Brian Nielsen

Brian Nielsen

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Department of Animal Science



BS, University of Wisconsin, River Falls
MS, Texas A&M University
PhD, Texas A&M University


Advises undergraduate and graduate students. Advisor to the MSU Rodeo Club.


Conducts research in equine exercise physiology and nutrition.


Teaches senior level courses in equine exercise physiology and advanced horse management.


Refereed Publications

Logan, A.A., B.D. Nielsen, C.I. Robison, J.M. Manfredi, D.D. Buskirk, H.C. Schott, and K.M. Hiney.  2019.  Calves, as a model for juvenile horses, need only one sprint per week to experience increased bone strength.  J. Anim. Sci. 97(8):3300-3312.

Logan, A.A., B.D. Nielsen, R. Sehl, E. Jones, C.I. Robison, and A.P. Pease.  2019.  Short-term stall housing of horses results in changes of markers of bone metabolism.  Comp. Exer. Phys.

Pritchard, A., B.D. Nielsen, A. McLean, C. Robison, M. Yokoyama, S. Hengemuehle, S. Bailey, and P. Harris.  2019.  Insulin resistance as a result of body condition categorized as thin, moderate, and obese in domesticated U.S. donkeys (Equus asinus).  J. Equine Vet. Sci. 77:31-35.

Woodward, A.D., B.D. Nielsen, A. Pritchard, and C.I. O’Connor-Robison.  2019.  Determination of phosphorus and nitrogen environmental load from six different bedding types used in an equine facility.  J. Equine Vet. Sci.  73:10-14.

Cully, P., B.D. Nielsen, B.E. Lancaster, J.E. Martin, and P.D. McGreevy.  2018.  The laterality of the gallop gait in Thoroughbred racehorses.  PLoS ONE.  13(6):e0198545. pone.0198545

Turcott White, S., B.D. Nielsen, C. Robison, C. Skelly, D. Rosenstein, A. Pritchard, and T. Herdt.  2018.  Influence of various concentrate-to-roughage ratios on dietary intake and nutrient digestibilities of weanling horses.  J. Anim. Phys. Anim. Nutr.  DOI: 10.1111/jpn.13006.

Rapson, J.L., H.C. Schott II, B.D. Nielsen, L.M. McCutcheon, P.A. Harris, and R.J. Geor.  2018.  Effects of age and diet on glucose and insulin dynamics in the horse. Equine Vet. J.  50:690-696.  DOI:  10.1111/evj.12812

Nowlin, C., B.D. Nielsen, J. Mills, C.I. Robison, H.C. Schott, and D. Peters.  2018.  Acute and prolonged effects of vibrating platform treatment on horses: a pilot study.  J. Equine Vet. Sci.  62:116-122.

Couch, S., and B.D. Nielsen.  2017.  A review of dorsal metacarpal disease (bucked shins) in the flat racing horse: prevalence, diagnosis, pathogenesis, and associated factors.  J. Dairy Vet. & Anim. Res.  5(166):1-10.  DOI: 10.15406/jdvar.2017.05.00166

Nielsen, B.D., S.M. Eckert, C.I. Robison, J. Mills, D. Peters, A. Pease, and H.C. Schott II.  2017.  Omeprazole and its impact on mineral absorption in horses. Anim. Prod. Sci. 57:2263-2269.

Nielsen, B.D., R.J. Coleman, and L.K. Warren.  2017.  The Equine Science Society:  From the 1st to the 25th Symposium.  J. Equine Vet. Sci.  52:36-40.

Robison, C. I., B.D. Nielsen, R.A. LeCompte, and P. Harris.  2017.  Chopping hay before feeding does not influence fecal particle size, blood variables, or water intake in three-year-old Arabians. J. Equine Vet. Sci.  54:118-122.

Bergenstrahle, A., and B.D. Nielsen.  2016.  Attitude and behavior of veterinarians surrounding the use of Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine (CAVM) in the treatment of equine musculoskeletal pain. J. Equine Vet. Sci. 45:87-97.

Dougal, K., G. de la Fuente, P.A. Harris, S.E. Girdwood, E. Pinloche, R. Geor, B.D. Nielsen, H. Schott II, S. Elzinga, and C.J. Newbold.  2014.  Characterisation of the feacal bacterial community in adult and elderly horses fed a high fibre, high oil or high starch diet using 454 Pyrosequencing. PLoS ONE. 9(2):e87424.

Elzinga, S., B.D. Nielsen, H.C. Schott II, J. Rapson, C.I. Robison, J. McCutcheon, P.A. Harris, and R. Geor.  2014.  Comparison of nutrient digestibility between adult and aged horses.  J. Equine Vet. Sci.  34(10):1164-1169.

Nielsen, B.D., and C.I. O’Connor-Robison.  2014.  A pilot study to determine if a dietary mineral supplement can affect reactivity to stimuli by horses in training. Comp. Exer. Phys.  10(3):159-165.

Robison, C.I., and B.D. Nielsen.  2013.  Comparison of two software packages for determining radiographic bone aluminum equivalent values.  Comp. Exer. Phys. 9(3/4):219-222.

Spooner, H.S., B.D. Nielsen, H.C. Schott, C.I. O’Connor-Robison, and P.A. Harris.  2013.  Hydration status of horses performing endurance exercise: I. Evidence for a role of diet.  Comp. Exer. Phys.  9(3/4):189-197.

Spooner, H.S., B.D. Nielsen, H.C. Schott, C.I. O’Connor-Robison, and P.A. Harris.  2013.  Hydration status of horses performing endurance exercise: II. Evidence for a role of dietary fibre type, not oil supplementation. Comp. Exer. Phys. 9(3/4):199-207.

Lavin, T.E., B.D. Nielsen, J.N. Zingsheim, C.I. O’Connor-Robison, J.E. Link, G.M. Hill, and J. Shelton.  2013.  Effects of phytase supplementation in mature horses fed alfalfa hay and pelleted concentrate diets.  J. Anim. Sci. 91(4):1719-1727.

Cate, R.E., B.D. Nielsen, H.S. Spooner, C.I. O’Connor-Robison, and H.C. Schott, II.  2012.  Prevalence of gastric ulcers and relationship to other parameters in Standardbred racehorses.  Comp. Exer. Phys. 8(1):47-51.

Nielsen, B.D., M.M. Vick, and P.M. Dennis.  2012.  A potential link between insulin resistance and iron overload disorder in browsing rhinoceroses investigated through the use of an equine (Equus caballus) model.  J. Zoo Wildlife Med.  43(3):S61-S65.

Clauss, M., E. Dierenfeld, J. Goff, K. Klasing, L. Koutsos, S. Lavin, S. Livingston, B. Nielson, M. Schlegel, K. Sullivan, E. Valdes, and A. Ward.  2012.  IOD in rhinos – Nutrition Group report: Report from the nutrition working group of the international workshop on iron overload disorder in browsing rhinoceros (February 2011).  J. Zoo Wildlife Med. 43(3):S108-S113.

Woodward, A.D., B.D. Nielsen, J. Liesman, T. Lavin, and N.L. Trottier.  2011.  Protein quality and utilization of timothy, oat-supplemented timothy, and alfalfa at differing harvest maturity in exercised Arabian horses.  J. Anim. Sci.  89:4081-4092.

Nielsen, B.D., C.I. O’Connor-Robison, H.S. Spooner, and J. Shelton.  2010.  Glycemic and insulinemic responses are affected by age of horse and method of feed processing.  J. Equine Vet. Sci.  30(5):249-258.

Nielsen, B.D., R.E. Cate, and C.I. O’Connor-Robison.  2010.  A marine mineral supplement alters markers of bone metabolism in yearling Arabians.  J. Equine Vet. Sci.  30(8):419-424.

Spooner, H.S., B.D. Nielsen, H.C. Schott, and P.A. Harris.  2010.  Sweat composition in Arabian horses performing endurance exercise on forage-based, low Na rations.  Equine Vet. J. 42(Suppl. 38):382-386.

Turner, K.K., B.D. Nielsen, C.I. O’Connor-Robison, F.H. Nielsen, and M.W. Orth.  2008.  Tissue response to a supplement high in aluminum and silicon. Bio. Trace Elem. Res.  121(2):134-148.

Turner, K.K., B.D. Nielsen, C.I. O’Connor-Robison, D.S. Rosenstein, B.P. Marks, F.H. Nielsen, and M.W. Orth.  2008.  Sodium zeolite A supplementation and its impact on the skeleton of dairy calves.  Bio. Trace Elem. Res.  121(2):149-159.

O’Connor, C.I., B.D. Nielsen, A.D. Woodward, H.S. Spooner, B.A. Ventura, and K.K. Turner.  2008.  Mineral balance in horses fed two supplemental silicon sources.  J. Anim. Phys. Anim. Nutr.  92:173-181.

Nielsen, B.D., and H.S. Spooner.  2008.  Small changes in exercise, not nutrition, often result in measurable changes in bone.  Comp. Exer. Phys.  5(1):15-20.

Spooner, H.S., B.D. Nielsen, A.D. Woodward, D.S. Rosenstein, and P.A. Harris.  2008.  Endurance training has little impact on mineral content of the third metacarpus in two-year-old Arabian horses.  J. Equine Vet. Sci.  28:359-362.

Schenck, E.L., K.A. McMunn, D.S. Rosenstein, R.L. Stroshine, B.D. Nielsen, B.T. Richert, J.N. Marchant-Forde, and D.C. Lay Jr.  2008.  Exercising stall-housed gestating gilts:  Effects on lameness, the musculo-skeletal system, production and behavior.  J. Anim. Sci.  86(11):3166-3180.

Woodward, A.D., B.D. Nielsen, C.I. O’Connor,  C.D. Skelly, S.K. Webel, and M.W. Orth.  2007. Dietary long-chain polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids increase docohexaenoic acid concentration and may increase trot stride lengths in horses.  Equine Comp. Exer. Phys.  4(2):71-78.

Turner, K.K., B.D. Nielsen, C.I. O’Connor, and D.S. Rosenstein.  2007.  Silicon supplementation and osteochondrotic lesions in two-year-old Standardbreds:  a preliminary study.  Equine Comp. Exer. Phys.  4(2):53-58.

O’Connor-Robison, C.I., B.D. Nielsen, and R. Morris.  2007.  Cellulase supplementation does not improve the digestibility of a high forage diet in horses.  J. Equine Vet. Sci.  27(12):535-538.

Nielsen, B.D., K.K. Turner, B.A. Ventura, A.D. Woodward, and C.I. O’Connor.  2006.  Racing speeds of Quarter Horses, Thoroughbreds and Arabians.  Equine Vet. J. Suppl. 36:128-132.

O’Connor, C.I., and B.D. Nielsen.  2006.  Handling method influences equine urinary calcium and nitrogen. J. Anim. Vet. Adv.  5(2):165-167.

Turner, K.K., B.D. Nielsen, C.I. O’Connor, and J.L. Burton.  2006.  Bee pollen supplementation to horses in training seems to improve feed intake: a pilot study. J. Anim. Phys. Anim. Nutr. 90(9-10):414-420.

Nielsen, B.D.  2005.  What do markers of bone formation tell us in equine nutritional studies?  Pferdeheilkunde 21:99-100.

Hiney, K.M., B.D. Nielsen, and D.S. Rosenstein.  2004.  Short-duration exercise and confinement alters bone mineral content and shape in weanling horses.  J. Anim. Sci.  82(8):2313-2320.

Hiney, K.M., B.D. Nielsen, D. Rosenstein, M.W. Orth and B.P. Marks.  2004.  High-intensity exercise of short duration alters bovine bone density and shape.  J. Anim. Sci.  82:1612-1620.

O’Connor, C.I., C. Ayers and B.D. Nielsen.  2004.  Preference of complete pelleted feeds with differing concentrate to forage ratios in two ages of horses.  J. Anim. Vet. Advances.  3(3):178-181.

Mello, D.M., B.D. Nielsen, T.L. Peters, J.P. Caron and M.W. Orth.  2004.  Comparison of inhibitory effects of glucosamine and mannosamine on bovine articular cartilage degradation in vitro.  Amer. J. Vet. Res. 65(10):1440-1445.

Butudom, P., D.J. Barnes, M.W. Davis, B.D. Nielsen, S.W. Eberhart and H.C. Schott.  2004.  Rehydration fluid temperature affects voluntary drinking in horses dehydrated by furosemide administration and endurance exercise.  Vet. J.  167:72-80.

Butudom, P., H.C. Schott II, S.M. Axiak, B.D. Nielsen and S.W. Eberhart.  2003.  Effect of varying initial drink volume on rehydration of horses. Phys. Behav.  79(2):135-142.

Nielsen, B.D., C.I. O'Connor, D.S. Rosenstein, H.C. Schott and H.M. Clayton.  2002.  Influence of trotting and supplemental weight on metacarpal bone development.  Equine Vet. J.  Suppl 34:236-240.

Lang, K.J., B.D. Nielsen, and M.W. Orth.  2002.  Bone metabolism markers in Arabian horses during the first two years of life.  Prof. Anim. Sci.  18:180-183.

O’Connor, C.I., B.D. Nielsen, H.C. Schott and H.M. Clayton.  2002.  Effects of weight carrying, exercise and a myo-anabolic supplement on growth and muscle.  Equine Vet. J.  Suppl. 34:178-181.

Trottier, N.L., B. D. Nielsen, K. J. Lang, P. K. Ku, and H. C. Schott.  2002. Equine endurance exercise alters serum branched-chain amino acid and alanine concentrations.  Equine Vet. J.  Suppl. 34:168-172.

Butudom, P., H.C. Schott II, M.W. Davis, C.A. Kobe, B.D. Nielsen, and S.W. Eberhart.  2002.  Drinking salt water enhances rehydration in horses dehydrated by frusemide administration and endurance exercise.  Equine Vet J.  Suppl. 34:513-518.

Heleski, C.R., A.C. Shelle, B.D. Nielsen and A.J. Zanella.  2002.  Influence of housing on weanling horse behavior and subsequent welfare.  Applied Anim. Behavior Sci. 78:291-302.

Rivera, E., S. Benjamin, B.D. Nielsen, J.E. Shelle and A.J. Zanella.  2002. Behavioral and physiological responses of horses to initial training: the comparison between pasture versus stalled horses.  Applied Anim. Behav. Sci. 78:235-252.

Lang, K.J., B.D. Nielsen, K.L. Waite, G.M. Hill and M.W. Orth.  2001.  Supplemental silicon increases plasma and milk silicon concentrations in horses.  J. Anim. Sci. 79:2627-2633.

Bell, R.A., B.D. Nielsen, K. Waite, D. Rosenstein and M. Orth.  2001.  Daily access to pasture turnout prevents loss of mineral in the third metacarpus of Arabian weanlings.  J. Anim. Sci.  79:1142-1150.

Lang, K.J., B.D. Nielsen, K.L. Waite, J. Link, G.M. Hill and M.W. Orth.  2001.  Increased plasma silicon concentrations and altered bone resorption in response to sodium zeolite A supplementation in yearling horses. J. Equine Vet. Sci.  21(11):550-555.

Waite, K.L., B.D. Nielsen and D.S. Rosenstein.  2000.  Computed tomography as a method of estimating bone mineral content in horses.  J. Equine Vet. Sci.  20(1):49-52.

Hoekstra, K.E., B.D. Nielsen, M.W. Orth, D.S. Rosenstein, H.C. Schott and J.E. Shelle.  1999.  Comparison of bone mineral content and bone metabolism in stall- versus pasture-reared horses.  Equine Vet. J. Suppl. 30:601-604.

Fenton, J.I., M.W. Orth, K.A., Chlebek-Brown, B.D. Nielsen, C.D. Corn, K.L. Waite and J.P. Caron.  1999.  Effect of longeing and glucosamine supplementation on serum markers of bone and joint metabolism in yearling Quarter Horses.  Can. J. Vet. Res.  63:288-291.

Nielsen, B.D., G.D. Potter, L.W. Greene, E.L. Morris, M. Murray-Gerzik, W.B. Smith and M.T. Martin.  1998.  Characterization of changes related to mineral balance and bone metabolism in the young racing Quarter Horse.  J. Equine Vet. Sci.  18(3):190-200.

Nielsen, B.D., G.D. Potter, L.W. Greene, E.L. Morris, M. Murray-Gerzik, W.B. Smith and M.T. Martin.  1998.  Response of young horses in training to varying concentrations of dietary calcium and phosphorus.  J. Equine Vet. Sci.  18(6):397-404.

Nielsen, B.D., G.D. Potter, E.L. Morris, T.W. Odom, D.M. Senor, J.A. Reynolds, W.B. Smith and M.T. Martin.  1997.  Changes in the third metacarpal bone and frequency of bone injuries in young Quarter Horses during race training -- observations and theoretical considerations.  J. Equine Vet. Sci.  17(10):541-549.

Gibbs, P.G., G.D. Potter, B.D. Nielsen, D.D. Householder and W. Moyer.  1995.  Scientific principles for conditioning race and performance horses.  Prof. Anim. Sci.  11(4):195.

Nielsen, B.D., G.D. Potter, E.L. Morris, T.W. Odom, D.M. Senor, J.A. Reynolds, W.B. Smith, M.T. Martin and E.H. Bird.  1993.  Training distance to failure in young racing Quarter Horses fed sodium zeolite A.  J. Equine Vet. Sci.  13(10):562-567.

Reynolds, J.A., G.D. Potter, T.W. Odom, M.M. Vogelsang, W.B. Smith, B.D. Nielsen, D.M. Senor and E.H. Bird.  1993.  Physiological responses to training and racing in two-year old Quarter Horses.  J. Equine Vet. Sci.  13(10):543-548.