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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. 

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All the best,

 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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feed for high energy horses (behavior problems)

I have a TB mare that is hyper/dangerous when she gets any corn or sugar...I was thinking of switching her to Buckeye S&E...but one horse trainer told me he only feeds straight oats with pasture and good hay. We have great hay, and the pasture is up & down like most according to the weather. Can I safely switch this horse to just oats? She is 15 years old and a former race horse, and a barrel horse. She DOES NOT show her age!

Where are you from? Bucyrus, Ohio

How did you locate this forum? while searching for feeds

Re: feed for high energy horses (behavior problems)

Hi Christina,

Barrel horses are highly prone toward developing ulcers because running causes the upper region of the stomach to be exposed to stomach acid.

So, I would avoid oats, or any feed made from oats (or any other cereal grain) because of the high starch content. Starch causes an increase in acid production. Plus your mare appears to have a behavior response to highs and lows in insulin levels caused by high starch diets. So, choose a low starch feed, and give your horse as much hay as she wants, including some alfalfa.

Feeding oats is truly "old school" because it is one of the main reasons we see man-made disorders such as ulcers, laminitis, colic, and insulin resistance. So, it is best to avoid them and give a low starch feed that is high in fat to meet her energy needs.

Thanks for writing.

All the best,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO