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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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Preventing founder

Hi Dr Getty: I am preparing to bring my two horses home from a boarding facility to my newly purchased barn. I am concerned about the lush grass and the possibility of founder at my place. One is a Welsh Pony and the other is a TB. The boarding facility where they are now has very little quality pasture. They are fed hay 24/7 and the many horses that are boarded there have already worn the natural feed down to nothing, and it's only May. I love that my pastures are plentiful, but worry about too much too soon. I would also like to add that the Welsh Pony, prior to me getting him 4 months ago, had been confined to a stall with literally no turn out for about 1 year. My question is this: should I have the pasture tested or should I simply limit their grazing at first. If so, how much and for how long? Neither has foundered before and they are not over weight. The Welsh Pony does have issues from his past neglect (cribbing) and he seems to experience at least minimal stress frequently. I think he is probably at higher risk, but it is imperitive that I manage their care correctly to keep them both happy and healthy. Thank you.

Where are you from? Maine

How did you locate this forum? Search Engine

Re: Preventing founder

Hi Karla,

I think it would be wise to ease them on to pasture. Since they are both healthy and not overweight, they can likely be on pasture at all times, but for now, it would be best to remove them, if possible in the late afternoon when the sugar and starch levels are at their highest. During a sunny day, the grass produces sugars and starch and the amount peaks toward the end of the day. During the dark hours, the grass consumes the sugar and starch for energy, so that by early morning, the levels are at their lowest.

Having your pasture tested would be a good idea -- I like Equi-Analytical. Test it in the late afternoon on a sunny day.

About your pony -- cribbing is a result of the stress he endured and I would suggest that you approach this both environmentally and nutritionally. A few months of freedom will definitely help, and may eventually remove the problem. To assist in getting his nervous sytem back to normal, consider giving him a BComplex known as BPlex and additional magnesium in a product called Quiessence.

I hope this is helpful.

All the best,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO