South Dakota State University (SDSU) and the SDSU Extension are asking all South Dakota horse owners to set aside a few minutes to fill out the online equine nutrition survey before Oct. 31.

"This survey is designed to provide information to horse owners as well as SDSU Extension and the Department of Animal Science staff," explained Heidi Carroll, MS, SDSU Extension Livestock Stewardship Associate.

Carroll encourages all horse owners from South Dakota and neighboring states, 18 years and older, who own at least one horse to fill out the survey.

A unique feature to this survey is that once horse owners complete it, they are provided with the answers to the knowledge based questions about equine nutrition and health. The survey tests owners’ knowledge and gives a quick learning experience while collecting information about horse care.

"At the same time, it gives us a clear understanding of what South Dakota horse owners’ are feeding, what the strengths and weaknesses are regarding knowledge of equine nutrition, and how current feeding practices in this region compare to previously reported information from other regions," Carroll said.

The survey is part of an animal science undergraduate research project conducted by Emily Rosenthal. Rosenthal is advised by Sara Mastellar, PhD, an equine instructor at SDSU South Dakota State University, and works closely with Carroll whom serves as project co-leader.

"The information will be used to create a data-driven picture of how horse owners in this area feed their horses,” Mastellar said. “This information will help us gauge equine ow