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Equine Functional Anatomy

Date(s) - January 15, 2018 - April 8, 2018
This is an online course


Equine Functional Anatomy course photo

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 on the health and well-being of the horse from a “use vs. function” approach.
  • Understand the feeding, movement and health of the horse as it is dependent on its anatomy.
  • Learn terminology and concepts that will assist in discussing injuries and disease, should they occur, with a veterinarian.

Participation(30%):  Your grade is based on your participation in class discussions in response to class learning questions and your reflections on the information provided by other student postings. Guest Speakers are invited into the course to interact with students on specific topics; your participation is also graded on your contribution to questions posted to the guest speakers.

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

Minor Assignment (10%): In the minor assignment you will compare three feeding management scenarios with the evolutionary feeding strategy of the horse.

Major Assignment (50%): The major assignment allows you to research an anatomy topic discussing the use of the horse and the consequences to horse anatomy. Saddle fitting, leg injuries, laminitis and horse shoes are some of the suggested topics you may explore in your research.

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 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.

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).

This course will be offered in the Winter 2018 Semester.

Registration is limited to 60 students.

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

Current registration details can be found at our OpenEd Student Portal Equine Functional Anatomy.

Ready to Register?

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

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