The two-day courses focus on equine behavior and stallion handling for breeding, earning participants continuing education hours

[February 26; Kennett Square, PA] – The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine’s New Bolton Center is pleased to announce two equine short courses. The short courses are intensive, two-day courses, presented by the Havemeyer Equine Behavior Lab and the Georgia and Philip Hofmann Research Center for Animal Reproduction. Open to the public, the courses are designed to be of particular value to veterinarians, horse owners, breeders, trainers, handlers, veterinary technicians, veterinary students and residents in related fields. There is no pre-requisite for participation, and each course is valid for 16 hours of continuing education.

Programs include a mix of small group presentations, informal talks, and on-site demonstrations by Sue McDonnell, PhD and colleagues. Dr. McDonnell, board certified in Applied Animal Behavior, has traveled worldwide to study the behavior of horses and is the founding head of Penn Vet’s Equine Behavior Program, where her work includes clinical, research and teaching activities.

Scheduled short courses include:

Just Stallion Handling (March 14 and 15) focuses on the concepts and skills for safe, efficient handling and general management of breeding stallions. Topics include stallion and mare restraint, handling for natural covering, dummy mounts, breeding facilities and equipment, as well as the common behavior problems of breeding stallions.

Horse Behavior (May 13 and 14) provides an in-depth investigation of social and reproductive behavior of horses, including how horses interact, the subtleties of equine communication and the ways in which trainers can influence behavior. Time will also be spent observing resting, foraging, breeding and other natural behaviors of the Penn Vet semi-feral pony herd. “This is one of the very few places to reliably observe a herd of horses exhibiting the natural behaviors that they would exhibit in their habitat, without interference from humans,” says Dr. McDonnell. “It is one of the best ways to understand what really makes horses tick.”

Dates are yet to be announced for the following short courses:

Is it Physical, Psychological or Both? Is a change in behavior due primarily to physical or psychological causes? Veterinary clinicians from various specialty services detail the modern imaging and other tests available for diagnosing physical causes that are not readily apparent or easily diagnosed with routine on-farm examinations, including nuclear scintigraphy, MRI, and ultrasonography.

Breeding Management of the Mare, a one day course that covering breeding soundness examination of the mare; estrus detection/teasing; determination of optimal breeding time; manipulation of the mare’s cycle; breeding the mare through natural cover, artificial insemination with fresh, cooled or frozen semen; and pregnancy diagnosis. Participants in this course will be better prepared to have their broodmares ready to be bred at the best time to optimize pregnancy rates.

Managing the Pregnant Mare and Her Foal looks at both the physical and behavioral aspects of the pregnancy and delivery. On day one the care of the pregnant mare, an in-depth look at normal and abnormal events of delivery and health care of the foal are examined with Patricia Sertich, VMD, DACT, associate professor at Penn Vet. On day two, Dr. McDonnell focuses on the behavioral aspects of pregnancy, delivery, mare and foal bonding, maternal behavior, and foal development.

Cost for each short course is $500 for one day or $900 for both days. A 10 percent discount will be applied if registering for both days of two courses and a 20 percent discount if registering for both days of three or more courses. At the conclusion of the two-day course, participants will receive a certificate of completion.

Courses take place at New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, PA. Sponsorships of Equine Short Courses are available. For more information or to register visit www.vet.upenn.edu/labs/equinebehavior, call 610-925-6203 or e-mail cherylo@vet.upenn.edu.