EQ1400: Equine Nutrition: NRC Plus with Dr. Eleanor M. Kellon VMD ONLINE COURSE


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 are and Dr. Kellon’s courses 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. Although there is a time limit in which to complete this course, students are not required to sit in front of a computer at a designated time.

If you are registering for Equinology Credit you must also pay the Equinology Externship Fee of $125. When Dr. Kellon offers a 2 for 1 fee, only the second-course fee is free; you will need to pay the second Equinology externship fee. 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).

This is an excellent course for anyone to take whether they are a horse owner, trainer or student. Health starts at nutrition.

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 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 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).

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

The 1989 version of the NRC Requirements is available, full text, online at: http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309039894

Your course materials will include updated information from the 2007 NRC in each section, but if you wish to purchase the 2007 NRC you can order it here: http://books.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11653

None. Suitable for all skill levels

Please register directly on the instructor’s site at: http://drkellon.com/coursedescriptions/nrcplus.html

Please visit her site for the dates of the courses.