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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: draft horse nutrition

Greetings Laura,

Draft horses are genetically predisposed to either insulin resistance, or another disorder known as Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy, which is the opposite of insulin resistance and is actually insulin sensitivity. I discuss both at length in my book, along with proper testing to determine which one your horse has.

In both cases, the dietary changes are similar -- low starch/sugar. And to provide energy for work, fat is increased instead. There are many low starch feeds on the market but "low starch" can vary tremendously. So when choosing a feed, find out the percent NSC (non-structural carbohydrates). It should be below 13% in order to be appropriate for your horse. Some low starch feeds have a %NSC as high as 26%, which is certainly lower than oat-based feeds (which run 50% NSC), but not low enough for the IR or PSSM horse.

Please keep me posted and if you need further assistance in customizing a plan for your horse, please let me know.

All the best,

Dr. Getty
Author of Feed Your Horse Like A Horse

I have receently learned that draft horse require a high fat low starch diet. What do you recommend? I use Buckeye feeds. I have a 3 year old Shire. Thank you.

Where are you from? Bayfield

How did you locate this forum? CO