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Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition

   Welcome to my forum. 

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 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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Keeping weight on 22 year old TB

My 22 year old TB mare is hard to keep weight on in the Winter. She is NOT stalled, I have both a "raincoat" and a truly heavy weight Winter blanket for her. Last Winter I fed her "Legacy" ( a joint supplement),Biotin, ally blended Vit./Mineral that provides the amount of Selinium necessary in our totally deficient SE area, small amount of whole oats,1-2 C pelleted rice bran and grass/alfalfa hay, virtually all she would eat. She came thru looking great, but this Winter I will have Oat hay, grass hay and lots of oats as we have our own. I am worried about her fooundering on all that grain/strarch etc.

I have wondered about Glanzen, Quiessence instead of the rice bran etc. Also, I HATE the smell of the SE supplement. It just seems old & rancid smelling. Oh, she is currently getting the supplement, Horseshine and pure MSM rather than the Legacy & Biotin.

Also, can you tell me why you have to "taper off" the Quiessence if you are feeding it?

Thanks, Penny

Where are you from? SE Oregon

How did you locate this forum? looking for info on "natural" feed & barefoot trim

Re: Keeping weight on 22 year old TB

Hi Penny,

I think that feeding Glanzen would be an excellent choice since you would be providing flaxseed meal, along with the vitamins and minerals it offers. I would recommend the Glanzen-SE since it has selenium, since you plan on eliminating the other selenium product. Glanzen SE does not have a bad odor.

I'm not sure why you want to feed Quiessence in her case. I generally recommend it for horses who are prone toward laminitis (insulin resistant due to overweight) or horses who are high strung and need more magnesium in their diet. It will not protect against laminitis due to feeding large amounts of oats.

The reason large amounts of oats (starch) can lead to laminitis is because of the amount that does not get digested and ends up in the hind gut for the bacterial flora to ferment.

Rice bran is a good choice -- make sure it is a product that contains added calcium, such as Natural Glo by ADM Alliance.

But, oat hay is not very nutritious and feeding large amounts of oats will not only endanger her health, but will not give you the weight gain you're after.

If you can add alfalfa pellets to her diet, this will be helpful. And, flaxseed meal (from the Glanzen), along with rice bran, will be your best bet. Do no feed more than 3 lbs of oats each day. It's a good idea to weigh your feed to know exactly how much you're feeding -- scoop sizes are unreliable.

I would also suggest that you give her Ration Plus to help her gain weight. This is a very effective way to boost the health of her digestive system so she gets more calories from her forage.

I hope this is helpful. Oh -- one other very important thing -- make sure her teeth are healthy. Teeth problems are a major cause of weight loss.

All the best,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO