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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: A Thank you from a 27 year-old mare!

Hello Ekaterina,

Thank you SO MUCH for these photos -- what a sheer joy it is to see your mare become healthy! You make my work a true labor of love.

About the vitamin C -- she truly does need it at her age, since she no longer produces enough. Ester C is easier on the stomach, as are buffered C products. We have one here called C-442 which is helpful for horses with sensitive digestive systems. (I don't expect you to have it shipped to Russia -- just wanted you to see an example.)

The goal with vitamin C is to start very slowly -- give her 1,000 mg, for example, of Ester C for a couple of weeks. See how she does. If her manure remains normal, increase it to 1500 mg for 2 weeks, and so on. If her manure becomes soft, then back up until she stabilizes and then start going up again, little by little.

Keep in mind that during the warmer months, if she has access to fresh, healthy grass, she will be getting some vitamin C from the grass. But, always wean her off of the supplement, taking a few weeks -- never stop vitamin C abruptly.

Keep me posted on how things are working out.

All the best,

Dr. Getty
Author of Feed Your Horse Like A Horse

Dear Dr. Getty!

I would like to thank you very much on behalf of myself and my old mare (another one, yes - for your book, your site and your readiness to share your knowledge and experience with the world of horseowners!!

A few years ago an my old "Granny" lost all her molars on the lower jaw. Since then it has been a constant struggle for her weight. Normally, she would gain weight during the summer while on the pasture and lose it in the winter because it was becoming more and more difficult for her to eat hay. Steamed and crunched oats didn't seem to work - the more she got the more just went directly out together with strong diarrea.

Last summer she didn't gain weight even on the pasture, this is how she looked like by the beginning of fall:

(she's on the left of the picture here)

Well... not extremely poor condition, but knowing that it will get worse during the winter, I was worried!

This was when I very fortunatelly found your site and bought your book! Which really helped me a lot in understanding how to change her diet completely!
It took her about 3 months... here are pictures I made yesterday - on her 27th birthday!!!

(makes me think that she needs to eat a little less now )

I'm sure her diet is not perfect (because there are some things which are just not available here or difficult/very expensive to arrange - e.g. hay cubes), but I at least feel that I better understand her requirements and am working to meet them!

Also I would like to ask:
The owner of the barn, where this mare is stabled (also many thanks to her for being ready to arrange the specific diet for this horse alone!!!)
is very doubtful about adding vitamin C supplement to her feed, saying that it's very acidic and can hurt her stomach and/or gut. I ate myself vitamin C in tablets and know that they do, indeed, taste sour!

So I don't have any knowlegeable grounds to argue with this statement and also think: "what if she's right"? The mare's very sensitive and responds with diarrea to anything she feels inappropriate. I tried to give her sea buckthorn pulp, but her manure started to smell sour...
I know there are products such as Ester-C, for example, which is claimed to be neutral for the stomach - which support my doubts about pure vit C.

Could you please comment on this?

Many thanks!

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO