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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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Re: Vitamins

Hi Sharon,

I like giving 1 IU of vitamin E per lb of body weight as a minimum. So for a 1000 lb horse, 1000 IUs of vitamin E per day is a good place to start. If a horse is ill, suffering with immune issues, or is exercised, then more is necessary.

Vitamin A is not provided in plants, but beta carotene is, and the horse converts beta carotene to vitamin A. However, vitamin A is often added to feeds and supplements. The requirement for an adult horse is 30 IU of vitamin A per kg of body weight (an 1100 lb horse weighs 500 kgs), or 72 mg of beta carotene per kg of body weight. This translates into 15,000 IU of vitamin A or 36,000 mg of beta carotene per day for an 1100 lb horse.

The B vitamins are not so clear since there are eight of them and each one plays a different role in the body. The bacterial flora in the hindgut produce the B vitamins, but factors such as illness, stress, forage restriction that allows stomach acid to reach the hind gut, exercise, and other demands on the body will increase B vitamin requiresments.

Hay has hardly any vitamin E, beta carotene, or B vitamins. These vitamins are destroyed once fresh grass is cut, dried, and stored as hay. Therefore, a vitamin supplement is very important to fill in nutritional gaps. For a horse that is only receiving grass hay, I highly recommend Glanzen Complete.

My book, Feed Your Horse Like A Horse, goes into detail (in Part I) on each individual vitamin, dosages, where found, and the role each one has in the body. This can be found in Chapter 6 - Fundamentals of Vitamins.

All the best,

Dr. Getty

sharon schwab
Would you be able to tell me how much Vitamin E,A and Thiamin a horse should be eating per day, and how much do you think comes from the hay, I feed just a plain grass hay

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO