EQ1400E: Equine Nutrition



Dr. Kellon is a serious researcher who dedicates herself to the ongoing exploration of equine health care. While hands-on courses dealing with the application and supervision of onsite instructors are not candidates for online courses, we feel that certain subject matters such as those Dr. Kellon presents will do extremely well in the online or distance study format. This will enable the student to afford the luxury of study at home in a well-organized design. Once the student scomplete the course and exam successfully with Dr. Kellon they may then apply for Equinology credit by completing the externship (case studies) by registering for the EQ1410: Equinology Externship by following the link below. Please do not sign up for this until you have successfully completed Dr. Kellon’s course. This course fulfills the requirement for the Nutrition course component of the Equinology Master Equine Body Worker Series (any EQ number starting with 1400).

The starting point for this course is the 2007 National Research Council recommendations for feeding horses. However, that’s all they are – a starting point. They are a tool you will use in evaluating every diet, but Dr. Kellon wants this to be more than just a nuts and bolts number game. The course will cover individual nutrients, what they do, why they are essential and how they interact. Feeding a horse properly isn’t like building a house or putting together a puzzle. It’s more like baking a cake. If you leave the baking powder out of a cake recipe, the results are catastrophic and you end up with a cracker instead of a cake. This is the equivalent of a full blown nutritional deficiency. However, adding too much also has negative effects. To get the perfect cake, all ingredients need to be balanced. This dynamic approach, focusing just as much on balance as on intake of individual nutrients, is what Dr. Kellon sees to be the most effective – and also efficient – way to build a sound diet.

The material for each section of the course will be posted on the internet weekly as a pdf-file. It will include the material Dr. Kellon wishes cover, links for further reading, and a series of review questions that will emphasize the most important points. When students receive the next week’s material, the answers to the questions from the week before will be at the front.

This is a no pressure learning situation. There is no “mandatory attendance” at any time, no grades. The review questions are for the students’ use only. Dr. Kellon assumes that anyone taking the course is doing so because they want to learn more about equine nutrition. Students have the luxury to read when it is convenient for them to do so. However, if you want credit for this course to enable them apply for the Equinology externship and credit (EQ1410), a 30 question exam will be given towards the end of the course. A 70% is required to pass.

Dr. Kellon will open the Yahoo Groups discussion group in advance of the course starting. This will be a group exclusively for course enrollees. When you join, Dr. Kellon would like you to post a brief introduction about yourself in a file that will be called “Members Info”, and a description of what you are currently feeding in a file called “Members Diets”. This is an international group so she will use that information to make sure course material and links to resources are useful for all of you. In the diets section, also list any health or performance problems you are having. Use this group to ask questions about any part of the course material at any time. If you fall behind (life happens), you will have the opportunity to join the Yahoo group for the next run of the course if you think that would be beneficial to you (no fee second time around).

Full text of the 1989 version of the NRC Requirements

Your course materials will include updated information from the 2007 NRC in each section.  The 2007 NRC is available for purchase if you wish.


Week One – Physiology of Digestion and Nutrient Utilization
I. The digestive tract
II. Active and passive absorption of minerals
III. Absorption and metabolism of fats
IV. Absorption and metabolism of protein
V. Absorption and metabolism of carbohydrates
VI. Vitamins

Week Two – Tools for Determining Intake
I. Soil analysis
II. Hair analysis
III. Blood and tissue analysis
IV. Diet analysis

Week Three – Energy Sources, Energy Requirements
I. Carbohydrates, fats and protein as calories; role of the B vitamins
II. Requirements for growth
III. Requirements for pregnancy and lactation
IV. Requirements for adult maintenance
V. Fine tuning
Week Four – Protein Requirements
I. Crude protein vs digestible protein
II. Amino acid requirements
III. Requirements for growth
IV. Requirements for pregnancy and lactation
V. Requirements for adult maintenance and exercise
VI. Conditions requiring special protein considerations
Copyright 2008 Eleanor M Kellon, VMD

Week Five – Understanding Electrolytes and Hydration
I. Definition of electrolytes
II. Sodium and the Physiology of Water Balance
III. Potassium
IV. Chloride
V. Bicarbonate
VI – Balancing to sweat losses

Week Six – The Major Minerals
I. Beyond NRC
II. Calcium
III. Magnesium
IV. Phosphorus
V. Sulfur

Week Seven – The Trace Minerals
I. Copper
II. Zinc
III. Manganese
IV. Selenium
V. Iodine
VI. Other

Week Eight – Building a Diet
I. Determine energy requirements
II. Selecting appropriate energy sources
III. Calculating minerals
IV. Balancing minerals
V. Vitamins
VI. Food versus supplement sources

Week Nine – The Exercising Horse – Basics
I. Matching energy sources to need
II. Protein considerations
III. Minerals and electrolytes
IV. Vitamins

Week Ten – Hands On
I. Sample insulin resistance diet
II. Sample pregnancy/lactation/weanling diet
III. Endurance


COST: US$210

Register directly for Dr. Kellon’s course via http://drkellon.com/

Register for Equinology Credit and Externship.

This course is required for EMEBW certification. To complete the EMEBW certification you must have passed the EBW Level II certification.

View the EMEBW certification outline.