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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: need some advice on NNFformulating a feed for a horse with ulcers

Hi Michelle,

Thank you for writing about your horse. I would suggest the following:

Keep the alfalfa -- excellent buffer.
Keep the rice bran -- high in fat.

Calf Manna, if it's for calves, is not designed for horses. Check the label. If it contains any cereal grain -- oats, corn, barley, etc., do not feed it. Starch increases acid production.

A mineral feed tub is ok, if he eats it. Many horses do not because it is bitter and it is mostly salt, anyway. He needs salt so a plain, white salt block is best.

Go with a comprehensive vitamin and mineral supplement such as Glanzen Complete. The omega 3 fatty acids will reduce inflammation.

Omeprazole is fine short term. Too long, and you run the risk of other problems since stomach acid is necessary for protecting your horse against microbes that he eats by simply eating off the ground.

Finally, and most important of all... forage, plenty of it -- offered free choice -- is the best way to cure (and prevent) an ulcer. Good quality grass hay is all you'll need since he'll be getting alfalfa pellets. I discuss this topic at length in my book, Feed Your Horse Like A Horse, throughout the book and especially in chapter 14 -- Digestive problems where I show how the stomach is designed, ways to protect it, and cure an ulcer without medication.

Keep me posted.

All the best,

Dr. Getty

I have a horse with ulcers and its hard to find a well rounded feed for this type of problem. We are treating with omeprazole now and I would like to know about formulating a feed for my horse. I am thinking about buying a 50lb bag of rice bran, a 50lb bag of alfalfa pellets, a 50lb bag of calf manna and mixing them altogether. Would this be an adequate and beneficial food sorce for a 4 yr. old QH gelding that barrel races? He is also out on pasture 24/7. I will supplement with a mineral feed tub that he has free access to. I would begin feedings of 3 lbs 2x daily. What do you think of my proposed feed? Will it meet his nutritional needs? Should I add something else to my formulation?

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO