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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 

 



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

Hi Dr. Getty,

I have two mustang mares that I adopted-- one is 8 yrs old (1075 lbs) and the other is 4 years old (1000 lbs). I am very concerned about doing the right thing for them with their nutrition and because I currently board them, only so much is in my control at this time. It is an excellent facility with very large pastures (10- 20 acres) and the horses have great turnout. 10 hours/day in winter, 18 hours night time in summer. I currently supplement their pelleted feed with approx 1 lb of balanced timothy cubes soaked and dressed with 1/2 cup of Omega Horseshine 3-4 times a week. Because I am not there everyday, the house feed 2X daily is Trotter 1/2 lb am and 1/2 lb pm. I would like to replace the Trotter with a pelleted feed that is Low NSC but there are so many choices, and I don't know what you would actually recommend for a mustang. I had their bloodwork tested by Cornell for typical metobolic disorders because they are such easy keepers and they are perfectly healthy--no insulin resistance etc! Could you please lend your thoughts for mustangs in captivity. I am very aware of their natural habitats prior to capture as I have visited horses in the wild and know that they manage to get by ... Thank you in advance for your good work.

Shari Downing

Where are you from? Orchard Park, New York

How did you locate this forum? Online, but my barefoot trimmer told me about your book

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Re: Diet for mustangs

Hi Shari,

Thank you for writing. Mustangs are easy keepers and as such, as you mentioned, they need to be on a low starch feed. Trotter is likely cereal-grain based and is therefore not appropriate. Omega Horseshine contains oats, so it, too, is not the best flaxseed meal choice. Go with Nutra Flax instead -- pure flaxseed meal that is stabilized and has a small amount of calcium added to correct for the naturally high phosphorus levels found in flax. Don't give more than 1/2 cup (1 scoop) per day since Mustangs should not have a large amount of fat.

If you are going to feed a commercial feed, there are many on the market that are low in sugar and starch. Also don't go above 12% crude protein, since they are genetically designed to do well on lower protein levels. My first choice would be Triple Crown Safe Starch -- a very low NSC chopped forage with vitamins and minerals added. Triple Crown also makes a Triple Crown Lite, which is very good. Purina has their Wellsolve L/S -- also worthwhile. And there are others.

All the best,

Dr. Getty
Author of Feed Your Horse Like A Horse



Quote: Shari Downing
Hi Dr. Getty,

I have two mustang mares that I adopted-- one is 8 yrs old (1075 lbs) and the other is 4 years old (1000 lbs). I am very concerned about doing the right thing for them with their nutrition and because I currently board them, only so much is in my control at this time. It is an excellent facility with very large pastures (10- 20 acres) and the horses have great turnout. 10 hours/day in winter, 18 hours night time in summer. I currently supplement their pelleted feed with approx 1 lb of balanced timothy cubes soaked and dressed with 1/2 cup of Omega Horseshine 3-4 times a week. Because I am not there everyday, the house feed 2X daily is Trotter 1/2 lb am and 1/2 lb pm. I would like to replace the Trotter with a pelleted feed that is Low NSC but there are so many choices, and I don't know what you would actually recommend for a mustang. I had their bloodwork tested by Cornell for typical metobolic disorders because they are such easy keepers and they are perfectly healthy--no insulin resistance etc! Could you please lend your thoughts for mustangs in captivity. I am very aware of their natural habitats prior to capture as I have visited horses in the wild and know that they manage to get by ... Thank you in advance for your good work.

Shari Downing

Where are you from? Waverly, Ohio

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Re: Diet for mustangs

Thank you Dr. Getty. Also, regarding parasite control and supplements. My four year old mustang "Cheyenne" was a severely malnurished rescue when I adopted her as a 1 year old filly. She looks beautiful and healthy now, but has always been a high shedder. Are there any supplements that you would recommend adding to her diet, assuming that I would be feeding the Triple Crown Lite and the Nutra Flax--wondering if Probiotics would help?

Also, if I fed the TC Safe Starch as a "grain replacement" does it meet dietary needs if it is not being fed as a complete feed replacement? The recommendations on the label talk about feeding 20 lbs a day for a 1000 lb horse.

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Re: Diet for mustangs

Hi Shari,

A pre/probiotic is definitely worthwhile -- I recommend Synbiotic EQ because it contains both pre and probiotics plus immune support.

But, from a deworming perspective, I would consider giving her a 5-day double dose treatment of fenbendazole to eradicate encysted larvae. Take a look at Panacur Powerpac -- you can also discuss this with your veterinarian.

You can feed the TC Safe Starch at the full amount, but if you only feed a small amount of it, you are not providing all of the vitamins/minerals needed. So you would need to offer a supplement. This gets tricky. But, depending on how much you are feeding, you could add a supplement such as High Point for Grass diets -- this plus the Nutra Flax will fill in all the gaps.

All the best,

Dr. Getty
Author of Feed Your Horse Like A Horse

Quote: Shari Downing
Thank you Dr. Getty. Also, regarding parasite control and supplements. My four year old mustang "Cheyenne" was a severely malnurished rescue when I adopted her as a 1 year old filly. She looks beautiful and healthy now, but has always been a high shedder. Are there any supplements that you would recommend adding to her diet, assuming that I would be feeding the Triple Crown Lite and the Nutra Flax--wondering if Probiotics would help?

Also, if I fed the TC Safe Starch as a "grain replacement" does it meet dietary needs if it is not being fed as a complete feed replacement? The recommendations on the label talk about feeding 20 lbs a day for a 1000 lb horse.

Where are you from? Waverly, Ohio

Email