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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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New horse owner

Hi Dr,
This is the first horse I have ever owned and I keep him in a stall. He is a Standard Breed that is 5 years old and about 16 hands tall. I have been feeding him tipton-85 hay(?)24/7 and 4punds twice a day of a mix of Pilgrim's Classic 16% high engery feed and steamed crimped oaks. Is this enough or should I add anything to or take anything away from his diet. I excited to be a new owner and want the best for him.

Where are you from? Atlanta, Texas

How did you locate this forum? internet search

Re: New horse owner

Hi Deborah,

Congratulations on your new horse! Yes, I'm sure you want the best for him, so I have a few suggestions.

First, he should not be kept in a stall, if at all possible. And, if 100% turnout (with shelter against wind and rain) is not feasible, stall time should be limited. Horses need to be horses and they need to graze at all times on pasture or hay, as well as have interaction with other horses. Keeping him in a stall goes against his natural instincts. I realize that there are situations when it is necessary, but please let him have turnout on pasture as much as possible.

Your hay is fine -- give him as much as he wants so that he doesn't go without something to graze on. This, too, is the way horses were designed to eat -- nibbling on grass or hay 24/7.

If he is being exercised heavily, the feed that you are giving is appropriate. But, I mean heavily -- several hours per day and intensely. Otherwise, he doesn't need so much starch. A low starch, performance feed is a much better choice -- one that does not contain cereal grains such as oats, corn, or barley.

He also needs a plain, white salt lick and all the fresh water he wants. If your water source is frozen, you'll want to get heated water buckets to keep his water at 50 degrees. This way he'll drink enough water in the colder months to keep him hydrated and prevent colic.

So, these are a few basics. If you would like me to assist you further, please consider setting up a phone consultation so I can help you customize a feeding plan that complements his environment.

All the best,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO