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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. 

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All the best,

 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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Re: self regulating hay

Hi Doreen,

I can certainly understand your frustration. A couple of things you mentioned peaked my interest...

First, you mentioned that they are on pasture part of the time. Pasture, especially this time of year, is very, very high in sugar and starch and will significantly influence weight (as well as risk laminitis).

You also mentioned grazing muzzles. These do cause stress even if the horse is rather laid back about it. And stress keeps the horse overweight. Plus, even the little amount of high sugar pasture that the horse is getting through the hole in the grazing muzzle, can significantly impact the weight.

One key is to give them reason to move. Take them for a walk, if you can. Scatter slow feeder hay nets all over the place -- as much as possible.

Also you may want to have the hay retested. It is often difficult to get a representative sample. Pick up clumps of hay along the inside the entire length of the bale -- from two or three bales. And for your horses, less than 10% NSC may be necessary.

I commend you for your patience -- this is definitely taking longer than usual. There is something about your hay that is very attractive and that's why I say it may need to be retested.

Please continue to keep me posted.

All the best,

Dr. Getty
Author of Feed Your Horse Like A Horse

Dr Getty, I am still waiting for my guys to walk away from the feeder. Its been since Aug that I started feeding hay 24/7. I had my hay tested and its 12.5 total from wsc and starch. I also cut the hay with less quality hay to lower their intake. They all have gained a lot of weight, not including the hay belly they now all have. The horse won't eat his vitamins flax any longer. I need help here.

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO