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Equine Functional Anatomy

Date(s) - January 13, 2020 - April 5, 2020
This is an online course


Equine Functional Anatomy - running horses showing only hoofs

The majestic movement of the horse never fails to thrill horse lovers the world over. The ability of the horse to move and achieve such a variety of athletic feats is fascinating to watch. How does the horse do this? This course examines the components of the systems that enable these athletic achievements. It is a study of the functions of those components, and the anatomical structures that fulfill those functions. Students will learn the important anatomical structures and their function, view anatomy from the form vs. function approach and understand how feeding, movement and health of the horse is dependent on its anatomy.


Learning OutcomesEvaluationInstructorRegistration

By the completion of this course students will:

  • Identify the important anatomical structures and their functions in the horse;
  • Investigate and discuss how management decisions impact the health and well-being of the horse from a “use vs. function” approach;
  • Recognize the feeding, movement and health of the horse as it is dependent on its anatomy; and
  • Describe the terminology and concepts that will assist in discussing injuries and disease, should they occur, with a veterinarian.

Quizzes (10%): There will be five online quizzes. Each quiz consists of some true or false statements and multiple-choice questions which cover the weekly unit material.

Minor Written Assignments (40%): In each unit, you are asked to consider ways to improve the care and management of horses based on the unit material. Three topics that most interest you are submitted for grading.

Final Written Assignment (50%): This assignment is based on the weekly unit written assignments, and allows you to further research anatomy topics presented in the course.

You are expected to participate in discussions as you examine and interpret your research in the minor and major written assignments activity engaging with other students and the instructor.

Please note assessments are subject to change.

Instructor: Dr. Jeff Thomason

Dr. Jeff Thomason is the Anatomy Professor with Biomedical Sciences. The majority of his time is spent teaching 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 can “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.

Assistant Instructor: Dr. Janet Douglas

Dr. Janet Douglas has been passionate about horses since an early age and competed in one-day events from her early teens until completion of her veterinary degree at the University of Cambridge in England. Janet’s first job as an equine veterinarian at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center was followed by a move to the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket, England, where she specialised in equine orthopaedics, and then by an MSc and PhD at the University of Guelph in Canada. Janet’s PhD focused on the anatomy of the equine foot, and was supervised by Professor Jeff Thomason, the Instructor on this course. Janet now teaches a small number of veterinary students at the University of Nottingham, and veterinarians who have enrolled in post-graduate studies through the University of Liverpool in England, and is now about to re-enter the world of research. In her spare time, she acts as both groom and chauffeur to two of my children who compete in mounted games, dressage and eventing, and teaching children about horse and pony care through the local Pony Club (similar to 4H).

Registration is limited to 60 students. There are no international student fees, and we welcome students from across the world.

Register at our OpenEd Student Portal Equine Functional Anatomy.

Ready to Register?

Equine Functional Anatomy can be taken as a single course or as a required course in the Diploma in Equine Studies and  Equine Science Certificate.

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