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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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Hard Keep

Hi Dr. Getty

Currently having a problem keeping weight on my 3yr old QH mare. 15.2 and about 950lbs
She is on River Racer 10 protein and 6 fat 3.5lbs in am and 3.5 lbs in pm. She also get 2ozs of accel weight builder a day. She is worked 3xs per wk for about an hour.
Recently floated and all vacs UTD
Want to switch her to Purina Horsemans pride which is a 10 pro 10 fat and increase grain to 4lbs in am and 4lbs in pm.
Help skinny in NJ
Thanks Debbie

Where are you from? NJ

How did you locate this forum? Horse n Rider

Re: Hard Keep

Hi Debra,

You could increase her diet to one that is higher in fat, as you proposed, but please be careful about feeding so much. She is young and 4 lbs per meal is risky since her stomach size is just not made for such a large meal. So, I recommend changing to the higher fat feed, and still feed 3.5 lbs.

But, two other things to consider. First, give her Ration Plus. This will help her gain weight since it boosts the health of the bacterial flora in the hind gut, making digestion of forage more efficient. Hence, she'll get more calories from her grass and hay.

Second, make sure she has all the forage she wants. Since pasture grass is not very nutritious right now, give her all the grass hay she wants. A horse's digestive system is designed to never run out of forage -- they need to graze continuously.

You should also consider adding some alfalfa to the diet to improve her protein quality. 10% protein is really quite low for a young horse and adding alfalfa will fix this problem. You can add hay, or put a third meal into her mix of alfalfa pellets or cubes (moistened, please, to prevent choke).

All the best,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO