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Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition

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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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 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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Re: Suitable feed recipe

Hello Lee,

Well, you have two situations you're dealing with -- one that is hardkeeper and one that gains weight easily. I highly recommend that you listen to the upcoming teleseminar on the Easy Keeper. Here is the link for more information:

My next teleseminar will be over the Hard Keeper, so watch for that one coming up in April.

In the meantime, I highly recommend eliminating the sweet feed (omelene) since your overweight horse cannot lose weight on this, and could develop laminitis. And your OTTB may have an ulcer and high amounts of starch exacerbate an ulcer.

Do not feed corn to horses -- it is not well digested and there is a high risk of colic and laminitis associated with it.

Basically, you want to test your hay to make sure that it is low in sugar and starch (NSC). Send a sample in to Equi-Analytical Labs. And once you know that its NSC level is ideally less than 12%, feed it free-choice. This is very, very, very important both for you hard keeper (to protect his digestive system) and for your overweight horse (to reduce the hormonal stress response that is keeping her fat).

I talk a great deal about all this in my book, Feed Your Horse Like A Horse so I hope you'll pick up a copy.

To the grass hay, you can feed a meal or two each day of alfalfa pellets, and beet pulp. And feed a vitamin/mineral supplement that is flaxseed meal based, such as Glanzen Complete along with a strong probiotic, such as Synbiotic EQ.

To customize a plan for you beyond this, it would be best to set up an appointment for a personal phone visit.

All the best,

Dr. Getty
Author of Feed Your Horse Like A Horse

Lee bailey Bradshaw
I currently have two horses:
Pandora is a 9yo OTTB. She's hard to keep weight on and when I feed her sweet feed, she tends to act high strung.
Belvedere is a 4yo grade QH who we picked up out of pity. She seems to be an easy keeper so far. Our farrier mentioned that she has evidence of rings in her hooves, so she suggested that we reduce the sugars and starches in her feed.

I need help deciding on a suitable recipe for daily feed. They currently get 2-3 flakes of decent hay, 2 scoops of Purina Omlene 200 2x daily, and 1 cup of corn oil.. However at $18/bag it's less than affordable. In addition, I have heard poor things about most "complete" feeds. This makes me want to have my own feed mixed at a feed mill but I dont know what ingredients and what amounts to provide them.

I have looked at various recipes, and most suggest the following:
Oats, corn, beet pulp pellets, alfalfa pellets, and an additional supplement.

Do you have a prefferred recipe or a suggestion? Any help would be appreciated!

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO