Born and raised in England, Dr Thunes started riding at the age of 8 and from day one was involved in all aspects of her horse’s daily care. She competed in all disciplines including eventing, show jumping, dressage, gymkhana, trail, fox hunting, hunters, side saddle and was an active member of the UK Pony Club attaining her B rating before graduating High School. Her fascination in equine nutrition led her in pursuit of a BSc from Edinburgh where she spent the 3rd year of her degree at the University of California, Davis. During her undergraduate years, Dr Thunes worked as a groom at a boarding stables outside of London looking after client’s horses including a medium goal polo string. Dr Thunes played polo for both the Edinburgh and Davis teams. Returning to Davis for her graduate studies Dr Thunes remained involved in the horse community working with local youth as District Commissioner of Panache Pony Club in Davis and as a working student preparing FEI level dressage horses with a local trainer. She also owned and trained a young BLM mustang and competed him in dressage and eventing before selling him on to a youth competition home.
As an equine nutritionist, Dr Thunes has worked with a wide range of horses from US Olympic team horses to miniature donkeys, as well as horses with a variety of physiological problems including insulin resistance and muscle myopathies. She enjoys working as part of a team and is happy to work in conjunction with her client’s veterinarian. Dr Thunes believes in finding the right balance not only in the horse’s diet but also between the horse’s needs and the client’s resources. A frequent guest speaker at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr Thunes has served as a lecturer teaching equine nutrition and exercise physiology in their Animal Science Department as well as equine health at Cosumnes River College. She has also travelled overseas to speak to owners and veterinarians in Turkey, Israel and Canada and domestically to share her knowledge with local equestrian groups. She writes frequent articles for notable publications including the Horse.
Now that her daughter and she can share a horse, Dr Thunes has recently started riding again. She is active within her horse community in Gilbert Arizona, having started a local Pony Club and volunteering as the club leader and the South West Region’s horse management official.
Qualifications and Memberships
- PhD Nutrition. 2005. University of California, Davis
- MS Animal Science. 1998. University of California, Davis
- BSc. Hons. Animal Science. 1997. Edinburgh University