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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 carrots

Hi, I've recently been given a 20yr old thoroughbred and obviosult going through a bit of a learning process about feeding - I'm getting lots of advice from people at the yard where I keep him We recently had a rep at the yard who said that carrots were full of sugar and shouldn't be fed ad hoc because it would make the horse excitable. We were all surprised by this, we all feed several carrots a day and throw them around the paddocks - what advice do you have about the feeding of carrots.

Where are you from? Norfolk

How did you locate this forum? Search Engine

Re: Feeding carrots

Wow, I've never heard of that! That is kind of a scary thought since most people (including me) love to feed carrots as treats. My horse loves any kind of treat and since he is spoiled rotten (in a good way) he gets plenty of them. I never really thought that they could have a significant impact on diet. I suppose the question is, how many pounds of treats do you have to feed for it to impoact your horses health?

Re: Feeding carrots

Hi Rosie and Jamie,

Carrots are high in sugar, but they are also very high in fiber, making the insulin response slow down more than it would if you were feeding pure sugar. So, generally speaking, carrots do not make horses excitable.

Having said that, I do not recommend feeding carrots to overweight horses or those who have disorders such as laminitis or Cushings syndrome. This is because with these conditions, too much insulin is already circulating in the bloodstream. So, it is best to not feed anything that will increase those levels further.

So, bottom line – if your horses are of normal weight, and are healthy, you can give them a carrot or two each day. But, too much of any feed is not a good idea. So, you may wish to cut back a bit on the amount of carrots you’re feeding.

All the best,

Dr. Getty