Horses have evolved a primary adaptation to a grasslands nutritional environment over approximately 30-40 million years. Humans domesticated horses between 6,000 and 9,000 years ago, began feeding grains as a concentrated energy and nutrient source ~2,000 years ago, and began to utilize pelleted concentrates <100 years ago. It is likely that the change in dietary fractions of structural and nonstructural carbohydrates over a relatively short period of time is a significant contributor to the current prevalence of insulin resistance and equine metabolic syndrome in horses.
This knowledge does not make the challenge of identifying nutritional and management solutions for an animal that is utilized for athletic production any easier. Equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) is generally defined by a combination of obesity, previous or current laminitis, and insulin resistance. This lecture will begin with some historical perspective on the rise in prevalence of equine metabolic syndrome. Some of the relevant research that has helped shape current nutritional recommendations will also be highlighted. Finally, examples of dietary and husbandry management that might be utilized to reduce the risk of EMS or manage EMS in horses will be discussed.
W. Burton Staniar is an Associate Professor in the Department of Animal Science at the Pennsylvania State University. He has been a member of the faculty at Penn State since 2007. He teaches or helps to teach between 5 to 7 courses, ranging from Introductory Equine Science to Advanced Equine Nutrition. He is also advisor for the Equine Research Team at Penn State, an undergraduate student organization that aims to provide students more opportunities to learn about and experience equine research. His current research centers on gastrointestinal health with a focus on feeding and exercise management practices related to systemic inflammation. While he focuses on the horse as a target and a model, Dr. Staniar is interested in nutritional management aimed at improved health and performance in all livestock species. Dr. Staniar has previously been awarded the Penn State College of Agriculture’s Community of Teaching Excellence Award, the Gamma Sigma Delta Teaching Award of Merit, the Agricultural Student Council’s Advisor of the Year, and the American Society of Animal Science’s Northeast Young Scientist-Educator Award. He has been a member of the Equine Science Society since 1998, has served on the Society’s board of directors since 2009, and most recently completed his term as President of that society.
This webinar is free to all AAVN members. The cost for non-members is $20.
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This program has been submitted to RACE for approval of 1 CE credit. The session will be recorded and available to all registered attendees for two weeks after the live date.
A Zoom link will be provided in the registration email confirmation.
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