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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: Feeding my older easy keeper if she is losing weight

Greetings Judy,

Thank you for your patience in my getting back to you.

By now, you have probably answered your own question about giving your mare all the hay she wants so that she doesn't run out. Then, and only then, will she self-regulate her intake and eat what her body needs to maintain a healthy weight. If she runs out of hay, she'll eat her next hay meal very quickly, and the stress of having an empty stomach while she waits for her next meal, causes many problems including improper weight. Be sure to read the first chapter -- Ground Rules for Feeding a Horse to get a clear understanding of how this works. And also take a look at chapter 17 -- Stress and Behavior to gain insight into how running out of forage is stressful (both physically and mentally).

Hope all is going well. Keep up the good work!

Dr. Getty
Author of Feed Your Horse Like A Horse

Judy Ayres
Dear Dr Getty, Thank you so much for your answer to my question. I have done all that you suggested. I am also reading your book.

The hay I am using was tested at .93% Digestible Energy. I calculated that if she is fed 18#s/day it would be 16.74. Beet pulp at 2 qts twice a day would be (1.3 times 2) = 2.6 and one pound of alfalfa hay cubes = 2.15. Add these numbers together you get 21.49. Your book says that an adult horse at moderate exercise at 1100 # needs 23.3. My mare is around 930-950 pounds. So would the 21.49 be about right?

Sometimes I can only feed her twice a day. Would it be alright to feed her a little more hay if I see she has cleaned it all up in the morning in her stall?

After I get her forage calculated I will be working on her protein, vitamins and minerals etc. Thanks, you’re great. Love this forum for all the good information.

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO