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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: exercise

Greetings Jane-Claire,

I am so pleased to hear that you enjoyed the presentation. Thank you for your patience in my getting back to you (after my injury).

You've probably come up with a system of your own by now, but horses will self-regulate their intake once they realize there is always hay available. Therefore, your mare should eat only what her body needs to maintain a healthy weight.

If she is bored, however, she may eat more and you might want to consider getting one of the many hay net feeders available with smaller openings. Follow the instructions carefully to gradually get your mare used to this feeding method, since you do not want to induce frustration (that would cause a hormonal stress response that keeps the body from burning fat).

Exercise is essential for all horses so there is no one correct answer except to say that you should allow her out of her paddock to romp freely as often as you're able.

Keep me posted!

Best regards,

Dr. Getty

Jane-Claire Robinson
Hello Dr. Getty,

Thank you for sharing your expertise at the Bayfield Library last week. Incredibly interesting and we are very excited about being able to feed our horses free choice! I have purchased some hay that we are having tested but are pretty sure will be less NSC than the 15% hay we now have. We are feeding the mare that contracted laminitis in January some of it to give her a bit more than the skimpy 12 lb the vet recommended, but just a quick question on her: how much exercise do horses need that are being given free choice hay and who have paddocks of good size to move in? Do we just learn to watch their weight as a way to tell if they are needing more or is it too late when we notice weight gain? She has only had this once. Thanks

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO