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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 a foundered yearling

Hi agian!
I love your forum and appreciate this resource. My question is I recently bought a foundered yearling filly. The previous owner had been giving her molasses block, free choice grain and lush pasture. Needless to say this was the cause of her founder. The previous owner thought it was because she was a perlino and nearly gave her to me.

I have her on grass hay with a little alfalfa mixed in, but I have been reading and several sources are saying that there should be absolutly no alfalfa in the diet of a foundered horse because of the protien. I can not see why protien would be a problem. Any advice on what I should feed her for optimal results. I am seeing progress with the barefoot trim and this diet.

Thank you for your time! Paula

Where are you from? Utah

Re: Feeding a foundered yearling

Hi Paula,

I have read in some places that alfalfa should be avoided for a horse that is prone to founder. However, it is not because of the protein, but rather the sugar level. Alfalfa does have a higher sugar level that most grass hays, but it's glycemic index is quite low. Adding some alfalfa to the diet is a good idea, in most cases, because it boosts the overall quality of the protein in the entire diet, making healing more efficient.

So, I'm with you -- you're doing the right thing! Keep up the fine work!

Dr. Getty