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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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Feeding Program

Dr. Getty,

I will soon be managing the feed program at a 10 horse trail barn. I have had quite a bit of experience with horses, and own one of my own. My horse has always been an easy keeper and I don't feed him grain - just let him graze 24/7 (or hay in the winter) and feed him alfalfa pellets at times when he needs a feed increase. Since I will be taking care of other people's trail horses, though, I wanted to check with you and ask what is the best diet to keep them on as a general rule. Should I treat them the way I treat my horse, or is there a pellet feed that I should be feeding them that has something besides forage in it? I figure that grain isn't really good for horses, but most horse owners don't know that. Can you help me establish a generic feed regimen for my barn? Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge!


Where are you from? Maryland

How did you locate this forum? web search on horse nutrition

Re: Feeding Program

Hi Meredith,

You are doing a fine job with your horse. The trail horses may require, however, additional energy than just hay and alfalfa pellets can provide. So, I would recommend that you offer these horses (including your own, if you like), a mixture of alfalfa pellets and beet pulp. Beet pulp, contrary to common opinion, does not need to be soaked, so it is easy to feed and does not contain starch.

This mixture would be fed in addition to grass hay and/or pasture 24/7. An overall multiple vitamin/mineral supplement would be helpful to fill in the gaps. But, most barns do not provide that unless individual owner’s wish to provide a supplement.

I hope this is helpful. Thank you so much for writing!

All the best,

Dr. Getty