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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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How do I switch over to a low NSC diet?

I would like to switch to as low an NSC diet as I can. This is what I'm feeding currently:

6-8 flakes of grass/alfalfa mix hay, spread into three feedings per day

"grain" fed only once a day-
6 cups oats (I think they're crimped)
1 cup black oil sunflower seeds
1 cup Omega Horseshine
2 oz. kelp
one of the horses also gets 1 tbsp. paprika because she's black

I want to switch the oats to something else that is low NSC. It would be nice if it was something that I could get away with feeding only 2-3 pounds and still be able to eliminate some of the supplements I'm feeding. All the formulas out there seem to require a minimum of 5 pounds a day. I could do Triple Crowns Lite, and only have to add a fat supplement, but I can't get it in my area. Any suggestions? I thought of maybe replacing the oats with alfalfa pellets? If I eliminated the Horseshine, I would need something else with flax and yeast. One of my horses gets diarhea when not receiving yeast. One of them cribs when not given the kelp. I can't afford to feed 5 pounds a day, and I don't want to lower the fat content, as they all do well with it.

Where are you from? West Michigan

How did you locate this forum? surfing for info

Re: How do I switch over to a low NSC diet?

Hello Krista,

Yes, you can replace oats with a combination of alfalfa pellets and beet pulp. Beet pulp has almost as many calories as oats, but does not get digested in the foregut, like oats, making them safe to feed to a horse that needs to avoid sugar and starch.

Avoid Omega Horseshine, since it contains oats. Instead, you can consider Nutra Flax.

However, since you are not giving a vitamin/mineral supplement, consider Reitsport, since this will provide the flaxseed meal, plus vitamins, minerals, hoof support, joint support, and the probiotics, including yeast, that your horse requires.

Or, if your horse does not need joint support, go with Glanzen, which contains yeast culture (but not other live microbes).

If your horse is experiencing any joint or muscle stress, it is best to avoid sunflower seeds. They are high in Omega 6 fatty acids, which increase inflammation.

All the best,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO