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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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Pelleted feed suggestion

Hi, Dr Getty, at the present other owners and myself at a small barn are feeding Purina Ultium (except for one owner who feeds Legends textered feed to her 2 horses). Some of the horses are not worked much and are gaining too much weight on the Ultium. My own Hanoverain gelding has signs of EPSM and is doing well on the Ultium with added oil and my Paint mare is also fine on the Ultium, so I will not change my two horses' feed. I feel we could just cut down the amount of Ultium for the horses who are too fat, but the Purina dealer has said that this will mean the horses don't get adequate minerals and vitamins. I have been asked to do research into an alternate feed for these horses so they can get a fair amount but with a low fat content. One owner has suggested Legends 12 pellet. I want the horses to have as low a starch/sugar content pellet as possible so I am not sure about the Legends. I am suggesting Purina Strategy. Could I ask your opinion on a good lower NSC pellet with a low fat content.

Where are you from? Morgantown WV

How did you locate this forum? web search

Re: Pelleted feed suggestion

Hello Jean,

Thank you for writing. Actually, you want to keep the fat level high for a horse that has a polysaccharide disorder, so I would suggest that you stick with Ultium. But, the recommended feeding amounts are often much too high for many horses, resulting in weight gain. And, as you mentioned, when you don't feed according to directions, your horse does not get all the vitamins and minerals that are added to the feed.

So, rather than switch, I would suggest feeding less and then adding 1/2 dose of a basic, comprehensive supplement, such as Accel.

There are other brands of feeds that are low in starch. Triple Crown has a Low Starch and a Safe Starch version that you may be able to get in your area. Blue Seal and Seminole feeds also offer low starch versions.

Your best bet for a horse that is not worked is to provide a good quality grass hay and/or pasture, 24/7, along with some alfalfa to balance out the amino acid profile. And, then add a vitamin/mineral supplement. Since a forage-only diet would not have as much omega 3 content, I would go with Glanzen Complete, added to grass and alfalfa. And for a meal, you can use alfalfa pellets or unsweetened beet pulp as a carrier. So, this would be another way, and a simpler way, to go with a maintenance horse.

I hope this is helpful.

All the best,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO