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Horses - Diet and Nutrition/Feeding a highly sensitive horse



   I have been struggling for the last two years with my big (675kg) dutch warmblood gelding.  He has chronic eczema and mud fever, extremely tight muscles, regular bouts of colic and now what appears to be ulcers.  Not to mention that he is generally not the most happy fellow.  

 After trying just about everything, we suspected a food allergy.  I am currently feeding him 2kg beet pulp, 250 ml sunflower oil, 2kg Dodson & Horrell Equine Sensitive, Alltech life force, Vitamin E and a Magnesium supplement in addition to free choice grass hay and pasture grass.  Since switching his diet the eczema and mud fever are completely gone, and in general he is much happier, though it will take some time before the ulcers clear up.  

My problem now is that he refuses to eat the Dodson & Horrell feed, and I'm afraid he is not getting the necessary nutrition needed for his work load (Med-Heavy Dressage work) Is it possible to formulate a ration for him based on an beet pulp/high fat diet?   I have no problem mixing his feed myself, as long as we can get the poor guy happy and healthy!



Hi Kelly,

Thank you for your question.  I certainly could help you with a specific diet for your horse.  In order for the ration to be reliable, which I think is important in this case, I would have to have a good idea of your forage quality.  Have you had your hay analyzed and if not, would you be able to do so?  Most feed companies are able to do this for you for a nominal fee, and local labs may also accept forage samples from the general public.  From this we could build a custom feed program that will help keep your gelding healthy and in good condition.

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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