About the Show
Description: Welcome to The Horse Nutrition Podcast with Purina Animal Nutrition’s team of PhD equine nutritionists and some very special guests, hosted by award-winning author and trainer Lisa Wysocky. From therapy horses, to pack horses, to Budweiser Clydesdales and trail horses, we’ll take you on a compelling journey filled with stories of extraordinary horses doing amazing jobs. We hope you will come away empowered and entertained, along with advice and knowledge on how to best feed your incredible equine companions.
Published: This show is currently on hiatus, be sure to subscribe to be notified when the next season is released!
From our research farm to your barn, welcome to The Horse Nutrition Podcast with Purina’s team of PhD equine nutritionists. From foals to seniors and everything in-between, we’ll take you on a journey through all stages of your horse’s life. You’ll come away with advice and knowledge on how best to feed your equine companion to unlock their greatest potential.
Our Full Rein Sweepstakes winner Elizabeth Kopras shares her passion recreating Medieval European culture and the role her horses play in the performances. As a member of the Society of Creative Anachronism, Elizabeth teaches her horses, including her rescue horse Magic, everything from jousting and armored combat to medieval equestrian games. This episode highlights all the training and the nutrition it takes for Magic and all her other horses to be successful.
Guests and Links – Medieval “Magic”
- Link to Sound File for Sight Impaired: Click Here
- Host: Lisa Wysocky, Author and Clinician
- Guest: Elizabeth Kopras
- Guest: Dr. Anna Pesta, Nutritionist, Equine Technical Solutions
- Visit: You can take part in a feed trial, to learn more about that, just go to Purina.
Purina Animal Nutrition
Season 2 Host:
Lisa Wysocky is an award-winning author, editor, equine clinician, and motivational speaker who trains horses for and consults with therapeutic riding programs. She also is a PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) instructor and holds certifications as an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning and Equine Services for Heroes. In addition, she has been chosen as one of the country’s Top 50 riding instructors by ARIA (American Riding Instructor’s Association).
Among many other books, Lisa is the author of the award-winning Cat Enright equestrian mystery series (now optioned for film and television), and as a speaker and horse expo clinician teaches ground driving, form to function, balanced riding, resistance-free leading, and life skills learned from the horse herd. Lisa also serves as executive director of the nonprofit organization Colby’s Army, and in her fifteen minutes of spare time each year enjoys hiking, gardening, water sports, playing Scrabble, Minnesota Twins baseball . . . and reading. She splits her time between Tennessee and Minnesota.
Season 1 hosts:
Wendy Ying, DVM
Wendy has a lifetime of horse experience and grew up riding hunters with Pam Hunt in New England, then received her colors from the Los Altos Hounds while completing her under graduate degrees in Molecular Biology and Chemistry from San Jose State University. She imported, bred and trained Registered Irish draughts and RID sport horses in North Carolina and Virginia while completing her DVM from NCSU and her Traditional Chinese Medicine degrees from Chi Institute. She started driving a single pony and was instantly hooked on driving so all the young horses had to ride and drive. Click here for some pictures of our Wysiwyg sportcobs with their happy owners. Wendy has national titles in both combined and pleasure driving and also enjoys recreational driving.
She currently resides in Sarasota, Florida and is a veterinarian at 5 Elements for Animals, a mobile traditional Chinese veterinary medicine practice. She offers acupuncture, herbal therapy, food therapy, laser therapy and nutritional and wellness consults for companion and farm animals and is branching out to exotics and marine mammals. In conjunction with Panacea Chiropractic, we offer sport horse and rider body works clinics and family (humans and pets) harmony clinics at your barn and/or home. For news and info on Traditional Chinese Veterinary medicine for your animals, check out the 5 Elements for Animals page at www.DrWendyYing.com.
Wendy is also host of the Driving Radio Show on the Horse Radio Network.
Mary Beth Gordon, Ph.D.
Director of Equine Research and New Product Development
When Mary Beth begged for riding lessons as a child, she could only hope that the rest of her life would revolve around horses. The quintessential horse-crazy kid, she thought she was heading toward a career in veterinary medicine, but life had other plans.
During college, Mary Beth discovered a passion for equine nutrition. And after graduate school, Purina. Here she studies the effect of nutrition on horse health. Separating trends from true efficacy, her research uncovers what’s right for each type of horse and at what level nutrients become meaningful and not just “tag dressing”.
With undergraduate and graduate degrees in Animal Science from Delaware Valley University and Rutgers University, Mary Beth appreciates that she can combine her love of horses with a commitment to thorough research. Whether she needs access to resources at the nutrition center, specialized equipment or just more time, Purina supports exemplary science.
And this, she says, shows up in every bag.
Robert Jacobs, Ph.D.
Research Equine Nutritionist
Prior to working at the Purina Animal Nutrition Center, Jacobs worked as a graduate teaching and research assistant in the Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences, at Virginia Tech.
“I believe nutrition provides us with the greatest opportunities to impact the lives of our equine companions,” Jacobs says. “We feed our horses on a daily basis, and providing them with the best feeds and supplements truly enables us to better their lives. The unique nature of the horse, in which they are considered both a livestock species and a companion animal, allows me to not only impact the life of the animal, but also of the owners who invest a great deal of emotion into the care of their horses.”
Jacobs has a Ph.D. in animal science from Virginia Tech. He wrote his dissertation about the influences of omega-3 fatty acids on equine uterine health and embryonic development in obese, metabolically compromised horses. In 2012 he earned his master’s degree from the University of Florida, where he wrote his thesis about the effects of arginine supplementation on equine uterine health. He earned his bachelor’s degree in 2010 from the University of Florida, where he majored in animal science and pre-veterinary medicine.
Anna Pesta, Ph.D.
Nutritionist, Equine Technical Solutions
Pesta received her bachelor’s degree in animal science from Kansas State University in 2009 and completed her master’s degree in ruminant nutrition in 2011 from the University of Nebraska. Her master’s work focused on utilizing byproduct feeds in high-fat finishing diets. In 2015, she graduated from the University of Nebraska with her Ph.D. in ruminant nutrition, studying nutritional strategies to reduce methane production in growing and finishing.
While at the University of Nebraska, Pesta coached the horse judging team and taught junior and senior level courses on the principles of horse evaluation. She also assisted in producing training videos on horse safety for feedlot pen riders and presenting oral reasons for youth horse judging teams.
Originally from North Carolina, Pesta grew up showing and judging horses and livestock through her local 4-H club. Pesta has experience as a three-day event competitor as well as riding and judging western discipline shows.
Karen E. Davison, Ph.D.
Director, Nutritionist, Equine Technical Solutions
Karen holds both a master’s and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University and is a horse owner from way back. And while she satisfies her curiosity with research, she still gets her kicks on the ride. Purina, Karen says, is tailor-made for her.
“It’s a good day for me,” says Karen Davison, “when I can make a day better for a horse.”
Horses are individuals. They don’t read the textbook; what works for one doesn’t work for another. So Karen takes her science out of the lab and directly to owners, and horses, in a way that makes a real difference. She uses her team’s collective expertise and experience to work through issues and tweak individual feeding programs. And they use these experiences to develop new and better feeds.
Kelly Vineyard, M.S., Ph.D.
Senior Nutritionist, Equine Technical Solutions
Dr. Vineyard holds a master’s and doctoral degree in equine nutrition from the University of Florida and a bachelor of science from Auburn University. She’s also a frequent publisher and lecturer on equine nutrition with expertise in omega-3 fatty acids, immune function and performance horse nutrition. Her published work includes articles in the Journal of Animal Science and the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, and a chapter in the textbook Equine Applied and Clinical Nutrition.
“As a research scientist who strives to develop products that will directly benefit the horse, I am particularly proud of my work developing the Purina® SuperSport®Amino Acid Supplement. I knew that it was going to be a great product based not only on our research results, but also on how my own horse responded to it. But nothing gives me more satisfaction than to hear from happy customers who are excited to share with us the positive results they are seeing in their own horses,” says Dr. Vineyard.
Like many of the equine experts at Purina, Dr. Vineyard has been involved with horses for most of her life. She is a USDF bronze and silver medalist in dressage and owns an off-track thoroughbred and a rescue pony.
Manager Equine Research
Mike earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science with a focus on equine reproduction from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and recently earned a master’s of business administration from the University of Missouri-Saint Louis.
Fifteen years ago, Jerina accepted a four-month internship at the farm where, in his words, “They handed me a pitchfork when I came in the door.”When he graduated, Purina offered him a job.
“Feeding horses on the farm is complex because we have to practice with such precision in terms of data collection,” said Jerina. “In the equine unit, we have x-ray and ultrasound machines, indirect calorimetry machines to measure caloric output during exercise, as well as EKG monitors to measure heart rate.It’s crazy the amount of testing we do before a product is offered to the public.But the time and effort pays. Our products are successful in the marketplace because they work.”
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