Dr Teresa Hollands

Senior Teaching Fellow in Nutrition

Qualifications: BSc(Hons) MSc(Nutrition) PhD. RNutr

Phone: Work: 01483 68 9163
Room no: 01 VSM 02

Office hours

Monday - Friday, 9.00 - 17.30

Further information


Teresa Hollands is an Applied Biology graduate from Cardiff University where she specialised in human nutrition and biochemistry. She worked for a year, riding out horses and working at a large equine livery and competition yard on the Isle of Man. She then graduated from Newcastle University with an MSc in Animal Nutrition and worked for 5 years as an Animal Nutritionist for Dengie Feeds. She started as an all-round nutritionist working with Lord Raleigh Dairies, Supreme Pet Foods and The National Goat Association. Moving onto specialising in horses, she then worked for Dodson & Horrrell Ltd as their senior nutritionist for 19 years where she was responsible for their R&D programme, working with colleges and veterinary universities, the development of the International Conferences for Feeding Horses series, as well as sitting on legal and welfare advisory committees. Whilst at D&H she undertook a PhD looking at the interaction between nutrition and hoof quality and subsequently taught second-, fourth- and final-year vet students at most of the UK vet schools. More recently, she provided nutritional support for the British Equestrian Federation and the Para teams in the build up to 2012 and also supported all the BEF Excel teams. She is a registered nutritionist and an auditor for The Association of Nutrition.

Research Interests

Teresa’s main research interests are based around nutritional challenges that are encountered in the clinical and day to day management of equines and the impact of nutrition on the health and welfare of horses. She is interested in the practical application of science to benefit the owner and animal, and the best way to communicate on this subject. She is looking forward to ensuring that nutrition plays a strong role in the ‘One Health, One Medicine’ discipline within the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.


Journal articles

  • Agar C, Gemmill R, Hollands T, Freeman SL. (2016) 'The use of nutritional supplements in dressage and eventing horses.'. Veterinary record open, 3 (1) Article number e000154


    The aim of the study was to determine which types of nutritional supplements were used in dressage and eventing horses, and the reasons that owners used supplements. An online questionnaire was distributed through British Eventing and Dressage websites, to collect data on demographics of owners and their horses, supplements used and their opinion on health and performance problems. Data were evaluated using descriptive analysis, Sign and Fisher's exact tests for quantitative data, and categorisation of qualitative data. In total, 599 responses met the inclusion criteria (441 dressage and 158 eventing horse owners). Participants had 26.4 (3-60) (mean (range)) years of riding experience, owned 1.2 (0-10) horses and used 2 (0-12) supplements in their highest performing horse. The main health and performance issues identified for dressage were 'energy/behaviour', 'lameness' and 'back and muscle problems'. The main issues for eventing were 'stamina and fitness levels',' lameness' and 'energy/behaviour'. The main reasons for using supplements in their highest performing horse were 'joints and mobility', and 'behaviour' for dressage, and 'electrolytes', and 'joints and mobility' for eventing. Lameness and behavioural problems were significant concerns within both disciplines. There was incongruence between owners' opinions of problems within their discipline and their reasons for using supplements.

  • Vervuert I, Voigt K, Hollands T, Cuddeford D, Coenen M. (2010) 'Effect of feeding increasing quantities of starch on glycaemic and insulinaemic responses in healthy horses'. Pferdeheilkunde, 26 (1)
  • Vervuert I, Bochnia M, Coenen M, Brüssow N, Hollands T, Cuddeford D. (2010) 'Electromyographic evaluation of masseter muscle activity in horses fed different types of roughage'. EAAP Scientific Series, 128 (1), pp. 75-77.


    The aim of the study was to obtain information about masseter muscle activity, the main determinant of salivary flow during the chewing process. Four horses were offered the following diets: cracked corn (dry matter intake (DMI): 0.26% of BW), hay ad libitum (DMI: 2.8±0.5% of BW); haylage ad libitum (DMI: 2.4±0.4% of BW) and a straw/alfalfa chaff ([SAC] (DMI: 3.1±0.5% of BW). Feed intake time (min/kg) and chewing frequency (chews/kg) were recorded by direct observation or by using a modified halter. The activity of the masseter muscle was determined by EMG (IED®) and the following measurements made: Amplitude (muscle action potential = MAP, expressed in V) and duration of MAP (expressed in sec). Feed intake time and chewing frequency for roughages were different compared to cracked corn in the following order: haylage > hay > SAC > cracked corn. The intake of hay or haylage was associated with intense masseter muscle activity (MAP: hay 9.82±1.7 V, haylage 11.4±3.3 V, duration MAP: hay 0.31±0.04 sec, haylage 0.30±0.04 sec). Similar intense chewing was measured for the SAC (MAP 12.6±3.8 V), although duration of the chewing cycle was relatively short (0.22±0.03 sec) which is possibly related to limited fibre length. In contrast to roughages, concentrates are consumed rapidly, with less intense masseter muscle activity as reflected by the low amplitude of EMG (MAP 4.9±1.5 V). This is associated with low salivary flow rates that are likely to negatively affect gastric digestion.

  • Vervuert I, Voigt K, Hollands T, Cuddeford D, Coenen M. (2009) 'The effect of mixing and changing the order of feeding oats and chopped alfalfa to horses on: glycaemic and insulinaemic responses, and breath hydrogen and methane production.'. J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl), Germany: 93 (5), pp. 631-638.


    The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of feeding oats alone before or after feeding chopped alfalfa or, in admixture with the alfalfa on the glycaemic and insulinaemic responses of horses as well as post-prandial breath hydrogen and methane excretion. Horses were fed in a randomized order, chopped alfalfa as a source of dietary fibre and unprocessed oats as a source of starch. Chopped alfalfa intake was adjusted to a crude fibre intake of 0.5 g/kg bodyweight (BW) per meal and the oats intake was adjusted to a starch intake of 2 g/kg BW per meal. The feeds were offered in three different ways: (i) alfalfa followed by oats (A/O), (ii) oats followed by alfalfa (O/A) or (iii) a mixture of alfalfa and oats (A + O). Oats alone were used as a control. Blood and breath were collected after the test meal was fed at the end of a 11.5-h overnight fast following a 10-day acclimatization period. The highest glycaemic and insulinaemic responses were measured when the A/O and O/A diets orders were fed, whereas most hydrogen was produced after feeding oats alone. It was concluded that adding alfalfa chaff to a meal of oats prolonged the pre-caecal digestion of starch, but there was no evidence for any effect on pre-caecal starch digestibility.

  • Vervuert I, Voigt K, Hollands T, Cuddeford D, Coenen M. (2009) 'Effect of feeding increasing quantities of starch on glycaemic and insulinaemic responses in healthy horses.'. Vet J, England: 182 (1), pp. 67-72.


    The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of increasing the intake of starch on the glycaemic and insulinaemic responses of horses. A cross-over study design was used in which four horses were fed increasing amounts of a compound feed (0.5-3.5 kg) to provide 0.3, 0.6, 0.8, 1.1, 1.4 and 2 starch/kg bodyweight (BW)/meal. The glycaemic response increased with starch intake (P<0.05), while feeding <1.1 g starch/kg BW resulted in a lowered response, compared to when 1.1-2 g starch/ kg BW was fed (P<0.01). The results suggested that insulin responses may be more appropriate to define the effect of feeding different starch levels than glycaemic responses. A starch intake of <1.1g/kg BW/meal produced only moderate glucose and insulin responses, even though highly processed cereals were used. It is therefore recommended that a starch intake of <1.1 g/kg BW/meal or a meal size of 0.3 kg/100 kg BW (starch content of 30-40%) is used for horses.

  • Vervuert I, Voigt K, Hollands T, Cuddeford D, Coenen M. (2008) 'Effects of processing barley on its digestion by horses'. Pferdeheilkunde, 24 (5)
  • Vervuert I, Voigt K, Hollands T, Cuddeford D, Coenen M. (2008) 'Effects of processing barley on its digestion by horses.'. Vet Rec, England: 162 (21), pp. 684-688.


    Four horses were randomly fed a diet containing rolled, micronised or extruded barley; the barley intake was adjusted to supply 2 g starch/kg bodyweight per day. During a 10-day acclimatisation period the horses were also fed 1 kg grass hay/100 kg bodyweight per day. Samples of blood and breath were collected at the end of each period after the test meal of barley had been fed after a 12-hour overnight fast. The glycaemic and insulinaemic responses of the horses were measured as an indication of the pre-caecal digestibility of starch, and postprandial breath hydrogen and methane were measured to detect microbial fermentation of starch. The highest peak serum glucose and serum insulin concentrations were observed after feeding the extruded barley, lower concentrations were observed after feeding the micronised barley and the lowest concentrations were observed after feeding the rolled barley. Breath hydrogen increased within four hours of feeding all the barley diets, and the mean (sd) peak hydrogen concentrations were 98.3 (55.2) ppm for rolled barley, 59.3 (31.5) ppm for micronised barley and 96.1 (51.9) ppm for extruded barley. There were wide variations within individual horses but these concentrations were not significantly different. Breath methane concentrations were very variable and, although there were no significant differences, there was a trend for higher methane concentrations after the feeding of rolled barley.

  • Allen DE, Ellis JM, Wilkinson RG, Carey T, Hollands T. (2008) 'Effect of forage: Concentrate ratio on acid-base balance and racing performance'. , pp. 143-147.
  • Smith DG, Mayes RW, Hollands T, Cuddeford D, Yule HH, Malo Ladrero CM, Gillen E. (2007) 'Validating the alkane pair technique to estimate dry matter intake in equids'. Journal of Agricultural Science, 145 (3), pp. 273-281.


    The estimation of dry matter intake (DMI) using the alkane pair technique has been validated in ruminants, but not in equids. The current paper reports the finding of three comparative validation studies carried out using a total of 12 cattle, 29 donkeys and 10 horses during which directly measured intake was compared to estimated intake using the alkane pair technique. Two methods were developed to dose the even chain alkanes that were used as external markers. Study I, carried out in Zimbabwe, compared the accuracy of estimated intake with measured intake in cattle and donkeys using hexatriacontane (C36) as the external marker. Studies II and III were carried out in the UK with horses and donkeys and compared the accuracy of estimated intake with measured intake using dotriacontane (C32) as the external marker. Study III also tested the effect on the accuracy of intake estimates of two marker dosing levels (mean daily dose of 224 mg per animal and 448 mg per animal) and two dosing frequencies (2× and 3× daily). Twice daily dosing of even-chain alkane at the lower dose level provided an estimate of DMI similar to that obtained by thrice daily dosing at this low level. The higher dose level given twice daily tended to produce large variation in faecal concentrations of dosed even-chain alkanes, this variation was reduced when dosing frequency was increased to thrice daily. The accuracy of estimated intake improved progressively as the number of faecal sampling days was increased from one to six with no significant difference between estimated intake based on day 5 or 6 of faecal sampling. The results of all three studies indicate that the alkane pair technique provides a robust method of estimating intake in equids with no significant difference between measured and estimated values in all but one case. Using C31 as an internal marker provided a more accurate estimated intake than using C33 as the internal marker in all cases. Faecal recoveries of alkanes in equids do not appear to show the same influence of carbon chain length that has been observed in ruminant studies. © 2007 Cambridge University Press.

  • Brüssow N, Voigt K, Vervuert I, Hollands T, Cuddeford D, Coenen M. (2005) 'The effect of the order of feeding oats and chopped alfalfa to horses on the rate of feed intake and chewing activity'. Pferdeheilkunde, 21 (SUPPL.), pp. 37-38.
  • Vervuert I, Voigt K, Brüssow N, Hollands T, Cuddeford D, Coenen M. (2005) 'Insulinaemic and glycaemic responses following changes in the order of feeding oats and chopped alfalfa to horses'. Pferdeheilkunde, 21 (SUPPL.), pp. 89-90.
  • Jones L, Lax J, Hollands T. (2005) 'The mineral content of spring and summer pasture grazed by young growing Thoroughbred in the UK'. Pferdeheilkunde, 21 (SUPPL.), pp. 21-23.
  • Jones L, Hollands T. (2005) 'Estimation of growth rates in UK thoroughbreds'. Pferdeheilkunde, 21 (SUPPL.), pp. 121-123.
  • Neville RF, Hollands T, Collins SN, Keyte FV. (2004) 'Evaluation of urinary TBARS in normal and chronic laminitic ponies.'. Equine Vet J, England: 36 (3), pp. 292-294.
  • Ellis JM, Hollands T, Allen DE. (2002) 'Effect of forage intake on bodyweight and performance.'. Equine Vet J Suppl, England: (34), pp. 66-70.


    The horse evolved to survive on rations high in forage. Many performance horses are fed rations containing reduced levels of forage, with a corresponding increase in concentrate supply. Such reductions in forage intake are widely established to be associated with a corresponding number of physiological and psychological adaptations. Therefore, the influence of forage intake on bodyweight (bwt) and performance was investigated. Four Thoroughbred-type geldings in light to moderate work received 4 diets (100% forage [100H]; 80% forage:20% concentrate [80H]; 60% forage:40% concentrate [60H] and 50% forage:50% concentrate [50H]) in a 4 x 4 Latin-square design. A submaximal standardised exercise test (SET) was performed for each diet. Rate of passage, bwt and water intakes were measured throughout the trial and maximum, recovery heart rates and postexercise rectal temperatures recorded for each SET. Mean +/- s.e. bwt was significantly (P<0.001) higher for the 100H compared to the 50H ration (556.89 and 546.28 kg, respectively). Rate of passage of digesta was significantly (P<0.01) slower for the 100H compared to the 50H ration. Water intakes and SET maximum and 1 min recovery heart rates were significantly (P<0.05) higher (mean +/- s.e. 44.72 and 39.07 l/day, 186 and 165 beats/min, and 105 and 96 beats/min, respectively) for 100H compared to the 50H diet. Post-SET rectal temperatures tended to increase with increasing forage intakes, although these effects were not significant (mean 39.85 and 38.65 degrees C for the 100H and 50H diets, respectively). In conclusion, forage intake has significant effects on equine bwt and submaximal performance and a compromise needs to be made between the potential detrimental effects of high forage intake on performance and the potential detrimental effects of low forage intake on equine welfare.

  • Ellis JM, Hollands T. (2002) 'Use of height-specific weigh tapes to estimate the bodyweight of horses.'. Vet Rec, England: 150 (20), pp. 632-634.


    Two thousand horses of different ages, heights and breeds were divided into two height groups of up to 14.2 hands high (hh) and more than 14.2 hh, and weighed on a weighbridge; each horse then had its weight estimated by three weigh tapes, one height specific (tape 1 or 2, depending on the animal's height) and two for general use (tapes 3 and 4). For horses up to 14.2 hh, weigh tape 1 provided the most accurate estimate of mean (sd) bodyweight (100.5 [6.2] per cent), and weigh tapes 3 and 4 were 112 (6.8) and 97-0 (6.1) per cent accurate, respectively. For horses more than 14.2 hh, weigh tape 2 provided the most accurate estimate of bodyweight (98.6 [18.4] per cent), with weigh tapes 3 and 4 being 102.6 (17.4) and 90.8 (15.2) per cent accurate, respectively.

  • McLean BML, Hyslop JJ, Longland AC, Cuddeford D, Hollands T. (2000) 'Physical processing of barley and its effects on intra-caecal fermentation parameters in ponies'. Animal Feed Science and Technology, 85 (1-2), pp. 79-87.


    Intra-caecal fermentation parameters in caecally-fistulated ponies offered barley based diets in which the barley had been physically processed by either rolling (RB), micronising (MB) or extruding (EB). Three ponies were offered 4 kg dry matter (DM) per day of either 100% hay cubes (HC), or one of three diets consisting of a 50:50 barley:HC mix. Due to small refusals of HC, the actual DM intakes (kg per day) were 3.74, 3.67, 3.57 and 3.52 (S.E.D. 0.18) for the HC, RB:HC, MB:HC and EB:HC diets, respectively. With the exception of butyrate, all intra-caecal fermentation parameters 4-8 h post feeding in ponies given diet RB:HC were significantly (P<0.05) different from those observed in ponies fed diet HC. Thus, in ponies fed diet RB:HC, intra-caecal pH and acetate molar proportions were reduced whilst lactate concentration and propionate molar proportions were increased (P<0.05) compared with values recorded in ponies fed diet HC. By contrast, intra-caecal total VFA, lactate and pH levels of ponies fed diets MB:HC or EB:HC were similar to those in ponies fed HC at all time points measured, although acetate and propionate molar proportions were lower and higher, respectively, in ponies fed diets EB:HC and MB:HC compared with those fed HC. These results suggest that micronisation or extrusion of barley offer advantages over rolling barley in that the values for the intra-caecal fermentation parameters in ponies fed MB:HC or EB:HC were largely similar to those of ponies fed the HC forage diet. Where equines are to be given substantial quantities of cereals in their diet then use of micronised or extruded products may be beneficial in minimising hindgut dysfunction. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

  • Ellis JM, Hollands T. (1998) 'Accuracy of different methods of estimating the weight of horses.'. Vet Rec, ENGLAND: 143 (12), pp. 335-336.


    Six hundred horses of different ages, heights and breeds were weighed on a weighbridge and had their weights estimated by two weigh tapes, 1 and 2, by a formula, and by a visual estimate. For the population as a whole, the most accurate method was the formula (mean [sd] 98.6 [10.6] per cent) closely followed by weigh tape 2 (98.1 [8.1] per cent). Tape 1 and the visual estimate were the least accurate (112.0 [9.3] and 88.3 [20.1] per cent respectively). When the population was divided into two height groups, the formula and weigh tape 2 were the most accurate for horses < 15 hh (99.6 [5.2] per cent and 99.0 [5.6] per cent respectively), and weigh tape 1 and the visual estimate were 113.5 (6.5) per cent and 88.4 (16.3) per cent accurate respectively. For horses > or = 15 hh weigh tape 1 was most accurate (103.5 [9.1] per cent) and the formula, tape 2 and the visual estimate were 95.5 (13.1) per cent, 91.8 (9.2) per cent, and 89.3 (22.2) per cent accurate respectively. Overall the formula appeared to be the most accurate estimator of a horse's weight. However, owing to individual variation, it is recommended that the weights of horses < 15 hh are estimated by the formula or weigh tape 2, and that the weights of those > or = 15 hh are estimated with weigh tape 1.

Conference papers

  • Freer B, Hollands T, Gardner DS, Mostyn A. (2011) 'Management of over-weight and obese equids in a charitable trust setting: measures of success and failure.'. Nottingham: Advances in Animal Biosciences 1 (2), pp. 123-123.
  • Salonen LK, Hollands T, Piercy RJ, Verheyen KL. (2009) 'Epidemiology of equine obesity in south east England: preliminary findings'. ICC Birmingham, UK: BEVA Annual Congress (48th), pp. 247-247.
  • Hollands T, Ellis JM, Allen DE, Salonen L. (2009) 'An assessment of 2 visual methods of fat scoring in the equine to determine the most suitable for client recognition of Obesity in their horses'. ICC Birmingham, UK: BEVA Annual Congress (48th), pp. 247-247.
  • Smith DG, Hollands T. (2009) 'A preliminary study to investigate the physical activity, sedentary behaviour and energy balance in the grazing horse; potential opportunities to manage weight,'. ICC, Birmingham, UK: BEVA Annual Congress (48th), pp. 248-248.
  • Hollands TH. (2009) 'Nutritional aspects in Obesity'. ICC Birmingham, UK: BEVA Annual Congress (48th), pp. 119-120.
  • Smith DG, Cuddeford D, Mayes R, Hollands T. (2007) 'The dry matter intake of grazing horses, Proceedings of 46th BEVA Congress,'. Edinburgh, UK: BEVA Annual Congress (46th), pp. 295-295.
  • Vervuert I, Voigt K, Hollands T, Cuddeford D, Coenen M. (2007) 'The effect of feeding a single starch source, (oats) or a high and a low starch compound to provide 2gstarch/kgBW on the glycaemic and insulinaemic response of horses,'. Edinburgh, UK: BEVA Annual Congress (46th), pp. 294-294.
  • Vervuert I, Voigt K, Hollands T, Cuddeford D, Coenan M. (2007) 'The effect of mixing and changing the order of feeding oats and chopped alfalfa to horses on: 1) Glycaemic and insulinaemic responses; and 2) breath hydrogen and methane production.'. Edinburgh,UK: BEVA Annual Congress (46th), pp. 293-293.
  • Jones L, Lax J, Hollands T. (2005) 'Analysis of the mineral content of spring summer grazing used for thoroughbred breeding stock in the UK'. Harrogate, UK: BEVA Annual Congress (44th)
  • Coenan M, Vervuert I, Cuddeford D, Hollands T. (2005) 'Recent advances in equine nutrition the horse´s response to feeding different carbohydrate sources'. UK: Fifth International Conference on Feeding Horses
  • Lowe JA, Hollands T, Gordon C, Jones L, Ellis JM. (2004) 'The effect of changes in bulk density of compound feed on the consumption and chewing rates in the horse'. BEVA Annual Congress, pp. 189-189.
  • Ellis JM, Hollands T. (2001) 'A preliminary investigation into the use of weightapes for the detection of dehydration in the performance horse'. BEVA Annual Congress (40th), pp. 221-221.
  • Hollands T. (2001) 'A Practical approach to Clinical Nutrition and Gut Function'. BEVA Annual Congress 40th, pp. 66-68.
  • Hollands T. (2000) 'Dietary Support of the Laminitic'. BEVA Annual Conference 39th, pp. 192-193.
  • Ellis JM, Hollands T. (2000) 'An improved estimator of equine bodyweight'. BEVA Annual Congress, pp. 201-201.
  • Mclean BMJ, Hyslop JJ, Longland AC, Cuddeford D, Hollands T. (1999) 'In vivo apparent digestibility in ponies given rolled, micronised or extruded barley'. BSAS, pp. 133-133.
  • Hyslopp JJ, McLean BML, Moore Colyer MJS, Longland AC, Cuddeford D, Hollands T. (1999) 'Measurement of caecal outflow rate in ponies using chromium- mordanted feeds'. Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science, pp. 141-141.


  • Hollands TH. (1994) Feeding and Watering. Crowood Press


Animal Nutrition BSc Vet Biosci
Equine Nutrition BSc Vet Med

Departmental Duties

Senior Tutor Nutrition
Responsible for ensuring that clinical nutrition across all species from hamsters to horses; from cows to camels and everything in-between is fully integrated into the veterinary curriculum and an essential part of the clinical history.

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