Eating dirt is also an indication that he needs salt. Providing a salt lick or adding an ounce of plain, iodized salt to his feed each day, will likely help.

To reduce this behavior, if you feel it is stress related, see what you can do to relieve his situation. And, I would recommend adding a B-Complex vitamin supplement to his diet to calm his system, along with a product designed to prevent sand colic (such as Sand Relief).

Keep me posted on how he’s doing.

All the best,

Dr. Getty