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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: Flaxseed - whole or ground?

Hello Amanda,

Thank you for your patience. I am in the process of having new horses which has made computer time limited.

I'm glad you've chosen to feed flax to your horse. Flaxseeds are very high in omega 3s and in fact, have the correct proportion of omega 3s to omega 6s - 4 to 1 - just like you would see in fresh grass.

You should grind them (that would be the same as flaxseed meal). Feeding them whole does not benefit your horse as much since the seeds are very tiny and are not adequately chewed.

If you grind them yourself, you will need to do so daily since the fatty acids will start to oxidize immediately. A better way to go is to get a stabilized product that offers a 6 month shelf life. Nutra Flax is a good choice. It also has a small amount of calcium added to correct for the naturally occurring high phosphorus levels in flax.

As far as dosing goes, I like to feed 1/2 cup of flaxseed meal per 400 lbs of body weight.

All the best,

Dr. Getty
Author of Feed Your Horse Like A Horse

Hi there,

I'm wondering about feeding flaxseed to my horse - she's currently being fed approx. 1/2 cup of whole flaxseed, and I'm wondering if this is better than ground flaxseed? Does the seed lose some of its nutrience when it's ground, and do they go bad? Also wondering if ground flaxseed is the same thing as flaxseed meal?

What is the ideal amount of flax (Omega 3) for a 5-yr old Canadian warmblood mare, in training 5-6 days a week? One of the supplements I'm looking to get her has Omega 3 in it as well, and I don't want to giver her too much flaxseed in addition to what's in the supplement!

Thank you,

Where are you from? Waverly, Ohio