I subscribe to Dr. Juliet Getty’s monthly equine nutrition newsletter Forage for Thought. And in the October issue she talks about free- choice forage feeding, in particular as it concerns overweight horses, laminitis, and Cushing’s disease. Getty recommends that you, “Let your horse tell you how much he needs to eat”. Moreover, she focuses on insulin resistance, the main cause of laminitis. Below is an excerpt from Dr. Getty’s article:
The issue is free choice forage feeding
‘I respect and honor the way horses are made – they are different – unique, really. In a suitable, native environment, they are quite capable of taking care of themselves. They are free to eat and roam and be, well, horses. Domestication involves removing them from their natural setting; but that doesn’t change who they are. Horses have physiological and mental needs and those needs are being ignored. […] Why is it that we think we can confine them to a small area for hours at a time, give them a few “square meals” each day and expect them to be right, physically and mentally?’
To READ Dr. Juliet Getty’s entire article, click HERE
Dr. Juliet Getty, equine nutritionist, has also set up a FORUM where horse people can discuss free-choice forage feeding. Participating in this forum gives you the opportunity to share your personal experiences, and it will enlighten you to the ways free-choice forage feeding can benefit your horse. FORUM link is http://jmgetty.blogspot.com Please participate!
Addendum [11 October 2013]: I want to point out that a low quality hay, i.e. low carbohydrates and protein, is the type of hay that needs be given to a horse who is being fed using the “free-choice forage feeding” system. If the horse were to eat hay frequently during the day, it certainly should not be a rich type, as that would certainly make the horse sick. I have been following and participating in Dr. Getty’s forum and it has been very educational. It is enlightening to hear different opinions and peoples’ experiences. If you want to know more about free-choice forage feeding, then please click HERE.
The excerpt that appears on this blog post is the copyright of Dr. Juliet M. Getty, and I obtained permission from the author to post this excerpt on my blog.