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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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spayed mare + estrogen

Hi, I have a 7 y.o. mare that was spayed in January due to extreme heat cycles in which she was actually dangerous in that she would just lay on you or move into pressure pinning people againt walls and stalls. She also was unridable during this time because of her refusal to move forward and she stopped to urinate freqently. I have just put her in full training (6 days a week) with a dressage trainer and he has increased her feed-she was on the thin side. He is graining her 2 times a day, giving her a scoop of barley, beet pulp and haying her 3 times a day. What is happening now is she is acting like she is in season again. She is having the exact same symptoms as above but not as severe. I called MSU where the surgery was done and was told that this could not be happening as her ovaries were removed. My question is could there be enough plant estrogens in her feed to cause these symptom? Or could her working on a daily basis be releasing estrogen from stored fat? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you

Where are you from? michigan

How did you locate this forum? on the internet/search

Re: spayed mare + estrogen

Hello Michelle,

Thank you for writing and I can certainly understand your frustration after going through surgery.

Yes, fat cells also release estrogen and it's possible that this is a factor. Phytoestrogens are not high in grasses. Soybean meal is high in plant estrogens and carrots and apples also offer some.

But grain -- barley and oats, in particular, are high in phytoestrogens. Grain also can cause behavioral issues in many horses due to the high starch level, as well, which causes highs and lows in blood glucose.

So, my main suggestion is to stop feed cereal grains. Replace them with a low starch feed or beet pulp.

I would also consider giving her Mare Alleve. This herbal product has been shown to be helpful for many of my clients.

The last suggestion is best to do after you've tried changing her diet and given her Mare Alleve. But, addtional magnesium provided by Quiessence, may have a calming effect on her nervous system, since most horses do not get enough of this mineral.

Keep me posted!

All the best,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO