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 Sugar Beet Pulp Too High in Sugar for Horses?

Is the sugar content in beet pulp too high for some horses? Read an equine nutritionist's answer. Read More

Possible Problems Caused by Feeding Horses Bran Mashes

A nutritionist explains possible problems caused by feeding bran mashes and alternative ways to keep your horse warm. Read More

Senior Feeds and the Unthrifty Horse

I used a senior equine feed to help my hard keeper gain weight. Now, should I switch him to a low-NSC product? Read More

Heated Water Trough Safety

Are you using heated water buckets or troughs this winter? Stay safe with these tips. Read More

Keeping Water Troughs Thawed With or Without a Heater

Our equine nutritionist offers tips and asks for your input on dealing with ice in horse watering tanks. Read More

Can a Horse Consume Too Many Electrolytes?

Find out why a horse might prefer electrolyte water over plain water and if that's a cause for concern. Read More

Does Low-Starch Horse Feed Equal Low-Calorie?

Find out why a horse might gain weight when switched to a feed marketed as "low-starch." Read More

Winter Horse Feeding: Ration Balancer Feeds and Supplements

Learn the difference between ration balancer feeds and supplements and how they benefit horses when pastures are scarce. Read More

Do Horses Need Hay Around the Clock?

A horse owner asks if she's feeding her horse hay often enough. Nutritionist Dr. Clair Thunes responds. Read More

Fat Options to Help Your Horse Hold Weight During the Winter

Oil? Rice bran or flax seeds? Fat-fortified feed? Learn how to pick the best option for horses that are hard-keepers. Read More

Food Enrichment Activities for Donkeys

Is your donkey bored? Here are suggestions for adding entertaining food to your donkey's environment. Read More

Why Do Electrolytes Encourage Horses to Drink?

Our nutrition expert looks at why a horse might choose to drink water with electrolytes over plain water. Read More

Corn in Horse Feed: Good or Bad?

With some measures in place, corn can be a valuable calorie source for horses in heavy work, our nutritionist says. Read More

Saving Horses From the Northern California Wildfires

As wildfires rage in California, owners in Sonoma County are working together to evacuate and care for horses. Read More

Fall Colic Prevention for Horses

Nutritionist Dr. Clair Thunes shares advice on how to reduce your horse's risk of colicking this fall. Read More

Keeping Rodents Out of Your Feed Room

Rats and mice spread disease and ruin horse feed. Learn how to reduce populations in your barn. Read More

Can Horses Eat Pumpkin?

Do you want a festive fall treat for your horse? Find out if pumpkin is a safe choice. Read More

Helping Old Horses Gain Weight Before Winter

Our nutrition expert offers care and feeding tips for a thin senior horse before the cold weather hits. Read More

A Beer for Our Horses

With Oktoberfest in full swing, we started to wonder: Is the racetrack tradition of giving horses beer a good idea? Read More

Feeding the Evacuated Horse

Our equine nutrition expert shares tips for feeding horses during natural disasters. Read More

Feeding and Riding the Lactating Mare

Learn about the nutritional requirements of a mare with a foal at her side as she gets started back into work. Read More

What Does My Weanling Need to Eat?

Our nutritionist offers advice on feeding foals both before and after they're weaned from their dams. Read More

Is a Probe Necessary to Test Horse Hay?

Find out why using a hay corer or probe offers the best sample collection for hay nutritional analysis. Read More

Don't Let Your Horse Hay Go Up In Flames

Learn how to avoid combustion and barn fire caused by your stored hay. Read More

Bugs in a Bag of Horse Feed

What should you do if you find unwelcome pests in your horse's grain? Our nutritionist weighs in. Read More