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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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Hi Dr.G, Hope your move is going smoothly. Moving with horses is a big move. I am considering adopting a (small)Shetland pony (or a big miniature horse--no one knows for sure)from a nearby rescue farm. He was at the barn I took Sam to for a dental and the two of them immediately went to each other and were extremely affectionate toward each other. We turned them loose into the arena and they were inseparable, one shadowing the other for a couple hours. When they took the mini in for it's dental Sam actually seemed sad. SSOOO, if I get a pony/mini how will that fit into my free choice plan that has been working beautifully for my two TWHs for so long? Everything I read is that ponies and minis are always on a diet........... and that they founder easily. I do not know a lot about these breeds since I have never owned one. Could it be out on pasture as much as my big guys and free choice hay????? I won't get him if he is going to be dry-lotted much of the time. He seemed like a sweet guy and adored Sam. Sam seemed quite pleased with his little shadow so it might be a win/win if the feeding needs are compatible. Help?

Where are you from? Sedro-Woolley, WA

How did you locate this forum? newsletter

Re: Ponies/Minis

Hi Cristine,

You can and should feed a pony free choice forage. But, it has to be low in sugar and starch and low in calories. So testing your hay is a must. Plus, pasture grazing needs to be carefully monitored and avoided during high-risk times (late afternoon on a sunny day, for example, has the highest sugar/starch levels).

So, if a dry lot (with a low %NSC hay) is not feasible, you may want to reconsider your plans. Or you can bring a few horses in the dry lot together - that may work for you.

All the best,

Dr. Getty
Author of Feed Your Horse Like A Horse

Where are you from? Waverly, OH