Speakers-Equine Symposium

Time SlotTopicSpeakerDescription of Program
09:00-9:45The Horse’s Digestive System

Nicole Weidner
BSc, MSc, PhD Cand.
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph and Equine Guelph, Canada
This talk will take you on a journey through the horse’s digestive system using Equine Guelph’s life size model. The parts have been cleverly designed to mimic the actual size found in the horse, but those with weak stomachs need not worry as the guts aren’t real. We’ll learn about what makes the horse’s digestive system unique and how nutrition and management can keep a horse’s digestive system healthy and happy.
09:45-10:30The Hindgut Microbiome

Dr. Wendy Pearson
BSc, MSc, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Animal Biosciences,
University of Guelph,
Horse owners are increasingly interested in the horse’s hindgut microbiome and the use of products purported to promote gut health (e.g. prebiotics and probiotics). This talk will help participants understand some of the current knowledge in this area, the difference between prebiotics and probiotics, and what to consider when evaluating a product.
10:30-11:00 BREAK
11:00-11:45Horse Hay Evaluation

Dr. Paul Sharpe
BSc, B.Sc.Agr., MSc, PhD
Algonquin College of Applied
Arts and Technology, Canada
This session will cover horse hay evaluation. Participants will learn to distinguish between grass and legume and estimate relative percentages of grass and legume in a hay sample, and learn about the changes in physical form and nutritional content as forage plants mature. Participants will also learn how to describe and score hay samples in terms of their: maturity (stage of harvest), leafiness, colour (indicating weather and sun damage), odour, softness, and freedom from impurities.
11:45-12:30Equine Assessment

Dr. Wendy Pearson
BSc, MSc, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Animal Biosciences,
University of Guelph, Canada
Knowing how to assess a horse can help caregivers make a more informed decision about an appropriate feeding plan for the horse. By assessing the horse first, you can determine if your current feeding plans are working, whether your feeding plans need to change, and if so, in what ways they need to change. This talk will introduce participants to the tools/systems that are available to assess a horse.
1:30-2:15Critically evaluating nutritional supplements for horses

Dr. Marie-Céline Hottat
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Belgium
Many horse owners are interested in the use of nutritional supplements for their horses, and there are many different nutritional supplements available. This talk will help participants understand how to critically evaluate these supplements. With this knowledge, we can make a more informed decision when looking at or choosing a nutritional supplement.
2:15-3:00Mycotoxins in Horse Feed

Dr. Younes Chorfi
Associate Professor,
Department of Veterinary Biomedicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine,
Université de Montréal, Canada
Horse feed is frequently contaminated with various mycotoxins produced by the secondary metabolism of diverse fungal contaminants. As a non-ruminant monogastric, horse may be more sensitive to the detrimental effects of mycotoxins. Contaminated hay, silage or grain and their byproducts impact horse health and immune system and may affect mare reproductive performances.
3:30-4:15Donkey Assessment and
Nutrition Tips

Kayla Johnson
Donkey Welfare & Education Manager
The Donkey Sanctuary, Canada
Donkeys have historically been mistaken as ‘horses with long ears’ when in fact, they have many unique aspects of basic care, not the least of which includes nutrition. This presentation seeks to provide an overview of physiological and pharmacological adaptations that make them well-suited for the digestion of fibrous forage and also more sensitive to the energy-dense feeds that many horses are accustom to. We will address the resulting impact to the welfare of donkeys and donkey hybrids living in temperate regions to which they are not well-suited for, especially when care-providers are unaware of their special dietary needs.