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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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Easy Keeper on Small Pasture. Hay? Grazing muzzles?

Hi Dr. Getty,

I hope you are doing well. Thank you for your book and forum! They have been most helpful and informative.

I am writing to ask if my horse should have hay available and if she should wear a grazing muzzle. Everyone seems to have a different opinion about how to feed horses, and it's hard to know what's best, but I would like to know how you would manage my horse's situation.

My Quarter Horse, Willa, lives on a 0.4 acre by herself. The grass (mainly Bermuda and Bahia) is very short but not patchy. She used to get timothy hay plus a little bit of alfalfa hay fed in a small-holed hay net free-choice. However, she was very overweight, and my trainer and vet both recommended a grazing muzzle. I know you do not favor using one, but I wasn't sure what else to do because there's not a good way for us to keep her off the grass without her being confined to a very small area. So now she wears the grazing muzzle during the day, and when it comes off in the evening, she is able to eat from the hay net, which I keep enough hay in to last to the morning when the grazing muzzle goes back on. Also, I am giving her Glanzen Lite Complete, 4oz of Quiessence, 2oz of salt, and she has a salt block available too. She gets lightly exercised about 3-5 times a week.

After using the grazing muzzle and supplements for about two months, she lost a little bit of weight, but the past month or so her weight is at a standstill. (In my trainer words, "She is no longer obese, just overweight.")

My trainer recently suggested cutting out the hay completely and then possibly not having to use a grazing muzzle. With the pasture being so short and possibly stressed, do you think this is a good idea? Or does she need the variety of having hay available? By the way, I know the sugar levels in the hay should be tested, but at this time, our hay varies in where it comes from and we can't buy a lot at a time. However, we will probably be getting it from a different supplier soon, where we can buy it in larger quantities.

Any advice and suggestions will be appreciated. Thank you very much for your time and help! :)

Rebecca

Where are you from? North Carolina

How did you locate this forum? Read your book, and then checked out your website.

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Re: Easy Keeper on Small Pasture. Hay? Grazing muzzles?

Oops, she actually gets 1oz of salt mixed in with her other supplements, not 2oz.

Where are you from? North Carolina

How did you locate this forum? Read your book, then checked out your website.

Email  
Re: Easy Keeper on Small Pasture. Hay? Grazing muzzles?

Hello Rebecca,

Thank you for writing. The reason she is still overweight is because her metabolic rate has gone way, way done. It's the same as if a person tries to lose weight by severely restricting calories -- weight loss will come to a standstill.

Eating stimulates the metabolic rate. As long as she is eating the right feeds that are low in sugar/starch and low in calories, she will lose weight.

Please consider setting up a Consultation so I can visit with you about this.

Please do not starve this poor animal. She will not only stay overweight, but you run the high risk of her developing laminitis.

All the best,

Dr. Getty
Author of Feed Your Horse Like A Horse

Quote: Rebecca
Hi Dr. Getty,

I hope you are doing well. Thank you for your book and forum! They have been most helpful and informative.

I am writing to ask if my horse should have hay available and if she should wear a grazing muzzle. Everyone seems to have a different opinion about how to feed horses, and it's hard to know what's best, but I would like to know how you would manage my horse's situation.

My Quarter Horse, Willa, lives on a 0.4 acre by herself. The grass (mainly Bermuda and Bahia) is very short but not patchy. She used to get timothy hay plus a little bit of alfalfa hay fed in a small-holed hay net free-choice. However, she was very overweight, and my trainer and vet both recommended a grazing muzzle. I know you do not favor using one, but I wasn't sure what else to do because there's not a good way for us to keep her off the grass without her being confined to a very small area. So now she wears the grazing muzzle during the day, and when it comes off in the evening, she is able to eat from the hay net, which I keep enough hay in to last to the morning when the grazing muzzle goes back on. Also, I am giving her Glanzen Lite Complete, 4oz of Quiessence, 2oz of salt, and she has a salt block available too. She gets lightly exercised about 3-5 times a week.

After using the grazing muzzle and supplements for about two months, she lost a little bit of weight, but the past month or so her weight is at a standstill. (In my trainer words, "She is no longer obese, just overweight.")

My trainer recently suggested cutting out the hay completely and then possibly not having to use a grazing muzzle. With the pasture being so short and possibly stressed, do you think this is a good idea? Or does she need the variety of having hay available? By the way, I know the sugar levels in the hay should be tested, but at this time, our hay varies in where it comes from and we can't buy a lot at a time. However, we will probably be getting it from a different supplier soon, where we can buy it in larger quantities.

Any advice and suggestions will be appreciated. Thank you very much for your time and help!

Rebecca

Where are you from? Waverly, Ohio

Email