4-H Youth Development Program Team, Animal and Veterinary Sciences Department
Office: 135 Poole Agricultural Building
PhD Animal Physiology
Clemson University 2008
MS Animal Science
Michigan State University 2000
BS Animal Science
North Carolina State University 1998
AVS 4120 - Advanced Equine Management
AVS 4160 - Equine Exercise Physiology
AVS 4170 - Animal Agribusiness Development
AVS 1000 - Orientation to Animal and Veterinary Sciences
Selected topics courses as needed
My primary roles at Clemson University are to serve as the horse program coordinator, with teaching responsibilities in the Animal and Veterinary Sciences Department mostly with equine-related courses. Additionally, I am the SC 4-H Horse Program Coordinator, working with state-level 4-H Horse Project contests and other events. My research interests are in equine management, nutrition and exercise science, exploring ways to utilize our horses more effectively and safely.
I am currently the AVS department's Curriculum and Assessment committee chair, as well the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences Curriculum committee chair. Further, I serve as the Clemson University Faculty Senate Vice President/President-Elect. Outside of the university, I am a member of the Equine Science Society Production and Management Section and also am a member of the Southern Regional 4-H Horse Championship and the Eastern National 4-H Horse Roundup management committees, where I serve as the horse judging subcommittee chair.
My primary research interests are related to equine management, nutrition and exercise physiology. I have explored the effects of housing and exercise protocols on bone and cartilage metabolism in an effort to manage horses more appropriately for increased wellbeing and peak performance. I have also investigated the effects of dietary supplements that may mitigate inflammation in horses, which may improve skeletal health or decrease the risk of skeletal injuries or developmental orthopedic diseases. Recent research projects have examined the effects of the rider's influence on gait kinematics and behavior in school master horses and horse biomechanics and conformation on the effects of balance of an elderly rider population. These biomechanics studies are aimed at best practices for riding instructors and therapeutic riding programs to best utilize horses for recreation and therapy. I am also a part of collaborations with faculty in bioengineering and recreation therapy for continued research in these areas. Other recent research projects have focused on the management of hay supplementation in stalled and pastured horses, novel techniques for pasture management through modifying grazing techniques, and mitigating equine gastric ulcers through a variety of dietary supplements and management techniques.
Extension and Outreach
My primary extension role is to serve as the SC 4-H Horse Program Coordinator. In this capacity, I am responsible for developing educational content and opportunities for SC 4-Hers in the horse project. The project offers approximately 10 state-level events or contests on a yearly basis, and participates in multi-state regional and national events. Additionally, I serve as the Clemson University Equine Center's Director, ensuring that the university farm facilitates the mission of teaching, research and outreach in the most effective way. The CUEC is home to the CU Equestrian Team, a therapeutic riding program (CLEAT), is the hub for the Animal and Veterinary Sciences equine-related classes, laboratory activities and experiential learning, and much more.
M. Donaldson, A.M. Holter, S. Neuhoff, J. Arnosky, B. Simpson, K. Vernon, R. Blob, J. DesJardins. 2019. The translation of movement from the equine to rider with relevance to hippotherapy. J. Equine Vet. Science. 2019. 77:125-131. doi.org/10.1016/j.jevs.2019.02.017
R. Strunk, K. Vernon, W. Bridges, R. Blob, and P. Skewes. 2018. The effects of rider level of equine biomechanics and behavior. J. Equine Veterinary Science. 2018. 68:68-72. doi.org/10.1016/j.jevs.2018.05.209.
A. Bradbery, J. Coverdale, K. Vernon, J. Leatherwood, C. Arnold, R. Dabareiner, M. Kahn, A. Millican, and T. Welsh. 2018. Evaluation of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) supplementation on markers of joint inflammation and cartilage metabolism in young horses challenged with lipopolysaccharide. J. Anim. Sci. 2018, Jan. 29. doi:10.1093/jas/skx076.
K. Vernon, S. Cloy, L. Boone, J. Coverdale, T. Jenkins, and J. Sharp. 2017. Dietary supplementation of CLA in horses: establishment of baseline values on bone turnover, synovial prostaglandin E2, and gait kinematics. Journal of Comparative Exercise Physiology. 13(2), 71-78.
J. Anton, K. Vernon, D. Kelley, J. Gibbons, G. Birrenkott, and C. Mortensen. 2013. Exercising the pregnant mare from day 16 to day 80 of gestation. J Equine Vet Sci. 34(3), 415-420.
S. Headley, J. A. Coverdale, T. C. Jenkins, C. M. Klein, J. L. Sharp, and K. L. Vernon. 2012. Dietary supplementation of CLA in horses increases plasma CLA and decreases plasma arachidonic acid, but does not alter body fat. J. Anim. Sci. 90:4876-4882
R. L. Smith, K. L. Vernon, D. E. Kelley, J. R. Gibbons, C. J. Mortensen. 2012. Impact of moderate exercise on ovarian blood flow and early embryonic outcomes in mares. J. Anim. Sci. 90:3770-3777.
DE Kelley, JR Gibbons, R Smith, KL Vernon, SE Pratt-Phillip, CJ Mortensen. 2011. Exercise affects both ovarian follicular dynamics and hormone concentrations in mares. Theriogenology. 76:615-622. â€¨
Vernon, KL, L. Riggs, J Coverdale, AB Bodine, J Gibbons. 2010. The Effects of Forced Exercise on Collagen Type II Fragments (C2C), Lysyl Oxidase Concentrations and Total Protein Concentrations in Sera and Synovial Fluid of Lambs. J Equine Vet Sci. 30(5):266-274.