Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Charles E. Anderson (Director), Dr. Linda Gonzales, Dr. Elmer Gray

Degree Program

Department of Agriculture

Degree Type

Master of Science


Ten adult Quarter Horses (5 mares and 5 geldings) were placed in dry lot for 90 days and allowed free choice access to a diet consisting of average quality orchard grass hay, salt and water. The horses were then allowed free choice access to early-growth annual ryegrass pasture, salt and water for a 28 day period. Random hay and grass samples were analyzed for nutrient content. Blood samples were collected at 6 am, 8 am, 6 pm, and 8 pm on the final day of hay consumption and on the 4th, 9th and 28th days of grass consumption. Samples were subsequently analyzed to determine the effects of diet type on circulating blood glucose, insulin, and triglyceride concentrations. Body weights and body condition scores were monitored on the first and last day of blood collection.

Ryegrass pasture consumption by horses in this trial resulted in body weight gains, increased body condition scores, and elevated insulin secretions. While blood glucose levels varied depending on day of sampling, there was no effect of diet type and blood glucose concentrations. Sex of test subject did not affect any of the parameters measured. Nutrient content analysis of the forages fed was attempted, however results were skewed therefore further correlations could not be determined.


Animal Sciences | Food Science