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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 older horse

Dr. Getty,
Again, thank you so much for this wonderful forum. I have learned so much. I am in the process of filling out the questionaire on my 4 horses to do a consult with you, but I need to make one of the changes this week (and do to my schedule, I won't be able to consult with you this week).

I rescued a 27 year old OTTB last year. He was a skin draped over bones. He now looks great, about a 4.5 body score, but I would like to see him gain a little more weight before winter and he seems to have plateaued. From reading your forum, I realize that he is on way too much grain, and I want to make a change.
He is now getting:
7 lbs. 12% grain based pellet (Nutrena Triumph)
1 lb. beet pulp
2 oz Nutra flax
1 oz FasTrack
2 cups Calf Manna
This is split between 2 feedings.
In the middle of the day, he gets 1 lb Alfalfa cubes.
He is on 2.5 acres of good pasture 24/7, and gets several flakes of a good quality fescue/Orchard grass hay. He is current on deworming, and the equine dentist sees him every 6 months.
I want to cut out the Calf Manna and the Triumph pellets and replace them. Would Triple Crown Senior be a good choice? Do I continue to feed the pound of straight Beet Pulp with it since it has Beet Pulp in it? I think he might need the calories, but I don't want to give him too much feed in one meal. Since I read that these older guys don't digest Alfalfa well sometimes, I am hesitant to up the cubes, but is that really a problem?.
Sorry this is such a long post, thank you for your help.


Where are you from? Clover, SC

How did you locate this forum? Googled "horse nutrition"

Re: Feeding older horse

Hi Kim,

Since you are planning on making an appointment, it would be best to go over the big picture before making suggestions. However, from what you described, you seem to be on the right track. You could cut out the beet pulp if you are feeding the Triple Crown according to directions. And, extra hay cubes are not necessary since he is on pasture 24/7.

For now, continue with the nutra flax and discontinue the Calf Manna. You may or may not need to consider supplementation, but we'll take a closer look at that when we talk. I want to make certain that he is getting enough certain vitamins and minerals for his age and health condition.

So, I hope this will get you started. Talk to you soon!

All the best,

Dr. Getty