Dr. Rhonda Hoffman

Rhonda M. Hoffman, PhD, PAS, Dpl ACAN
Professor

Ph.D. Animal & Poultry Sciences (Equine Nutrition), 1997. Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA.
M.S. Animal & Poultry Sciences (Equine Nutrition), 1994. Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
B.S. Agriculture (Equine Science), 1992. Truman State University, Kirksville, MO.

MTSU Horse Science home

Dr. Rhonda Hoffman is a Professor in Animal Science/Horse Science in the School of Agribusiness and Agriscience at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. She is a Diplomate of the American College of Animal Nutrition and member of the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists.

Prior to coming to MTSU, Dr. Hoffman worked as the Horse Extension Specialist at the University of Connecticut and as a Research Assistant Professor at Virginia Tech. Her graduate research at the Virginia Tech MARE Center, a 420-acre Thoroughbred breeding farm, provided the basis for her continued work in horse nutrition as well as a strong practical foundation in day-to-day equine care and management.

Dr. Hoffman joined the faculty of the School of Agribusiness and Agriscience at MTSU in August 2003. Her faculty appointment includes teaching, research, public service, and she is the primary advisor for approximately 90 students majoring in Horse Science. She is the faculty advisor for the MTSU Horsemen's Association, and she developed and maintains the MTSU Horse Science website. She enjoys teaching horse nutrition in a manner that relates the digestive physiology and nutritional needs of horses to objects and concepts used in everyday life.

Dr. Hoffman's research emphasizes carbohydrate fractions in feeds and forages with analysis relating to equine digestive physiology rather than plant chemistry. She is particularly interested in carbohydrate metabolism, glucose-insulin dynamics and insulin sensitivity in horses as related to diet, obesity, pregnancy, performance and disease.

COURSES

ABAS 1410 Elements of Animal Science. Three credits. Types and breeds of beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, horses, swine, and poultry. A review of the science of animal production, including biological, physical and behavioral factors. Special emphasis on breeds adapted to Tennessee and to market classifications.

ABAS 3010 Agri-Media Skills. Three credits. Applications of oral and written skills in communicating about agricultural research, shows, and sales.

ABAS 3410 Horse Breeds and Genetics. Three credits. A review of the history of the horse from the prehistoric era to present day, with a focus on the development and contributions of horse breeds in the US and state horse industry. Roles of breed associations, principles of genetics, selection of desired traits, genetic abnormalities associated with specific breeds, and matching breeds to disciplines.

ABAS 3430 Horse Production. Three credits. Prerequisite: ABAS 2110 or ABAS 2400 or approval of instructor. Scientific principles relevant to production requirements of horses as related to exercise physiology and performance, growth, reproductive physiology and state, age and clinical support. Facilities management, marketing, legal aspects of horse ownership and career opportunities will also be covered in effort to link scientific aspects of horse production with practical applications in equine enterprises.

ABAS 4440 Equine Nutrition and Feeding (EXL). Three credits. Prerequisites: ABAS 1410 and CHEM 1020 or CHEM 1120, or approval of instructor. The course reviews equine digestion and utilization of nutrients, appropriate feeds and feeding management, and diseases with a nutritional component. Nutrient requirements for the horse at various stages, including maintenance, reproduction, growth, performance, age and clinical support are discussed in depth.

ABAS 4450 Equine Exercise Physiology. Three credits. Prerequisites: ABAS 2400 or approval of instructor. The course covers topics relevant to equine exercise physiology, including physical, physiological, metabolic and mental adaptation to athletic training, exercise metabolism, thermoregulation, biomechanics of movement and affects of surface and footing, common unsoundnesses observed during training and competition, exercising testing, and an overview of shoeing for performance.

ABAS 6440 Advanced Equine Nutrition Three credits. Prerequisites: ABAS 4440 or 4410 or equivalent undergraduate animal or equine nutrition class, and ABAS 3040 or 3430 or equivalent undergraduate horse management class, or approval of instructor. A class in organic chemistry or biochemistry is recommended. This course is a biochemical approach to understanding the nutritional requirements for horses at various life stages, including maintenance, growth, reproduction, performance, age and clinical support.  Current equine nutrition research and its application to practical equine management will be emphasized.  Feeding management related to nutrient digestion, absorption, and metabolism will be explored. 

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

Hoffman, R. M.  2011. Nutrition: Carbohydrates.  Pages 779–780 in: Clinical Veterinary Advisor: The Horse.  David Wilson (ed.)  Elsevier Saunders, Philadelphia, PA.

Hoffman, R. M., J. P. Kayser, R. M. Lampley, and J. C. Haffner. 2011. Dietary fish oil supplementation affects plasma fatty acids and glycemic response but not insulin sensitivity in horses. J. Equine Vet Sci. 31:252–253.

Kayser, J. P., R. M. Hoffman, J. C. Haffner, and H. Johansson. 2011. Standardization of Equine Specific Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay for measuring serum insulin concentrations. J. Equine Vet. Sci. 31:247.

Hoffman, R. M.  2011. Fescue toxicity in horses: complications, concerns and prevention. Pages 101–106 in Proc. Mid-Atlantic Nutrition Conference, Timonium, MD.

Haffner, J. C., K. A. Fecteau, H. Eiler, T. Tserendorj, R. M. Hoffman, and J. W. Oliver. 2010. Blood steroid concentrations in domestic Mongolian horses. J. Vet. Diagnos. Invest. 22:537–543.

Hoffman, R. M.  2009.  Carbhydrate metabolism and metabolic disorders in horses (Metabolismo de carboidratos e disfunções metabólicas em equinos). Revista Brasileria de Zootecnia 38:270–276 (supl. especial). 

Hoffman, R. M., J. C. Haffner, C. A. Crawford, H. Eiler, K. A. Fecteau. 2009.  Nonstructural carbohydrate and glycemic response of feeds: how low is “low” starch?  J. Equine Vet. Sci. 29:379-380.

Haffner, J. C., H. Eiler, R. M. Hoffman, K. A. Fecteau, and J. W. Oliver.  2009.  Effect of a single dose of dexamethasone on glucose homeostasis in healthy horses by using the combined intravenous glucose and insulin test.  J. Anim. Sci. 87:131–135.

Hoffman, R. M., J. C. Haffner, H. Eiler and K. Fecteau.  2007.  The role of insulin resistance in carbohydrate-sensitive versus stress-induced laminitis in horses.  Pages 106–107 in Proc. 20th Equine Science Society Symposium, Hunt Valley, MD.

Brzezicki, A. M. and R. M. Hoffman.  2007.  Stride length as a measure of learning in horsemanship students.  Pages 213–214 in Proc. 20th Equine Science Society Symposium, Hunt Valley, MD. 

Haffner, J., M. Wooten, D. Dunson, D. Bowers, and R. Hoffman.  2006.  Case Study:  The application of the self-adjusting palmar angle shoe for promotion of sole growth in horse feet.  Prof. Anim. Sci.  22:463–466.  

Hoffman, R. M.  2004.  Carbohydrate nutrition for horses.  Pages 21–37 in Proc. Conf. Equine Nutr. Res., Texas A&M University, College Station, TX.

Staniar, W. B., D. S. Kronfeld, R. M. Hoffman, J. A. Wilson, and P. A. Harris.  2004.  Weight prediction from linear measures of growing Thoroughbreds.  Equine Vet. J.  36:149–154.

Williams, C. A., D. S. Kronfeld, T. M. Hess, K. E. Saker, J. N. Waldron, K. M. Crandell, R. M. Hoffman, and P. A. Harris. 2004. Antioxidant supplementation and subsequent oxidative stress of horses during an 80-km endurance race. J. Anim. Sci. 82:588–594.

Hoffman, R. M.  2003.  Carbohydrate metabolism in horses.  In:  Recent Advances in Equine Nutrition 1.  S. L. Ralston, and H. F. Hintz, eds.  International Veterinary Information Service http://www.ivis.org, Ithaca, NY.

Hoffman, R. M., R. C. Boston, D. Stefanovski, D. S. Kronfeld, and P. A. Harris. 2003.  Obesity and diet affect glucose dynamics and insulin sensitivity in Thoroughbred geldings.  J. Anim. Sci.  81:2333–2342.

Hoffman, R. M., D. S. Kronfeld, W. L. Cooper, and P. A. Harris.  2003.  Glucose clearance in grazing mares is affected by diet, pregnancy and lactation.  J. Anim. Sci.  81:1764–1771.

Hoffman, R. M.  2003.  The ins and outs of digestive physiology:  an equine nutrition teaching tool.  Pages 333–334 in Proc. 18th Equine Nutr. Physiol. Soc., Lansing, MI.

Krick, K. E., R. M. Hoffman, T. M. Hess, D. S. Kronfeld, and P. A. Harris.  2003.  Selective IgA deficiency in endurance horses of Arabian descent.  Pages 213–214 in Proc. 18th Equine Nutr. Physiol. Soc., Lansing, MI.

Swanson, C. A., R. M. Hoffman, D. S. Kronfeld, R. Splan, and P. A. Harris.  2003.  Effects of diet and probiotic supplementation on stress at weaning in Thoroughbred foals.  Page 243 in Proc. 18th Equine Nutr. Physiol. Soc., Lansing, MI.

Hoffman, R. M., T. M. Hess, C. A. Williams, D. S. Kronfeld, K. M. Griewe-Crandell, J. E. Waldron, P. M. Graham-Thiers, L. S. Gay, R. K. Splan, K. E. Saker and P. A. Harris.  2002.  Speed associated with plasma pH, oxygen content, total protein and urea in an 80 km race.  Equine Vet. J. Suppl.  34:39–43.

Williams, C.A., R. M. Hoffman, D. S. Kronfeld, T. M. Hess, K. E. Saker and P. A. Harris. 
2002.   Lipoic acid as an antioxidant in mature Thoroughbred geldings:  a preliminary study.  J. Nutr. Suppl.  132:1628S–1631S.

Hoffman, R. M., T. M. Hess, C. A. Williams, D. S. Kronfeld, K. M. Griewe-Crandell, J. E. Waldron, P. M. Graham-Thiers, L. S. Gay, R. K. Splan, K. E. Saker, and P. A. Harris.  2002.  Dietary grain and endurance exercise.  J. Anim. Sci. 80(Suppl. 1):171.  (Abstr.)

Hoffman, R. M., J. A. Wilson, D. S. Kronfeld, W. L. Cooper, L. A. Lawrence, D. Sklan and P. A. Harris.  2001.  Hydrolyzable carbohydrates in pasture, hay and horse feeds:  direct assay and seasonal variation.  J. Anim. Sci.  79:500–506.

Hoffman, R. M., J. A. Wilson, L. A. Lawrence, D. S. Kronfeld, W. L. Cooper and P. A. Harris.  2001.  Supplemental calcium does not influence radiographic bone mineral content of growing foals fed pasture and a fat-and-fiber supplement.  Page 122 in Proc. 17th Equine Nutr. Physiol. Soc., Lexington, KY.

Hoffman, R. M., K. L. Morgan, A. Phillips, J. E. Dinger, S. A. Zinn and C. Faustman.  2001.  Dietary vitamin E and ascorbic acid influence nutritional status of exercising polo ponies.  Pages 129–130 in Proc. 17th Equine Nutr. Physiol. Soc., Lexington, KY.

Hoffman, R. M.  2000.  Antioxidant vitamins for the horse, with an emphasis on vitamins E and C.  Pages 1–7 in Proc. Cornell Conf. Feed Manuf., Ithaca, NY.

Hoffman, R. M.  2000.  Optimal nutrition for grazing horses.   Pages 89–99 in Proc. Cornell Conf. Feed Manuf., Ithaca, NY.

Rivard, A., T. A. Hoagland, K. E. Govoni, S. A. Zinn, and R. M. Hoffman.  2000.  The influence of vitamin E on immunoglobulins in the serum of cows and calves and colostrum of cows on 1, 2, 7 and 14 days after calving.  J. Anim. Sci.  78(Suppl. 1):225.
(Abstr.).
 
Hoffman, R. M., L. A. Lawrence, D. S. Kronfeld, J. J. Dascanio, and W. L. Cooper.  1999.  Dietary carbohydrates and fat influence radiographic bone mineral content of growing foals.  J. Anim. Sci. 77:3330–3338.

Hoffman, R. M. and D. S. Kronfeld.  1999.  Nutrient requirements for grazing horses:  development of an optimal pasture supplement.  Pages 19–37 in Recent Advances in Animal Nutrition. P. C. Garnsworthy, and J. Wiseman, ed.  University of Nottingham Press, Loughborough, UK. 

Hoffman, R. M., K. L. Morgan, M. P. Lynch, S. A. Zinn, C. Faustman and P. A. Harris.  1999.  Dietary vitamin E supplemented in the periparturient period influences immunoglobulins in equine colostrum and passive transfer in foals.  Pages 96–97 in Proc. 16th Equine Nutr. Physiol. Soc., Raleigh, NC.

Hoffman, R. M., D. S. Kronfeld, J. H. Herbein, W. S. Swecker, W. L. Cooper and P. A. Harris.  1998.  Dietary carbohydrates and fat influence milk composition and fatty acid profile of mares’ milk.  J. Nutr. 128:2708S–2711S.

Lawrence, L. A., R. M. Hoffman, and D. S. Kronfeld.  1998.  Chemical and mechanical properties of equine third metacarpals as affected by age and nutrition.  Pages 25–32 in Proc. 17th Assoc. Equine Sports Med., Leesburg, VA.

Hoffman, R. M., D. S. Kronfeld, J. H. Herbein, W. S. Swecker, W. L. Cooper and P. A. Harris.   1997.  Dietary carbohydrates and fat influence milk composition and fatty acid profile of mares’ milk.  Page 44 in Proc. Waltham International Symposium:  Pet Nutrition & Health in the 21st Century, Orlando, FL.

Hoffman, R. M., L. A. Lawrence, D. S. Kronfeld, J. J. Dascanio, W. L. Cooper and P. A. Harris.  1997.  Dietary carbohydrates and fat influence radiographic bone mineral content of growing foals.  Pages 191–192 in Proc. 15th Equine Nutr. Physiol. Soc., Ft. Worth, TX.

Hoffman, R. M., D. S. Kronfeld, L. A. Lawrence, W. L. Cooper, J. J. Dascanio and P. A. Harris.  1996.  Dietary starch and sugar versus fat and fiber:  growth and development of foals.  Pferdeheilkunde 12:312–316.

Martin, K. L., R. M. Hoffman, D. S. Kronfeld, W. B. Ley, and L. D. Warnick.  1996.  Calcium decreases and parathyroid hormone increases in serum of periparturient mares.  J. Anim. Sci. 74:834–839.

Holland, J. L., D. S. Kronfeld, R. M. Hoffman, K. M. Griewe-Crandell, T. L. Boyd, W. L. Cooper, and P. A. Harris.  1996.  Weaning stress is affected by nutrition and weaning methods. Pferdeheilkunde 12:257–260.

Kronfeld, D. S., W. L. Cooper, K. M. Crandell, L. S. Gay, R. M. Hoffman, J. L. Holland, D. Sklan, and P. A. Harris.  1996.  Supplementation of pasture for growth.  Pferdeheilkunde 12:317–319.

Hoffman, R. M., D. S. Kronfeld, J. L. Holland, and K. M. Griewe-Crandell.  1995.  Preweaning diet and stall weaning method influences on stress response in foals.  J. Anim. Sci.  73:2922–2930.

HONORS AND AWARDS
Diplomate of the American College of Animal Nutrition (ACAN), 2007-present.
Excellence in Presentations, MTSU College of Basic and Applied Sciences, 2007.
Outstanding Grantsmanship, MTSU College of Basic and Applied Sciences, 2004.
Most Valuable Asset Award, MTSU Equestrian Team, 2004.
Educator of the Year, Virginia Horse Council, 2002.
First Place Poster, Life Sciences, 13th Annual Virginia Tech Graduate Research Symposium, 1997.
John Lee Pratt Graduate Fellowship in Animal Nutrition, Virginia Tech, 1994–1997.
John Lee Pratt Graduate Assistantship in Animal Nutrition, Virginia Tech, 1992–1994.
Outstanding Senior in Agricultural Science, Truman State University, 1992.
PROFESSIONAL SERVICE
Dr. Hoffman is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Animal Science and is an active member in the Equine Science Society and the American Society of Animal Science. She was an invited peer-reviewer for the 6th Ed. of the Nutrient Requirements for Horses and peer-reviews manuscripts for several scientific journals. Dr. Hoffman has been a regular judge for 4-H quiz bowl and project fairs. In Connecticut, she helped develop the Horse Farm of Environmental Distinction Awards Program, which still exists today. At the university level, she is a member of Faculty Senate, eight ABAS committees, and is the Draw Table Coordinator for MTSU-hosted Intercollegiate (IHSA) Horse Shows. She created computer programming to facilitate IHSA National Championship Western class placing.

CONTACT
School of Agribusiness and Agriscience
Middle Tennessee State University
Campus Box 5
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

rhoffman@mtsu.edu

OFFICES
On campus: Stark Agriculture Bldg, SAG 110
At the Horse Science Center: HSC 101G

SAG: (615) 898-2432
HSC: (615) 904-8319

Fax: (615) 898-5169