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Horses - Diet and Nutrition/Feed for Growing Quarter Horses



Hi! I have a two year old (will be three this spring) and a yearling (will be two this spring). When I went to my farrier recently, he noticed that my two year old filly is kind of straight in her front pasterns and there was a suggestion of a tendon issue. He suggested feeding growth enhancing feed for young horses. They already get full access to a Vitalix Horse Developer tub, salt and mineral licks, approximately 2 or 3 pounds of LMF Development grain, a field to run in and grass hay daily, alfalfa supplemented when it's cold. During the winter, she has no workload, it will be picked up again come springtime. What kind of feed do you suggest that would benefit both the yearling and the two year old? Thanks!


Hello Sierra,

Thank you for your question.  There are some nutrients and feeds that can optimize tendon quality but it is important to keep in mind that none will be able to alter conformation. To simplify feeding and ensure you meet a number of requirements, I would suggest feeding a mineral and vitamin supplement formulated specifically for growing horses.  You should look for something with a 2:1 calcium to phosphorous ratio and elevated zinc and copper levels (something a well designed growing horse mineral supplement should have).  The amount that you should feed really depends on your horses body weight and work load if they are working. The suggested feeding rates on the bag are a good starting point.

I wouldn't recommend a feeding regime that contravenes a controlled growth rate, as you don't want either of them putting on too much body condition if their tendons can not support it. If you let me know which feed companies you prefer to use or have access to, I can make a more specific recommendation.

Thanks, Corlena

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Corlena Patterson


I can help with any of your horse nutrition questions and concerns. I have been involved with horses for closing on 40 years, with a B.Sc in Animal Science and currently working on an M.Sc in Equine Science with the University of Edinburgh. I have owned my own feed store, consulted professionally as an equine nutritionist, and lectured in the fields of equine and dairy nutrition at the University level for 5 years. I have developed and currently market 'Ration-X', a ration formulation program for horses...designed for the everyday horse owner. I am happy to help in any way I can.


Experienced in developing and implementing feed programs for horses of all disciplines, creating custom horse supplements and managing inter-disciplinary equine facilities. Specialize in equine nutrition consulting.

The American Society of Equine Appraisers

'Stable Management' Handbook, Equine Canada.

M.Sc (Equine Science-current), B.Sc(Agr) Animal Science, Equine Sports Massage Therapy Certification, Farrier Certification, Equine Consultant Certification, Certified Equine Appraiser, Certified in Emergency Equine Rescue.

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