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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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balancing a fat coming 4 year olds nutrition

Hi Dr. Getty. I just stumbled accross your website and have been studiously reading for the past couple of hours. MARVELOUS site!!! I have a couple of questions concerning an overweight, easy keeper and balancing her diet. She is four years old, IDSH and an absolute air fern!!

Currently she is getting (per day total):
2 pounds of Farr XTN
2 cups of black oil sunflower seeds
1/2 cup whole flax (she will not eat stabilized or ground, but she will eat them whole)
1 scoop yucca saponin (Uckele product-was I sucked in to this one?? She has no inflammatory problems that I am aware of, other than growth)
I scoop Micro Vet Equine (for probiotics and to balance ration due to feeding under rec. daily amounts of Farr XTN)
1 scoop ester C (875 mg per scoop)
4,000 iu vitamin E
5 cups of beet pulp soaked and drained (I like the idea of getting water into them whenever possible)

Strondid C 2 x (crowded, overgrazed boarding facility)
1/4 cup of canola (recently switched from corn oil)
3-6 flakes of orchardgrass/blue stem hay (just switched over from coastal due to lack of availability)
1-2 flakes of alfalfa hay (I am a believer in the power of the legume!!)

Her dam was EPSM positive and I have not seen any research on the heritabilty of this, but when this fily was off the "high fat/low starch" feed she displayed many of the symptoms (inability to canter, over-reactive, defensive about hind end,...)so I have kept her on a modified version of the high fat/low starch diet.

She has the best coat in the barn, even in winter and looks magnificient other than the weight. I have never had an "easy keeper" before, so this problem is new to me. I'm accostomed to OTTB and trying to put weight ON! Have I become a victim of the "fad diets" and over-supplementation?!?

She is not cresty-necked at all, but I have recently ordered Quiessence for the weight as well as the over-sensitivity.

One more thing: She is a chow hound and has choked in the past. She is fed from feeders on the ground so hard-pelleted feed is difficult unless I can wet it down.

Thank you so much for your time, and again kudos to you on a wonderful site!!

Where are you from? Texas

How did you locate this forum? internet search

Re: balancing a fat coming 4 year olds nutrition

Hi Jaci,

Thank you for the kind words! I'm delighted to offer advice to fellow horse owners like myself.

You're doing a fine job, but I agree with you -- you do like your supplements!!

A high fat/low starch feed is best for your horse so I would continue with that. I do not see the need for the yucca. And, feeding whole flax is really a waste since she cannot break them open. There is a risk involved in feeding them whole, as well, since they will end up in her hind gut and can be fermented by the bacterial flora living there. Normally, flaxseed meal is digested early on in the digestive tract. But, if fed whole, you run the risk of colic and even laminitis. So, I would suggest considering Nutra Flax. Or, if she won't eat that, you can add additional energy to her diet by offering a stabilized rice bran such as Natural Glo.

Since you are already feeding a vitamin/mineral supplement that has magnesium, she may not need Quiessence. A better way to calm her down is to examine her B vitamin intake. She is not getting a large amount in her feed, so consider giving her BPlex instead of Quiessence.

You really don't need the extra vitamin C. At her age, she produces all that she needs. As she gets older, she may require a supplement.

The vitamin E is fine, but make sure she is not getting selenium with it. If she is, consider giving her E5000.

You're doing great with the hay and beet pulp.

Hope this helps clarify things for you. If at some point, you find that a phone consultation would be helpful, I'd be delighted to visit with you!

All the best,

Dr. Getty