Equine Nutrition and Exercise Physiology Intern


Year-long program: March 15 of each year (Applications from applicants living outside the United States will be accepted up to April 1)

Summer program: February 15 of each year

ANTICIPATED NOTIFICATION DEADLINE: Year-long: Late May of the application year. Summer: Late March.

INTERNSHIP LOCATION: Kentucky Equine Research, Inc., 3910 Delaney Ferry Road, Versailles, Kentucky, 40383, USA (18 miles southwest of Lexington, Kentucky)

FACILITY DESCRIPTION: Kentucky Equine Research, Inc. (KER) is an equine nutrition, research, and consultation company serving both the horse producer and the feed industry.  Its goal is to advance the industry’s knowledge of equine nutrition and exercise physiology and apply this knowledge to produce healthier, more athletic horses.  The cornerstone of KER is its 150+-acre research facility in central Kentucky where equine nutrition and exercise physiology experiments are conducted.  This research center maintains Thoroughbred research horses and includes a high-speed treadmill, a six-horse free walker, an indirect calorimeter, equipment necessary for detailed investigation of nutrient metabolism at rest and during exercise, and matted stalls and collection harnesses for digestibility studies.  All research conducted at the KER research farm and published by KER is designed to have direct application to the horse feed industry and relevant to current topics of interest in the scientific community.


Interns will:

Provide routine health care and management of horses.  Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, cleaning stalls, ration preparation and feeding, conditioning horses on a treadmill and automatic walker, and monitoring the health, weight and condition of all horses. Physical labor and farm labor are integral duties of the internship program.

Participate in the performance of standardized exercise tests on a high-speed treadmill, recording of data during experiments, and collection of samples during digestion trials and exercise trials.

Learn skills necessary to assist in the management of an equine research facility, including trouble shooting problems as they occur during a research trial and interfacing scientific design with practical situations.

Learn that when conducting research, a horse’s behavior and daily routine can greatly influence the outcome of a study.

Be provided with the practical experience necessary to understand and implement research protocol.

Become familiar with the operation of research equipment used in studies during the internship.  This equipment may include indirect calorimeter equipment used to measure oxygen uptake and carbon dioxide production, polar heart rate monitors, centrifuge and blood gas analyzer.

Meet and work with leading equine nutritionists.

Become familiar with oversight and management of a horse herd and farm.

Broaden knowledge and experience through interactions with central Kentucky equine professionals outside of KER, such as farm managers, feed industry professionals, veterinarians, equine hospitals, University of Kentucky, Gluck Equine Research Center, etc.


Hours are variable, ranging from 40 to 60 hours per week, depending on the schedule of research experiments. The normal work week will be 6 days. However, during busy times, it may be required that interns work at least a few hours of a seventh day.  Days off are not necessarily weekend days.

Due to the nature of research projects, horse care, and farm management, set working hours are not always possible and some after-hours work must be expected.

Every effort will be made to keep working hours reasonable and equally divided, however, applicants must be willing to be flexible with their work schedule.


Good horse handling and care skills are fundamental in this position. Experience with equine husbandry, nutrition, and routine management of a horse farm.

Experience and attention to detail to perform basic laboratory skills

Should be dependable, hard-working, able to learn by instruction and observation, organized, able to handle changing conditions and priorities, and sensitive to the detail and accuracy necessary for successful research.

A willingness to get “dirty” as nutrition research and horse farm work are not glamorous jobs.

Ability to work and live well with others in a diverse and changing work environment

A strong interest in equine nutrition and research.

Good working knowledge of computers, including Word and Excel.


Must have completed at least 2 years of a Bachelor of Science degree (or equivalent degree) in Animal or Veterinary Science (equine emphasis) and an above average grade point average.

Knowledge of basic horse handling and care is necessary for the safe handling of research animals, safety of coworkers, and effective implementation of experimental design.


This is a paid internship

Free housing accommodations provided on the KER research farm.

Internet, satellite TV, local telephone service, etc

Complimentary registration at all KER sponsored conferences during the internship.

KER will arrange the visa application and cover the remaining balance of the visa costs for international interns.  Vacation: 10 working days

YEAR-LONG INTERN STIPULATIONS: Intern must cover travel expenses and home country visa application fees, ranging from $300-500 and depending on home country. Intern must speak, read, and write English fluently.


This is an unpaid internship.

Housing is not provided.

Intern must cover travel, living, and transportation expenses, and any visa application fees.

Intern must speak, read, and write English fluently.

INTERN ACTIVITIES: Opportunities to visit other horse farms, veterinary clinics, and educational facilities in the area. Attendance at KER’s nutrition or sales and marketing conferences, farm manager meetings, educational seminars, and various equine-related clinics and competitions in the area.

LOCAL ATTRACTIONS: Keeneland Racecourse, Kentucky Horse Park, University of Kentucky, Gluck Equine Research Center, Fasig-Tipton.


Interested persons should apply online. The application requires:

1. A letter of application

2. A resume

3. Three letters of reference

4. A short essay answering the following questions:

a. What are your expectations of the KER internship program?

b. How do you think participating in the KER internship program will benefit your professional career?

Incomplete and/or late applications will not be considered.Selected applicants will be contacted for a telephone interview. The anticipated date of final notification will be by May 31st.


Catherine Whitehouse

TELEPHONE: (859) 873-1988

FAX: (859) 879-0770