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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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older horse,to get weight on him

i have a 12 year old gelding, that was given to me because he was so poor ( walking bones pretty much)i started him on safe choice and 13% pellets and all the hay he can eat.i have gotten him to gain but not enough.i have him on 10% sweet feed, cracked corn,13% pellets he is maybe 900 lbs i give him 6 quarts in am and 6 quarts in pm and all the hay he wants and fresh water he is on dry lot i let him out to eat what grass i have which is not much my question is am i on the right track or do i need to add and subract something. i give him pieces off mineral block once a day (left one out he ate it in 2 days) so now i break off pieces for him

Where are you from? cumberland city, tn

How did you locate this forum? searching on line

Re: older horse,to get weight on him

Hi Dena,

Thank you for writing. I have a few suggestions for you to help him improve.

First, your meals are dangerously large. 6 quarts of the average feed weighs approximately 9 lbs. This will very likely will cause him to colic since a horse's stomach is relatively small compared to the rest of his digestive tract. So, limit your meals to no more than 1 1/2 quarts.

Second, instead of feeding so much cereal grain, go with fat. You don't have to feed as much and it has more than double the calories than carbs. Hard Keeper is a good choice, along with additional flaxseed meal from Nutra Flax.

Third, stay away from corn. Corn is not appropriate for horses since they do not adequately digest it in the foregut. It ends up in the hind gut, where the bacteria ferment it. This results in acid production, the death of bacteria, and laminitis -- an extremely painful disorder.

And, finally, give him Ration Plus. This will boost his ability to digest forage by helping the bacteria get healthier. The result is more calories from his hay.

I hope these suggestions are helpful. Please keep me posted on how he's doing.

All the best,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO