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

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 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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Re: horse without energy

Hello Anais,

I can certainly understand your concern when he doesn't appear to have any underlying disease and I assume he was not anemic since his blood work was normal.

My first approach would be high levels of B vitamins. There is a product called BPlex that is an excellent source of just B vitamins. I would give him 3 scoops per day, divided between meals. If you'll contact me directly, I can get you a shipping quote to Canada. My email is

B vitamins (four in particular, but all 8 work together) are involved in deriving energy from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Without adequate levels, the horse will be lethargic. Horses produce B vitamins on their own -- well, actually it's the bacterial population in the hind gut that do this. So, in addition to the BPlex, give him a potent pre/probiotic. See what you have available locally, or I can recommend one but it would likely be more economical to buy it in your area.

Do this first and see how he is after about 3 to 4 weeks. And please keep me posted.

All the best,

Dr. Getty
Author of Feed Your Horse Like A Horse

Hi Dr Getty,
I am writing you to ask help with my 11 years old westfalen horse. He was castrated at 4; before that, he was full of energy, but since then, he has trouble with his energy level. Right after his castration, he did a 3 months depression.
The problem with him has always been that sometimes he has energy and moves really well, but often, he looks tired and depressed, doesn't want to go in the arena to be ridden and takes a lot of time to warm up (almost looks sore when he first starts the trot, then it goes better). I am doing dressage and I am unable to get the level of energy and strenght I need from him to move to 3rd level.
He is eating grains with more proteins than usual to help him gain energy (but it doesn't really work). He is not overweight nor too slim. His feet are healthy and have no shoes.
He had blood tests and everything was fine. The only weird thing was that between the first blood test and the second (the first just in the box, the second was taken 4 hours after a 20 min exercise) his muscular enzymes were 4 times higher, which was almost abnormal according to the vet. He then had a muscular biopsy which ended up being perfectly fine.
I gave him Adequan injections to help his joints, but he didn't seem better at all.
No vet has a clue of why he is so tired, unmotivated and uncomfortable with his body. I thought of fibromyalgia, but I don't really know this disease... Under vet advice, He had testosterone injections to help him recover after the effort, and it helps him a bit, but he is far from being as amazing as he is supposed to be.
Do you have (1)an idea of what could be happening with my horse (2)any advice on supplements I could give him to help him?
Thank you very much!

Where are you from? Waverly, Ohio