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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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ribby two year old

Hi, I have a two year old filly that really looks good other than slightly ribby, and has been since a yearling when I got her. She is shiny and her top line is nice and she seems to feel well. I feed her grass alfalfa mix hay and she gets some grass and willow and a few others in her pasture that she shares with two other horses that are more on the side of fat.All have been wormed with ivermectin about 6 weeks ago.
Should I be concerned and feed her some form supplemental calories or is she just growing and trim? Is a little rib on a young horse a concern? Most people around here keep there horses like butter balls and think she looks underfed although she is getting all she can eat for the most part.

Where are you from? Utah

Re: ribby two year old

Hi Paula,

Since she is still growing, I would suggest that you boost the quality of her diet by adding some Lysine (an essential amino acid that growing horses need plenty of) and some additional calories, say from flaxseed meal. She should also have a good multiple vitamin/mineral supplement to fill in any gaps.

Her forage diet is fine -- no changes there -- but she just could use more calories and nutrients so she can put on a small amount of weight, along building new tissue.

Hope this helps!

All the best,

Dr. Getty