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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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What to feed a senior horse

Greetings Dr. Getty!

I am so glad to have found your site. I just adopted a senior (26 years) Arab mare. She will arrive today, but I do not have any contact with the original owner, she had her sice birth, so I assuming that she was well taken care of, as she checks out to be in great shape (no missing teeth & great feet.) I have always had much younger horse. I am at a lose on what to feed her. I was told a small flake of alfalfa (1 in the morning and 1 at night) then grain her in the afternoon w/ barley & bett pulp. What do you think?

Also, she came from MN and she will stay with me in AZ. Is it possible that she will have a hard time with the AZ temps? She will be in a mare motel.

Thank you so much for providing this site, it was a great find!


Where are you from? Arizona

How did you locate this forum? google search

Re: What to feed a senior horse

Hi Yvonne,

I would suggest staying away from cereal grains and feeds that contain them (oats, corn, barley, wheat, etc.). As horses age, they are more likely to develop a disorder known as Cushings Syndrome and it is important to keep their starch and sugar levels down.

Beet pulp (soaked) is excellent as is some alfalfa. So, give her a meal of beet pulp and perhaps some alfalfa pellets, along with a good vitamin/mineral supplement that will support her feet and provide omega 3 fatty acids to support her joints and immune function. I highly recommend Glanzen Complete.

And, the most important thing you can do for her is to give her all the hay and/or pasture she wants. Horses' digestive systems are designed to have forage at all times to keep the motility of the gastrointestinal tract in good shape. Plus, this will prevent the formation of ulcers, since the stomach produces acid at all times and therefore, a horse needs to chew to produce saliva (a natural antacid). So a good grass hay is excellent and let her have it available so that she never runs out. If she's not used to this, she will eat more than usual at first. But, once she sees that she can walk away and stop eating for a while, and the hay is still there, she'll calm down and self-regulate her intake to one that fits her needs.

Congratuations on your new adventure! If you need more specific assistance, please feel free to set up an individual phone consultation.

All the best

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO