Return to Website

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
This Forum is Locked
tense, extremely over RE-active behaviour

Hello Dr. Getty. I have a 17.2, 10 y.o. WB gelding that I ride (dressage) 4/5 times a week. He is fed apprx. 2 lbs of TripleCrown LowStarch, split into 2 daily feedings & free choice hay. Turned out 8-10 hours daily.

Normally my barn feeds a pretty decent timothy hay. My horse has thrived & been a pleasant, willing partner. Until this winter. The only thing that has changed has been the type of hay fed....

The hay shipments have been frequent (like every couple months) & each time the hay is different. Sometimes is timothy but more often it is some kind of 'grass' mix & will sometimes (but not always) have some alfalfa in the mix.

What I have noticed is that 'sometimes' within a day or so of consuming a new hay, my horse becomes increasingly sensitive, intolerant of just about anything I ask him, tense in his body & mind & extremely over RE-active to everything. This continues unless/until there is a new hay shipment/different hay that he seems to tolerate. Sometimes he eats the hay from a new shipment & he is fine, his 'normal' self. It has been a challenge to say the least.

What is it about some hay that causes this behaviour? And is there anything I can do about it? Thanks for any advice you can offer as I am feeling a little desperate to have my steady partner back!

Where are you from? S C

How did you locate this forum? internet search

Re: tense, extremely over RE-active behaviour

Hello Elizabeth,

Hays can certainly vary in many nutrients including sugar and starch content, protein, and minerals. One mineral, in particular -- Magnesium -- is often low in horse's diets and this has a significant effect on behavior. So, the first thing I would try is adding magnesium to the diet in the form of Quiessence. Feed 1 scoop per 500 lbs of body weight.

Keep me posted!

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO