Category Archives: Advice From Dr. Nonella

Kelsey J. Nonella, Ph.D. is an equine nutritionist who was riding horses before she could walk. Her love for horses drives her to help educate people on what their horses’ needs in order to have happy, healthy horses.

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Fly Girl Joins the Horse Guard Herd

On Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, a bay filly was born here at Horse Guard. To honor all our U.S. service men and women, we decided to name her “Fly Girl” after the women pilots in WWII.  We are very excited for this flashy filly’s future, as her parents and grandparents have excelled in the rodeo arena. Fly Girl’s mother, Docs Red Rita, was an outstanding competitor and is an amazing producer. Rita has been part …

Detecting and Managing Ulcers in Horses

            Imagine trying to run a race when you are having extremely bad heartburn. The pain alone would keep you from performing to the best of your ability. Now, consider the same condition for your horse, with a gastric ulcer. Around 60% of performance horses have been shown to have gastric ulcers. There are many compounding factors that can cause ulcers in horses, such as meal frequency, feeds, exercise, and medications.            The majority of horses …

Keeping Your Horse’s Joints Fluid and Functional

            Your horse is a very valuable competitor and companion to you as a horse owner. The time and effort put in training and care is immense. So, you want your horse to live a long, healthy, athletic life. However, joints of horses performing at high levels are taxed heavily during competition. So, it is our job to provide them with preventative care and maintenance of their joints. Oral joint supplementation helps to slow the …

Low Selenium Horse Deaths in Central Oregon

Selenium Deficiency linked to the deaths of Horses in Central Oregon                 I wanted to share a story to help educate horse owners on the importance of making sure your horses’ vitamin and mineral needs are being met, especially selenium. When I talk to people in the Northwest, most know that we live in a selenium deficient area. However, when I ask them what they supplement their horse with some people reply that their horse looks …

Common Equine Nutritional Diseases

Despite our best efforts to provide our beloved animals with high quality feed, horses are nonetheless prone to equine nutritional diseases that can adversely affect their performance and health. These diseases are categorized into one of three main areas: directly related to nutrition, indirectly related to nutrition, or a combination of the two. Those directly related to nutrition are, generally speaking, completely preventable with proper nutrition and supplementation management. Those indirectly related to nutrition aren’t …

How To Determine What Nutrients Your Horse Needs

Almost anyone who took high school biology will remember that all organisms need nutrients in order to carry out life processes. The things humans need to carry out those processes are the same for horses, wolves, and dolphins, and they are: carbohydrates, proteins, lipids (fats), vitamins, minerals, and water. As horse owners, we want to make sure our animals are getting optimal nutrition. But factors such as age, weight, status, and workload means that you …

The Shetland Pony… Great Things Do Come In Small Packages!

As sure as the Sun rises in the east and sets in the west, kids are drawn to the lovable Shetland Pony, and for good reason! These hardy, rugged animals are originally from the Shetland Islands, about 110 miles off the northern coast of Scotland. The climate there can be very difficult to endure. This resulted in the Shetland developing a thick, double coat during winter, along with a thick mane and tail to aid …

The Mystique of the Mustang

When people hear the word “mustang”, they conjure up images of wild horses running freely throughout the prairies and mountains of the western United States. Indeed, these horses have enjoyed a few hundred years worth of being free from ownership... The true definition of mustang in the Spanish language! But what many people may not realize is that a more accurate descriptor for a mustang would be “feral” because these intelligent, robust horses are descended …

Parasites Affect Your Horse From the Inside Out… Help It Fight Back

Parasites. To the unsuspecting, and unfortunate, host, they’re a scourge that has existed on the Earth for far longer than Homo Sapiens or Equus Caballus combined. These organisms, classified into three categories: protozoa, helminths, and ectoparasites, all function in the same manner, they feed on a host via its blood (external) or through digested food (internal). Most internal parasites focus on the intestines because that’s where most mammals absorb food, and thus, will give the …

Keeping Your Horse’s Overall Health Tuned Up

Good Nutrition: Keeping Your Horse’s Overall Health Tuned Up.If your car or truck is running low on fuel, do you stop and fuel it up? Sure you do! How about oil? It is crucial for the health and longevity of your car to ensure that the oil level and other fluids are adequate when running your car. If there isn’t enough oil and fluids in your car, it is prone to breaking down, causing a …

Help Your Horse Overcome the Effects of Mycotoxicosis

What Are Mycotoxins?Mycotoxins are harmful secondary compounds produced by fungi that can be found in soil and plant matter commonly consumed by horses, including: grains, forages, and feed. While the presence of fungi are not completely absent from these food sources, they will produce mycotoxins under ideal conditions such as specific moisture and oxygen levels present in the air, and at certain temperatures. Mycotoxicosis is more common among agricultural animals such as poultry, swine and …

The Grandeur of the Clydesdale Never Ceases to Impress!

To many Americans, the Clydesdale is synonymous with the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company. Their famous TV commercials, which usually air during Christmas and the Super Bowl, are seen by millions of people annually and are filmed with the company’s own horses who comprise a series of hitches throughout the country. Apparently, the qualification process to make one of those teams is as stringent as someone trying to become a Dallas Cowgirl! The process is worth it, …