Rutgers to Host Equine Behavior, Training Seminar

“Why Do They Do That? Behavior and Training of Horses” will be the over-arching theme of the upcoming horse management seminar hosted by the Rutgers Equine Science Center and Rutgers Cooperative Extension.

The seminar, scheduled from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Feb. 14, will feature presentations by several equine industry authorities.

“Horse training is an often-requested but tricky theme for this seminar because there are so many methods out there, so we will instead explain how horses learn and how that knowledge can be applied to training,” said Carey Williams, PhD, Extension equine specialist and associate director of Extension for the Rutgers’ Equine Science Center. “Our goal in presenting this workshop is to give our audience an understanding of the concepts behind equine learning which are present regardless of discipline or training method and provide some of the research techniques that can be applied.”

Williams has assembled presenters who are recognized as experts in their field to offer background and advice. Presentation topics and speakers will include:

  • “Normal/Natural Behavior of Horses” by Carissa Wickens, PhD, from University of Florida;
  • “Using Learning Theory to Train Horses” by Angelo Telatin from Delaware Valley University;
  • “Psychological Stress and Welfare of Horses” by Betsy Greene, PhD, from University of Vermont; 
  • “Problem Solving Using Learning Theory” by Telatin;
  • “Stereotypic Behaviors: Understanding Cribbing, Weaving, and Other Behaviors” by Wickens; and
  • “How Nutrition Can Affect Behavior” by Williams.

The day will conclude with a panel including each speaker for additional question and answer opportunities.

In addition to the educational presentations, the seminar will feature informational displays, networking opportunities, and door prizes from industry companies and area organizations, along with ample time for one-on-one discussions with the day’s presenters.

A complete program, registration information, and a seminar brochure are posted on the Equine Science Center website at esc.rutgers.edu. For more information, contact Williams at cwilliams@aesop.rutgers.edu. Early bird discount registration ends on Jan. 29.

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