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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: new horse, what to feed?

Hi Erin,

Congratulations! Sounds like you have a good plan to get him in shape. I would definitely give him flaxseed meal. I prefer Nutra Flax because it is stabilized against rancidity for 6 months and does not have any added cereal grains.

I would, however, give him some alfalfa. This is very important in boosting his overall protein quality to keep him healthy and to build muscle mass. If he is currently eating 25 lbs of grass hay each day, give him 8 lbs of alfalfa hay and he will likely reduce his grass hay intake (let him self-regulate and tell you how much he needs) to about 16 lbs per day.

And finally, be sure he has grass hay 24/7 -- round the clock with no gaps.

All the best,

Dr. Getty
Author of Feed Your Horse Like A Horse

Hi, I just bought my first horse and am super excited! I have been around horses for a long time but have always been in lease situations where I have little direct impact on how the horse is fed. Now that I have my own guy I want to make sure I give him a balanced nutritional plan to ensure he can perform and get exactly what he needs.
He is a warmblood/QH cross gelding that just turned 4 yrs old. I am planning on doing dressage and eventing with him. He is still pretty immature and needs a lot of strength and muscle put on, which I am planning on doing with good consistent training. He has been barefoot his entire life and has generally good feet. Because he is so young and needs to build strength my plan is to start slow mild-moderate work with hacking around as well. There are a ton of trails in my area and will work on hills as well to help him gain muscle.
He has been eating alfalfa, orchard and getting safe choice once daily. Now that I have him I have continued the orchard, as much as he wants, 3 times daily. I have discontinued the alfalfa. I have also continued the safe choice, about 3 pounds once daily and added a mineral to that called CA trace. I am considering starting him on flax as well, my farrier suggested it when she did his feet as a way to keep them healthy and encourage proper growth. I have a friend that also suggested beet pulp to put some weight on him as well as aid in hind gut digestion.
So, I guess my question is: does this sound like a good balanced plan to you? What is your opinion on the supplements and beet pulp? Thank you for your time, I just want to be sure I am taking good care of the guy!

Where are you from? Waverly, Ohio