Last Updated on August 21, 2023 by Allison Price
A horse nutritionist can provide valuable insight into managing breeding and performance horses. A lot of breeding farms have a nutritionist available to help with growth issues and fight the battle for the bulk among broodmares. High-performance equestrians also hire a nutritionist to help them fine-tune their horses’ diets and troubleshoot any feed-related issues that may arise, such as metabolic problems like tying-up and everyday nuisances like delicate hooves and inappetence.
What can a horse owner look forward to from an Equine Nutritionist Simply put, understanding and know-how.
Knowledge. Equine nutritionists must be knowledgeable in the history and present trends of horse nutrition. They should also have a good understanding of horse’s gastrointestinal system and the appropriate management strategies for all horses.
A horse owner may beg for help from the “nutritionist” at their feed company every now and again. Remember that a nutritionist does not sell products. A nutritionist is a trained consultant who can quickly assess the situation and offer practical solutions. However, this does not mean that an equine nutritionist cannot identify a problem and recommend a product or combination of products that are proven to work.
Kathleen Crandell, Ph.D. is a KER nutritionist since 1997. She stated that “When I get a question from horse owners, my primary responsibility lies in the horse’s nutritional health.” “So many of my consultations–whether they occur face to face, phone to phone, or device to device–end with dietary tweaks, not major overhauls. These requests can be handled quickly and are simple. Complexer requests may require more back and forth with the horse owners and hours of research. However, I am always available to help you solve the problem.
Crandell said, “It’s quite satisfying to get a note of appreciation and, more importantly, a follow up on the horse’s condition.” It is often frustrating that I don’t get any acknowledgment that my advice was appreciated or received.
You can ask questions about education, work experience, and current employment to determine if an equine nutritionalist is on top of the latest trends. A master’s or doctorate in equine nutrition or other advanced education can indicate a high level of interest. This is especially true if the nutritionist offers new ideas or products to the industry.
Understanding. A lot of the work of an Equine Nutritionist relies on a fine-tuned hearing, according to Catherine Whitehouse M.S., a KER nutrition advisor. The art of listening needs to be finely tuned. She continued, “Horse owners enjoy talking about their horses and will often share important information about the horse’s management.” As a solution is being formed, all of these points, no matter how small, may come into play.
Understanding goes beyond the ability to pay attention. Horse owners do not all live in areas with the best feeds. Whitehouse explained that KER’s nutrition advisors are able to cater for the needs of horse owners on six continents. This means they often have limited options in terms of feedstuffs and feedstuffs. Whitehouse says that this is not an issue due to the large range of suitable forages and cereal grains for horses. However, it is important to have a good understanding of global feeding practices.
KER is extremely lucky because we not only have nutritionists and nutrition advisers who are familiar with American feed systems but also have a significant presence in Australia, Asia and Europe. Crandell stated that KER has seen a lot of diversity in its employees, especially for horses who travel frequently for breeding, showing, or exhibition purposes. “We are able to recommend high-quality nutrition programs that can be used by horses of any type, regardless of where they may be or how long they may be there,” Crandell said.
The final aspect of understanding is to look out for horse owners’ feed costs. This involves recommending adequate feed and supplements that fuel body maintenance and work, without adding-ons. A nutritionist can help keep feed costs low while still maintaining high quality.