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

How Much Grain Should I Feed My Colic-Prone Horse?

An owner with a colicky horse is worried that grain could be the culprit and wants to know how much to feed. Read More

Resolve to Weigh Your Horse's Feed

Do you want to make sure your horse is getting the right amount of feed? Use a scale! Read More

Feeding Older Horses With PPID, IR, or Metabolic Disease

Are there any parameters for offering senior feeds to horses diagnosed with Cushing's and laminitis? Read More

When is an Older Horse Ready for Senior Feed?

As horses age, they might require additional nutritional support. Get advice for feeding senior horses. Read More

Risks Associated With Feeding Horses Traditional Bran Mashes

While steeped in tradition, feeding bran mashes can cause GI distress in horses. Learn why, and discover alternatives. Read More

Can Fat Help Horses Gain Weight in Winter?

Find out how to safely feed horses fat and if it's a good weight-gain solution. Read More

Can Horses Eat Citrus?

A reader asks about the risks and benefits of her horse eating a favorite treat: grapefruit. Our nutritionist weighs in. 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

Tips for Feeding Horses in a Group

Does your herd leader get too much to eat while the low man doesn't get enough? Here's our expert's advice. Read More

A Short Guide to Horse Hay Analysis

A horse owner asks if hay analysis is necessary. Our nutrition expert offers an answer and advice on getting a sample. Read More

Processed Horse Feeds: A Balance of Pros and Cons

Human nutritionists encourage eating whole foods and avoiding processed ones. Does the same logic apply to our horses? Read More

Fish Oil as an Omega-3 Source for Horses

Omega-3 fatty acids offer horses health benefits, but are fish sources okay for horses to eat? 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

Increasing Chew Time for Hay Cubes and Pellets

Horses can consume hay pellets or cubes rapidly. How can we slow them down to increase their time spent chewing? Read More

Pros and Cons of Feeding Horses Beet Pulp

An equine nutritionist answers common questions about beet pulp. Read More

Protecting Your Horse From Poisonous Fall Leaves

Is it okay for my horse to eat leaves that have fallen from trees in his pasture? Read More

Complete Feeds vs. Ration Balancers: What's the Difference?

One's designed to be the horse's whole diet, while the other should be added to a ration. Which is best for your horse? Read More

Feeding PPID Horses

Our nutrition expert explains how diet changes can help horses with pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID). Read More

Feeding the Horse With Asthma

Recurrent airway obstruction is a medical condition, but feed changes might help your horse breathe better. Read More

Vitamin C: Does it Help Horses With Inflammation?

A horse owner wonders if a vitamin C supplement will help her horse with swollen legs. Read More

Best Alternatives to Daily Supplementation for Horses

What do you do if you can't get to the barn to supplement your horse every day? A nutritionist offers advice. Read More

What's the Best Weight Loss Plan for My Horse?

A bossy gelding has ballooned during the summer months, and his owner seeks advice for a safe and effective diet. Read More

Is it Okay to Ride My Ulcer-Prone Horse After Feeding?

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