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Research

One of the central objectives of the Penn State Equine Research Team is to give students the opportunity to study and practice equine research. PSERT is focusing broadly on Gastrointestinal health for the 2015-2016 year, and will be working with two of Dr. Staniar's graduate students to understand how diet may be linked to problems in horses such as: ulcers, inflammation, and laminitis. This project offers numerous opportunities for undergraduate research.

Below you will see a list of equine research studies either in progress or completed by PSERT.  Have a look through these to get a better idea of the kind of work that the team does.  If you would like more information about any of these studies, please contact Dr. Burt Staniar.

Completed

This is a recently completed study in the Staniar lab in which we investigated the influence of forage or grain based diets on changes in the permeability of the horse’s gastrointestinal tract.

This was our Spring 2013 study. We investigated how certain aspects of a broodmare's diet may influence the transfer of immunoglobulins to the foal. A large number of PSERT members had an opportunity to work with our newborn foals!

This was a study conducted by one of our 1st team members, Jennifer Morrissey. We were interested in trying to understand more about how diet might influence the fluid that provides nutrition to a young horse's developing joint.

Forage is the foundation of the equine diet. It is nearly a cliche to say this, but there is a reason for that! While most horse owners understand how important forage is in their horses diet, they are not familiar with some of the less common forage choices that may be available to them. Teff is one of these.

Amino acids are well known as the building blocks of proteins; however, we have come to understand that they can have a number of other important physiologic effects. In this study we investigated the influence of specific amino acids added to meals fed to horses on the circulating glucose and insulin responses.

This project is a substudy connected to the Equine Gastropermeability Study conducted by Katie Norris.

Ponies are prone to being overweight.

This project is based off a theory that horses in the local region are obese/overweight, overfed, and/or under worked.

The initial intention of this study was to determine how fecal grab lube affects the recorded pH of the feces.