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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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Neurotic mare

Hi Dr. Getty,

I need some help. I have a new mare... she is a 13 year old Arabian mare who is about 90 days in foal. She just arrived from Florida about a month ago. I knew when I bought her that she is "hot" but... she's had a big stress from weaning a foal and shipping here, having to adjust to new pasture mates, etc. She is about 75-100 pounds or more underweight and I am not making much progress with her.

She is currently being fed (brought up to this):
Free choice grass hay
5-6 pounds alfalfa pellets
6 pounds of Nutrena Safe Choice
1 pounds beet pulp pellets, soaked
4 ounces Nutra Flax

She eats it all now (she didn't when I first got her). The amounts above are broken in to 3 feedings. She is the most co-dependent horse I have ever met. She dissolves when her friend is out of her sight. So to avoid her running herself in to a lather rather than eating, I tie the other mare near her so that she'll stand and eat. This new mare is not due until the end of May and her buddy needs to go in the barn soon to be under lights for next breeding season. I have other mares I am trying to buddy her with, so I'll get that figured out, but in the mean time, is there anything else I can add to her diet to help her out? Her teeth have been done and she has been dewormed, so that's covered. Should I look at the vitamin B and magnesium supplements? I haven't started her on her pre-natal vitamins yet. Anything else I can add for weight and/or to make her less neurotic?

Thanks so much!

Where are you from? Colorado

How did you locate this forum? can't remember....

Re: Neurotic mare

Hi Julie,

Well, should I wish you "Congratulations?" Sure! She'll eventually adjust and you'll have a wonderful mare, along with a new foal!

You're feeding her very well. I would suggest adding one ounce of Quiessence to her diet along with one ounce of B Plex to help calm her nervous system, as well ensure that she adequately digests her feed.

Once she is closer to foaling -- during her last three months of pregnancy, you'll need to increase her ration and start giving her a multiple vitamin/mineral supplement designed for her additional needs. After the foal is born, she will also have increased requirements.

If you don't already have a foaling manual, I highly recommend "The Complete Foaling Manual" to help you recognize all the signs and know how to correctly care for her.

Please keep me posted. She is likely, as you said, stressed from the move and you are correct in helping her stay near her buddy.

All the best,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, Colorado