Feeding advisors show empathy when communicating with consumers, study finds. 

The key to breaking the taboo surrounding equine obesity may lie with equine nutritionists. 

How feeding advisors work with their horse owning clients is highlighted in a PhD study by Katie Williams, technical and product development manager at Dengie. 

Katie Williams’ study highlights equine nutritionists’ empathy with horse owners

Katie’s research paper, presented at conferences in Europe and America this year, also looks at the relationships between vets, equine nutritionists and horse owners.

“One of the aims of Katie’s work was to explore the effectiveness of equine nutritionists and make the case for the work those in the profession do being more widely recognised and valued,” said Dengie in a statement. 

In particular, Katie’s study demonstrates how well equine nutritionists communicate with their horse-owning clients. 

“It was really encouraging to find that the client assessing the nutritionists rated them all very highly for parameters linked to empathy,” she said. 

“They all highlighted the potential for the ponies featured in the consultation to become obese suggesting that nutritionists don’t appear to have the same issues with talking about obesity as other professionals might.”

Having completed her PhD, Katie is working on other projects including a review of nutrition training in the veterinary curriculum.

Katie’s thesis titled A detailed analysis of consultations between equine nutritionists and a client was included in the Journal of Veterinary Science proceedings of the Equine Science Society 2023 Symposium.