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EQ1400: Equine Nutrition: NRC Plus

Date: Ongoing (Distance Learning)
Cost: $335
Duration: 10 weeks


Health starts with nutrition. 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 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 numbers game.

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 to 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.

Dr. Kellon will open the Yahoo Groups discussion group in advance of the course starting. This will be a group exclusively for course participants. 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).



Week One – Physiology of Digestion and Nutrient Utilization

  1. The digestive tract
  2. Active and passive absorption of minerals
  3. Absorption and metabolism of fats
  4. Absorption and metabolism of protein
  5. Absorption and metabolism of carbohydrates
  6. Vitamins

Week Two – Tools for Determining Intake

  1. Soil analysis
  2. Hair analysis
  3. Blood and tissue analysis
  4. Diet analysis

Week Three – Energy Sources, Energy Requirements

  1. Carbohydrates, fats, and protein as calories; role of the B vitamins
  2. Requirements for growth
  3. Requirements for pregnancy and lactation
  4. Requirements for adult maintenance
  5. Fine tuning

Week Four – Protein Requirements

  1. Crude protein vs. digestible protein
  2. Amino acid requirements
  3. Requirements for growth
  4. Requirements for pregnancy and lactation
  5. Requirements for adult maintenance and exercise
  6. Conditions requiring special protein considerations

Week Five – Understanding Electrolytes and Hydration

  1. Definition of electrolytes
  2. Sodium and the Physiology of Water Balance
  3. Potassium
  4. Chloride
  5. Bicarbonate
  6. Balancing to sweat losses

Week Six – The Major Minerals

  1. Beyond NRC
  2. Calcium
  3. Magnesium
  4. Phosphorus
  5. Sulfur

Week Seven – The Trace Minerals

  1. Copper
  2. Zinc
  3. Manganese
  4. Selenium
  5. Iodine
  6. Other

Week Eight – Building a Diet

  1. Determine energy requirements
  2. Selecting appropriate energy sources
  3. Calculating minerals
  4. Balancing minerals
  5. Vitamins
  6. Food versus supplement sources

Week Nine – The Exercising Horse – Basics

  1. Matching energy sources to need
  2. Protein considerations
  3. Minerals and electrolytes
  4. Vitamins

Week Ten – Hands-On

  1. Sample insulin resistance diet
  2. Sample pregnancy/lactation/weanling diet
  3. Endurance


This course is appropriate for all skill levels, and is excellent for owners, trainers, riders and students.

*This course fulfills the requirement for the Nutrition course component of the Master Equinology ® Equine Body Worker Certification (MEEBW).




Required Materials

If you are using this course as part of the Equinology MEEWB certification, you must also pay the Equinology Externship Fee of $125. Once the student completes the course, notify Dr. Kellon’s office, and they will send you out the exam. Upon successful completion of the exam, you can begin the externship (case studies and extra learning activities).


Dr. Eleanor Kellon, VMD

Dr. Kellon is one of a handful of experts in the field of applications of nutraceuticals for horses. She is an authority in the field of equine nutrition as well as conditions affecting performance horses. An Honors Graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School, Dr. Kellon completed her internship and residency in Large Animal Medicine and Surgery at the renowned University of Pennsylvania New Bolton Center. She is currently a Staff Veterinarian for Uckele Health and Nutrition, Inc.

Dr. Kellon is the co-owner of the almost 10,000 members Cushing’s and Insulin Resistance yahoo group. She is the owner of Equine Nutritional Solutions, a nutritional consulting firm which also hosts 16 online courses on nutrition and horse care. Her work has led to unique nutraceutical approaches for horses with skin and respiratory allergies, degenerative as well as injury-related tendon and ligament problems, chronic laminitis and performance issues.

A prolific writer, Dr. Kellon has written 8 books and her articles have appeared in magazines such as The Chronicle of The Horse, Hoofbeats, Practical Horseman, Equus, Horse Journal, and John Lyons Perfect Horse. She has written over 1500 articles on animal nutrition, care and health issues. Dr. Kellon has also contributed to professional publications and professional meetings on topics including muscle disorders, thyroid disorders, and nutrition.


Registration for this course is done directly on Dr. Kellon’s website and can be accessed here.

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