Equestrians or Scientists? WWU Students Are Both

Students in the equestrian program at William Woods University are doing double duty as riders and scientists. The equine nutrition class is going in depth into the affects of a feeding program, and how to analyze different feeds to meet the daily nutrient requirements for many types of horses.

Kathleen Baska, equine/lifestyle specialist for Purina Mills, a division of Land ‘O Lakes, spoke to the class April 2. She discussed the most effective sources of energy, common misconceptions and fads in the equine feed industry, and how to appropriately determine a horse’s daily caloric need.

“Education is power. In today’s times with rising feed and fuel costs and quality hay in short supply, it is more important then ever for equestrians of all walks of life to be educated on the feed choices they are making for their horses,” Baska said.

Baska is a two-time graduate of University of Missouri-Columbia, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in animal science and her master’s degree in animal science, with a concentration in reproductive physiology. She has worked with Purina for two years, educating individuals and feed dealers about nutrition issues and effective products on the market.

“It is really great to have these types of discussions with the faces of the next
generation of horse folks because they are the ones that will be responsible for preserving the quality of the equine industry that those of use coming before them have been so fortunate to enjoy,” commented Baska, on her motivation for educating people in the horse industry.

Over the semester, students in equine nutrition, taught by Laura Ward, associate professor of equestrian studies at WWU, have been learning about digestion. They have taken a scientific approach to many of the aspects concerning the quality of feeds and the completeness of a feeding program.