Sue McDonnell, PhD, Certified AAB

Sue M. McDonnell, PhD, is a certified applied animal behaviorist and the founding head of the equine behavior program at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine. She is also the author of numerous books and articles about horse behavior and management.

Articles by Sue McDonnell

Spontaneous Rearing and Food Aggression in Horses

One mare's rearing habit around her owner might be play initiation. Read More

Common Senior Horse Behavior Problems

What is the most common behavior problem or case you see in aging horses? Read More

Stubborn as a Donkey?

One behavior expert explains the differences in behavior between donkeys and horses. Read More

Gelding Behavior

My gelding has been dropping his penis more than usual. Could this be related to him being turned out with a mare? Read More

Geldings that 'Drop' During Training

Could a relaxed mental state caused by positive reinforcement training also be associated with penile relaxation? Read More

Positively Playful

My 5-year-old gelding is very playful. Can I turn his playfulness into an advantage when I train him? Read More

Managing Mouthiness

My gelding is very mouthy. Should this behavior be curbed, and how can I accomplish this? Read More

Minimizing Foal Stress Levels in the Breeding Shed

What would be the best plan for handling a foal whose dam is being covered by a stallion? Read More

Does a Racehorse Know if He Wins or Loses?

And what difference would it make to the horse if he wins or loses? An equine behaviorist weighs in. Read More

Tail Blocking's Effects on Horse Communication

If a horse's tail has been nerved, is he at a social disadvantage when turned out with others? Read More

An Old Horse Starts Cribbing

My 17-year-old horse started trying to crib recently, which I have never seen him do before. Why would he start now? Read More

A Spooky Senior Horse

An equine behavior expert weighs in on how one reader can help her senior OTTB be less spooky at home. Read More

Common OTTB Behavior Traits

I'm considering purchasing an ex-racehorse. Are there any common behavior problems in OTTBs that I should be aware of? Read More

Problems in Passing Other Horses in the Arena

What can I do to help my horse get over his fear of other horses coming toward him or passing him in the arena? Read More

Weaving: Are Mirrors the Answer?

Are stall mirrors recommended for horses that weave, and where could I find one that is safe and economical? Read More

Death of a Herdmate

Can the death of one horse lead to a complete change in another's behavior or "personality"? Read More

Twitch Efficacy and Endorphin Levels

Learn about applying a lip twitch and the endorphin release that occurs during application. Read More

Strange Stance for Shoeing

Learn why one gelding acts odd during farrier visits. Read More

Dealing With Enthusiastic Learners

Learn how to modify an overzealous carrot stretcher's behavior. Read More

A Love-Hate Relationship

Learn why a horse gets bullied by her herdmate. Read More

Electric Fencing

Can electric fencing be used to separate a stallion from other mares and geldings on the property? Read More

Reversing Fear-Based Behavior

An owner inquires about how to address and reverse her horse's fear-based behavior. Read More

Contempt for Cats

How do you correct a misbehaving horse that hates cats? Read More

Situational Queen Bee

Find out why a mare might be guarding her caretakers during feeding. Read More

My Filly has No Respect or Fear of Anything. What Can I Do?

An equine behaviorist offers advice for managing an orphaned filly who exhibits dangerous behaviors. Read More