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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: Stance Equine feed products

Hello Holly,

CoolStance contains coconut oil, as you mentioned. Coconut oil is high in saturated fatty acids, which the horse is not used to consuming on a regular or elevated basis. The manufacturer promotes this oil as being "more stable" as though that is a plus. The reason it is more stable is because chemically, saturated fatty acids are not prone toward oxidation and therefore, do not go rancid. But plants do not contain large amounts of saturated fat (except for tropical oils) -- instead they contain mono and poly unsaturated fatty acids. Animal fats are high in saturated fats and horses do not eat animal tissue.

Having said that, the fatty acids in coconut oil are predominantly medium chain fatty acids, which have been shown to offer antimicrobial benefits. So, I would feed this as part of a program to help the horse suffering from a bacterial or viral infection. But, I would not feed it on a daily basis, because we simply do not know the effect of adding saturated fat to the diet of an animal that is designed to eat plant foods.

I would recommend feeding flaxseed oil or flaxseed meal, to add additional fat to the diet. If you feed the oil, no more than 1 cup per day. Or, you can feed some flaxseed oil or meal and add more fat in the form of rice bran oil (high in mono-unsaturated fats).

All the best,

Dr. Juliet Getty
Author of Feed Your Horse Like A Horse
Contributing Nutrition Editor of the Horse Journal

Holly Williams
Hello Dr. Getty,

What are your thoughts on the Stance Equine product CoolStance? I have read several points on the idea of coconut oil being both "good" and "bad" for horses. Can you clear the air? Why if this is bad, is a company selling it with all of the supposed benefits to horses? I have been feeding it for about a month and my horse seems to be doing well on it. He has had issues with colic over the years and had colic surgery (impaction) in 2004. Frankly, having any kind of oil added to his diet helps me feel better about relieving any kind of future impaction.

Thank you for your time and thoughts on this!

Where are you from? Waverly, Ohio