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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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Formula 4 Feet vs. Reitsport vs. Glanzen Lite

Hello Good Dr. Getty!
I have a 13 year old Morgan mare who I trail ride 4-5 times a week. I recently had our hay tested, and found the following:

The first is what we're shooting for and the 2nd is what our hay is.

calcium: phosphorus - 2:1 / 1.4:1
calcium:magnesium - 2:1 / 2.1:1
Magnesium: Phosphorus - 1:1 / 1:1.5

pottasium:sodium - 4:1 / 21.4:1
copper:iron - 1:6 / 1:13
copper:zinc - 1:3 / 1:4.6
copper:manganese - 1:3 / 1:16.7

So, really this means the hay is low in copper, sodium, zinc and a bit in calcium

High in potassium and manganese.

My horse currently eats Triple Crown Low Starch, and Glanzen Lite, being an easy keeper-Morgan. I also give her Cosequin and "Formula 4 Feet", a wonderfully complete product by Emerald Valley Equine. She lives outside 24/7 with run in shed. She is barefoot, with great feet. I'd like to keep it that way. The paddocks are often horribly muddy, so she is moving around in very wet conditions. Hence, the Formula 4 Feet.

I started hand feeding alfalfa cubes as a treat to compensate for the low calcium.

I just ran out of Glanzen Lite, and was happy with the flax content, but then started reading about their Reitsport Lite product. I like that Reitsport has MSM and glucosamine, and I can eliminate the Cosequine by using Reitsport Lite. However, I am concerned about duplicating vitamins and minerals using "Formula 4 Feet" together with Reitsport Lite. (Maybe there is a better combination?) Also, should I be concerned about our high maganese and potassium levels? If so, what I do about it?

These great products are all very expensive, and I am not interested in just making expensive urine! :) I am hoping you can shed some light and tell me if I am on the right track or if I am over-doing it...thank you so much for your incredible wisdom.


Where are you from? NY

How did you locate this forum? I've spoken to Dr. Getty in the past.

Re: Formula 4 Feet vs. Reitsport vs. Glanzen Lite

Greetings Angela,

Your hay is not bad -- here are the common ratios of grass hay:

Iron:Copper 10:1
Iron:Zinc 7.5:1
Zinc:Copper 3:1
Copper:Manganese 7:1

So your hay is a little high in copper and manganese, or perhaps a little low in zinc. But, your ratios are not out of line.

The Glanzen Lite already has hoof support, so you are creating overlaps with Forumula 4 Feet.

If you went with Reitsport Lite, this adds joint support to the mix, so you could eliminate both Formula 4 Feet (provided in Reitsport Lite) and the Cosequin. And, your minerals would still be balanced.

Regarding potassium -- all forage and concentrates tend to be high in potassium and low in sodium. This is why it is so important to provide plain, white salt to your horse's diet. A salt block is fine (the white one), but if your horse does not consume an ounce per day, simply add 2 level Tablespoons of table salt (divided between meals) to your horse's meals. Make sure there is fresh, clean water at all times, free of algae, insects, and bird droppings that is temperature controlled. This time of year, dehydration is very common because horses do not like cold water. So, a heated water trough is a must.

One last thing, since fresh grass is usually not available this time of year, horses must eat hay and hay has lost many valuable nutrients. So, for this reason, I recommend the complete versions of Glanzen Lite or Reitsport Lite. Take a look at Reitsport HA-100 Lite Complete.

Hope this is helpful!

All the best,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO