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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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OTTB needs weight

Hi!! I just recently rescued an OTTB. He is 5 years old and stands about 16.2. He is a little thin. I currently feed him Ultium (recommended amount on bag), 2 scoops of Nutraflax, and ration plus. He gets 24/7 hay. I was just wondering if I should add some ricebran or beet pulp to his diet, and maybe some alfalfa pellets. I wasnt sure which would be the best. He is a great eater, has never gone off feed so that is not a problem. Thanks for your help.

Re: OTTB needs weight

Hi Sherry,

You're doing a great job! Keep his meal size limited to no more than 4 pounds to prevent colic. A horse's stomach is really quite small in relation to the rest of his digestive tract and too large a meal can cause food leave to the stomach before it has been processed (pulverized and mixed with digestive enzymes).

You can definitely add beet pulp and/or alfalfa pellets. If he's not getting alfalfa hay, go with the alfalfa pellets. Alfalfa is a legume and helps boost the protein quality of his diet, thereby giving him the building blocks from which to make body tissue.

And, be sure he has good quality grass hay in front of him at all times. This is very important.

Rice bran is fine, but only use a commericial product that is stabilized and has additional calcium added to correct the inverted calcium to phosphorus ratio.

He may have an ulcer -- most retired race horses do. And this can interfere with weight gain. Consider giving him Amiquell to help his digestive tract heal.

Happy Holidays!

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO