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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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feeding after riding

How long after a horse is ridden can you feed grain?

Where are you from? Ohio

How did you locate this forum? internet

Re: feeding after riding

It really depends on how hard he was ridden. If you went for a leisurely walk down the road, you could probably feed a small amount when you got back.

If on the other hand, it was a hard ride, or a long ride, and the horse is sweaty, even breathing hard, you definitely should "walk him out" til his sweat is dry and he is breathing normally. Brush him out, and keep the water intake to a few sips until he is cooled out. Wait at least an hour after that before feeding anything.

If it's in-between those two, I would still follow the second suggestion. Walk him out, and wait at least 1/2 hour before feeding.

Some horses are very sensitive and can colic at the least provocation, don't give him a reason to. Some horses are more hardy, and it takes a lot to cause a colic, but why take the chance with your friend?

Hope this helps, Happy Holidays!

Where are you from? Ontario

How did you locate this forum? Surfing

Re: feeding after riding

Hello Annie,

When you say, "grain," I'm assuming that you mean a high starch feed as opposed to a meal that is high in fiber.

A high starch feed stays in the foregut (stomach and small intestine) longer than forage would. Forage moves quickly to the hind gut, where it is "digested" by the bacterial flora that live there.

So, for a meal that contains cereal grains, it is best to let your horse be fully recovered from exercise. Depending on the degree of activity, this may take anywhere from 1/2 hour to 2 hours. Thank you, Willowrider, for your comment about this -- yes, you are correct.

For a meal that is high in fiber, or even just giving a horse hay, you can feed it sooner. Horse's digestive systems are designed to have forage in them at all times, which is why they should always have access to hay and/or pasture.

But, in either case, it is best to have the horse breathing normally.

Conversely, it is also a good idea to wait for at least 30 minutes after feeding to start an exercise program; longer if you are going to do intensive activity.

Hope this is helpful! Happy New Year!

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO