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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. 

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All the best,

 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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FOLLOWUP TO "Boarding Barn Feeding"

Thank you for the info on the Triple Crown Low-Starch. I discussed this feed with one of my boarders that has had some issues with her horse and she thinks her horse needs more carbs.

Some background info: Her horse is a 9 year old thouroughbred and has been in lite rehab work. (She is a casual rider and fell off the horse about two years ago. She started Parelli training with him in 2004 which ended mid 2005. She continued to do some longeing and lite work with him and last summer (2005)she had a very capable 16 year old ride him once or twice a week. By August, she thought he was acting strange and not moving well, so she had a massage therapist and a chiropractor/vet check him out. The horse was started on a program of just walking no riding or trotting etc... at that time his food was chg'd to 3/4 scoop of barley and 1 cup ultium. The owner is no longer using the chiropractor/vet who originally suggested this feed plan. She was only in the picture a month or so.

The horse owner has stayed with this feed because this was what she was told last year. The horse is still basically in very light work (only ground work on the long lines or lungeing) can you explain why a horse in this situtation would need more carbs? Would the Triple Crown Low-Starch be a move in the wrong direction?

Please help us find some direction for this horse and his owner.

Thank You!

Where are you from? Florida

How did you locate this forum? google

Re: FOLLOWUP TO "Boarding Barn Feeding"

Hi Patty,

Actually, the Purina Ultium is also a low starch feed and better than the Triple Crown Low Starch.

However, I would avoid barley. Barley and corn are very poorly digested and are very likely to end up in the hind gut, where the bacteria can ferment them, leading to colic and laminitis.

I think the owner of this horse is confusing "carbs" with "energy." Horses derive energy from many sources, not just carbohydrates. Starchy feeds (made from grains such as oats, corn, and barley) are acceptable to a limited degree for a horse that is doing intensive work. That is not the case with this horse. So, it is best to provide enough energy from non-starchy sources such as the ingredients found in Ultium (such as beet pulp, soybean meal and hulls, rice bran, alfalfa meal, flaxseed meal, etc.).

So, I would recommend feeding the Purina Ultium at a higher rate, more in sync with his activity needs. Add a plain salt lick and water, and he'll be on the right track.

Hope this is helpful.

All the best,

Dr. Getty