Is Feed Making My Horse ‘Hot’?

While diet can indeed contribute to a horse being energetic, it’s not the only cause. Our nutritionist shares her thoughts.
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is feed making my horse hot
While diet could be implicated in the case of a green horse rushing at the canter and unwilling to slow down, approaching issues such as these from multiple angles (i.e., diet, training level, pain, etc.) is most likely to give you the success you are looking for. | Photo: iStock

Q.At the end of this summer I started my 4-year-old mare under saddle. She’s been doing really well, especially in the walk and trot. However, when we canter she picks up speed and resists slowing down.

She was getting grass and alfalfa hay and 4 pounds of a low-starch, fairly-low-calorie textured feed. In an attempt to make her less “hot,” I’ve removed the alfalfa

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Written by:

Clair Thunes, PhD, is an equine nutritionist who owns Clarity Equine Nutrition, based in Gilbert, Arizona. She works as a consultant with owners/trainers and veterinarians across the United States and globally to take the guesswork out of feeding horses and provides services to select companies. As a nutritionist she works with all equids, from WEG competitors to Miniature donkeys and everything in between. Born in England, she earned her undergraduate degree at Edinburgh University, in Scotland, and her master’s and doctorate in nutrition at the University of California, Davis. Growing up, she competed in a wide array of disciplines and was an active member of the U.K. Pony Club. Today, she serves as the district commissioner for the Salt River Pony Club.

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