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

Grumpy Joggers

Both of my well-mannered mares try to nip at me when trotting in-hand. Is there a reason why horses do this? Read More

Water Crossing Confidence

Why do horses act so suspicious of water they cross regularly, and what can we do to build their confidence? Read More

Rehabbing the Bolter

Will forming a bond with my horse help keep him from bolting when riding in the arena and around the paddocks? Read More

Spinning and Twirling Behavior

Could a horse who loves spinning things be autistic? Read More

Safe Horse Handling for Vet Visits

What's the best way to handle a horse so he remains calm and well-behaved during vet and farrier visits? Read More

Castrated and Confused

Is it normal to have a gelding burro, not just mount, but actually try to mate with a jenny? Read More

Stall Walking

I just bought a mare only to find out she is a stall walker. Is there a fix for stall walkers? Read More

Lonely Filly

My filly lives in a pasture alone because the older horses try to hurt her. Does this hurt her social skills? Read More

Overprotective Mother

How can I check on a foal to make sure he's thriving without being in danger with the protective mare? Read More

Are Humans Threatening During Foaling?

How does the presence of humans affect the mare just prior to giving birth? Read More

Water Site Marking

My mare poops in her automatic waterer when she's stalled. What can we do? Read More

Shaping Orphan Behavior

What sort of behavior problems would an orphan foal develop? Read More

First-Time Traveler

How do you keep a spooky horse calm during long-distance transportation? Read More

Gelding Aggression

Are there behavior modifications we could try or training methods to deal with our gelding's aggression? Read More

So, You Want to be an Equine Behaviorist

I am extremely interested in becoming an equine behaviorist. I want to know more about how to go about pursuin Read More

Mouthy Mystery

When my friend rides her Thoroughbred gelding in the arena, after doing several side passes over and over agai Read More

Incessant Licking

I have a very athletic 10-year-old, 17-hand Warmblood gelding who is very well-behaved. He doesn't bite, doesn Read More

Stall Rest Suggestions

I have a horse that is on stall rest while recovering from a fractured humeru Read More

On Stall Rest and Low Spirits

What can I do to keep my horse's spirits up while he's on stall rest? Rather than becoming agitated, he seems Read More

Signs of Equine Dementia

Old horses might suffer from some of the age-related structural brain changes that occur in other species. Read More

Soothing Painful Equine Patients

What would you recommend for a horse with burns so severe the skin is sloughi Read More

Equine Intermale Play

We have two males living together for the first time in the same pasture. One Read More

Stall Kicking Solutions

Dr. Sue McDonnell helps a reader whose horse has developed a stall kicking problem. Read More

Training for Tight Spaces

Behavior question about getting horses used to standing in tight spaces. Read More

Stallionlike Communication

My husband and I trail ride frequently, and we both ride geldings. When my horse defecates his horse will walk Read More