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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 Keeper & Poor Quality Hay

I have a nearly 3 y/o TWH gelding that just won't put on any weight. He's 16.1 HH and still growing tall.

I am currently feeding mixed grass hay which is poor quality according to the seller and I agree with him. To supplement, I also feed 2 full scoops of grain per day (50% is 12% protein sweet feed; 25% is cracked corn; 25% is boiled oats) Also has free choise of salt & mineral blocks and is on a worming schedule. UPD on all shots.

He is turned out with 3 other horses 24/7 and has access to the barn for inclement weather.

I haven't been working him as it's just too cold for my old bones.

When the weather warms up, I'm putting in a round pen for exercising/training and will eventually be riding him once he's bulked up/exercised. What can I give him to put some weight and muscle on his bones?

Thank you!

Where are you from? Falmouth, KY

How did you locate this forum? fellow user at HappyHenHouse chicken board

Re: Hard Keeper & Poor Quality Hay

Hi Pam,

When trying to help a horse gain weight, it is more effective to add fat to the diet, rather than a lot of carbohydrates (from cereal grain-based sweet feeds). So, in addition to what you're feeding, I would recommend adding a Weight Builder such as Hard Keeper, and also a prebiotic called Ration Plus. Ration Plus is very helpful for underweight horses because it helps the microbes living in the hind gut to better digest forage. That way, he gets more calories from his hay.

Since he is still growing, and your hay is of poor quality, I would recommend adding Lysine to the diet.

And finally, he may also benefit from SuPer Muscle Builder to boost his muscle mass through the addition of Gamma Oryzanol and Branched Chain Amino Acids. This is especially helpful to boost muscle mass while being exercised.

Keep me posted on his progress,

Dr. Getty

P.S. Weigh each meal that you're providing and make sure than it doesn't weigh more than 4 lbs. Also, too much starch can affect the health of his bones and joints, so I recommend reducing the sweet feed and offering some low-starch feed. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO