Return to Website

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
This Forum is Locked
Feeding Cooked Rice

Hello Dr. Getty, and Merry Christmas!

I am a 38 yr. horse care professional, and a self learned equine nutritionist out of necessity. I am currently winter manager of the Blowing Rock Equestrian Preserve in Blowing Rock, NC (a great place to camp & ride the Blue Ridge, BTW!)

A few years ago, I was appalled to find out that a poor Appalachian mountain family was feeding their horses cooked white rice because they could not afford to buy horse feed. After thinking about it a couple of years, and running across a mention of cooked rice in the equine diet, I'm beginning to have second thoughts. Mayhaps feeding cooked rice isn't such a bad thing after all?

Of course I would prefer cooked BROWN rice! Do you know of any studies that add de-hulled rice to an equine diet? What about whole rice (hulls attached)? I would like to see a nutritional breakdown of rice, both white and brown, and see how it would fit into the equine scheme of things. It seems from the little I already know that rice could be beneficial in the right circumstances.

What do you think?

Kind Regards,
Tracey K

Where are you from? Boone, NC

How did you locate this forum? Browsing/Google searching

Re: Feeding Cooked Rice

Hi Tracey,

Rice is similar to wheat in its nutritional value, and white rice is like feeding white bread to a horse. From a biochemical perspective, the result is sugar, since starch is digested down to glucose.

So, bottom line -- feeding white rice is very similar to just feeding sugar cubes. It provides carbohydrates, but it is essentially an empty calorie, without much vitamin/mineral content. Brown rice, of course, is a whole grain, and does have the benefit of the germ as well as the bran layer, which has added nutrients.

So, if the horse has plenty of good quality grass hay and/or pasture, adding a small amount of white rice to the diet will simply add some calories to the diet. But, in terms on nutrition, it is a very, very poor choice, indeed.

And, it's important to note that too large a meal of rice (or any cereal grain) can increase the risk of laminitis. So caution needs to be in place.

Hope this is helpful!

Happy Holidays!

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO