Clair Thunes, PhD

Clair Thunes, PhD, is an independent equine nutrition consultant who owns Summit Equine Nutrition, based in Sacramento, California. She works with owners/trainers and veterinarians across the United States and globally to take the guesswork out of feeding horses. Born in England, she earned her undergraduate degree at Edinburgh University, in Scotland, and her master’s and doctorate in nutrition at the University of California, Davis. Growing up, she competed in a wide array of disciplines and was an active member of the United Kingdom Pony Club. Today, she serves as the regional supervisor for the Sierra Pacific region of the United States Pony Clubs. As a nutritionist she works with all horses, from WEG competitors to Miniature Donkeys and everything in between.

Articles by Clair Thunes

Is It Okay to Ride an Ulcer-Prone Horse After She's Eaten?

Old wisdom tells us not to feed horses before exercise. But this outdated belief might be hurting your horse. Read More

Feeding an OTTB-Turned Barrel Horse

Off-track Thoroughbreds have special nutritional needs as they begin transitioning to new careers. Read More

Understanding Energy Content in Horse Feeds

Find out why horse feed labels don't simply list calorie content. Read More

Feeding Horses Chia: Consider Calcium and Phosphorus Balance

Chia is calcium-rich, but inverted calcium-to-phosphorus ratios can cause horses big problems. Here's what to know. Read More

How to Get a Horse to Drink When Away From Home

Find out why some horses won't consume water away from home and learn how to keep him hydrated. Read More

Chia or Flax: Which is Better for My Horse?

Discover the differences between these two trendy omega-3-packed seeds that can be used to supplement equine diets. Read More

Feeding Horses When You're Riding in the Wilderness

Riding in wilderness areas can present challenges for feeding your horse. Here are some tips! Read More

Free-Feeding Hay: When Will My Horse Slow Down?

Our nutrition expert offers advice for ensuring free-fed horses don't overeat hay. Read More

Spring Cleaning Your Feed Room

Save time and money by giving your feed room a good spring cleaning with these tips. Read More

Feeding Broodmares

An equine nutritionist explains how a broodmare's nutritional needs change during her pregnancy. Read More

Understanding 'PPM' on Horse Feed Labels

An equine nutritionist explains what "PPM" means on feed labels and how that translates to your horse's diet. Read More

Nutrition Tips for Traveling With Your Horse

Travel stress can lead to gastric ulcers and colic. Use these strategies to help keep your horse healthy away from home. Read More

Do Hoof Supplements Help?

Specific ingredients can help hoof quality, but maybe your horse's diet is missing more than that supplement can fix. Read More

What's So Special About Lysine?

A nutritionist explains why horses need this amino acid in their diets and what happens if they don't consume enough. Read More

How To Feed Your Newly Adopted Mustang

Our equine nutrition expert (and past mustang owner!) offers advice about feeding easy-keeping mustangs. Read More

Horse Hay and Feed Storage: How Long is Too Long?

Buying hay and feed in bulk quantities can save money up front. Find out how long you can store hay, grains, and feed. Read More

Donkeys' Unique Nutritional Needs

Donkeys aren't horses, and nowhere is that more apparent than in their feed needs. Find out what your donkey should eat. Read More

Oats in Manure: Is My Horse Getting the Nutrition He Needs?

Find out if oats in your horse's poop piles means his feed--and your money--are going right through him. Read More

Baled Hay vs. Pellets: What's Best for My Horse?

Considering a switch? A nutritionist weighs the benefits and drawbacks of feeding horses pelleted hay. Read More

Feeding the Picky Pre-PPID Horse

A nutritionist offers ideas for getting a pre-Cushing's horse to eat his supplements while maintaining his special diet. Read More

A Look at Pony Club's Feeding Rules

Our nutrition expert, who's also a USPC regional supervisor, shares the basic nutrition rules every Pony Clubber learns. Read More

EMS and 'Low-Carb' Diets: What's Right for Your Horse?

Carbohydrates aren't all created equally, and "low-carb" definitely doesn't mean "no-carb." A nutritionist explains. Read More

Copper's Impact on Equine Coat Color

Can feeding copper help darken a horse's coat and prevent sun-bleaching? Learn more about this important trace mineral. Read More

Help! My Horse Ate Chicken Feed: What Should I Do?

Here's how to react if your horse consumes feed designed for another animal. Read More

Supplementing Selenium

When does a horse need selenium supplementation and what's the best way to provide it? An equine nutritionist weighs in. Read More