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Advanced Equine Functional Anatomy

Date(s) - January 10, 2024 - April 3, 2024
This is an online course


Advanced Equine FunctionalThis course is currently being redeveloped and will be back on the schedule at a later date.

The horse is often described as the perfect running machine, but every one of its anatomical adaptations – whether in the musculoskeletal system or in one of the other systems – comes with a cost or trade-off, which often predisposes it to injury or disease” is the thesis instructor Dr. Jeff Thomason poses to students in the Advanced Equine Functional Anatomy class. Students will research and discuss equine digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular, nervous, reproductive, muscular systems or any of the other systems of the horse’s anatomy in relation to this thesis.

You will have the opportunity to research and explore areas of anatomy you are most interested in whether it is the hoof, gut, skin, brain or any other area of interest understanding how the horse’s systems work together. As part of this course you will prepare an instructional document such as a factsheet, video, infographic, recorded interview, whatever you choose on your anatomy research topic. You will provide a critical analysis of available research and evidence.

Guest speakers will present on some of the most recent research being conducted in equine anatomy. Past presenters have included Dr. Chris Pollitt a top international researcher searching for a cure and best preventative measures for laminitis; Dr.Tracey Chenier a specialist in equine reproduction at the Ontario Veterinary College here at the University of Guelph; and Dr. Kim McGurrin a specialist in cardiovascular systems who participated in a ground breaking project recording the heart rates of Standardbreds during races.

Learning ObjectivesEvaluationInstructorRegistration
Upon completion of the course, you will be able to:

  • Reach a high standard of information literacy, knowing how to find, analyze and combine information from a range of reliable academic sources.
  • Investigate topics of equine anatomy at a high level of detail and comprehension through interaction with guest speakers and completing a research paper.
  • Communicate effectively with your veterinarian on aspects of horse health related to anatomy

The Advanced Equine Functional Anatomy course is an advanced study course and as such students are expected to use the University of Guelph library e-journals to conduct their research into the topics discussed during the course. You will have full access to the universities e-library resources.

The course evaluation will include:

  • Participation in the online discussion forums
  • Researching a topic of personal interest
  • Engaging with guest speakers and completing a critique
  • Reflective Journal
  • Research Paper
  • Online Quiz

Dr. Jeff Thomason

Jeff is the Anatomy Professor with Biomedical Sciences at the University of Guelph. The majority of his time is spent teaching equine anatomy to the veterinary students at the Ontario Veterinary College and carrying out his internationally recognized research on the form and function of the equine hoof.

Jeff is a popular speaker amongst horse owners as he has the ability to “bring the anatomy to life” with his presentations. His seminars are well known for his teaching aids as he brings “bits and pieces” for demonstration purposes to give his audience an in-depth view and understanding of the form and function of the horse.

This course is not open for registration.

Registration is limited to 45 students.

There are no international student fees and we welcome students from across the world.


To register for this advanced study course you will have completed an Equine Anatomy course through the Equine Studies program or at another post secondary school (college or university).

Current information on registration is available at our new OpenEd Student Portal

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