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

Stallionlike Communication

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

Is Cribbing A Disease?

I have a horse that is a cribber. To make both our lives easier, I've deci Read More

Hand-Feeding Treats

Hand-feeding treats creates the nuisance of horses and ponies constantly nudging and nipping at people. Read More

Tongue Games

My horse sticks out his tongue when he plays with his buddies. Why does he do it? Read More

Appropriate Breeding Age

What is the correct age to breed a mare for the first time? I have strongly c Read More

Detecting Discomfort

One of the challenges with equine pain management is often simply detecting a horse in pain and to what extent Read More

Pawing Prevention for Horses

A reader looks for help for their laminitic horse who hates being stall-bound. Read More

A Studly Gelding

This year he started displaying stallionlike behavior when the mares he's Read More

Nurse Mares

Dr. Sue McDonnell talks about what makes a reliable nurse mare. Read More

Imprint Training and Future Performance

Dr. Sue McDonnell answers a reader's quesion about foal imprint training. Read More

Coprophagy: Conventional Conduct?

Why should foals eating feces be classed as normal behavior when the foal is obviously lacking some nutrient? Read More

Dieting for Disposition

Is it possible to feed to improve a horse's behavior? Read More

Compulsive Circling

Why does my blind horse constantly pace in circles in an anticlockwise direction? Read More

Touching a Tickle Spot?

I own a 5-year-old Friesian cross mare that I have had since her birth; she i Read More

Rescue Horse Rehab

Do you have any advice on the emotional rehabilitation of horses coming to rescues from abusive situations? Read More

The Equine Compulsion to Crib

Sue McDonnel, PhD, answers questions about equine cribbing. Read More

Panicky Horse? Vitamin B Might Help

Sue McDonnel, PhD, tells us what we can do to decrease the likelihood of a horsey panic attack. Read More

Naughty, Nipping Pony

Sue McDonnel, PhD, tells us why ponies bite and how we can put a stop to the painful behavior. Read More

New Gelding Trouble

Sue McDonnel, PhD, tells us how to deal with a new gelding who won't take orders. Read More

Foal 'Stealing'

Our pregnant mare thinks another mare's colt is hers. Is it common for pregnant mares to adopt others' foals? Read More

Learning to Load

At what age is it safe to start introducing a young horse to loading on a trailer? Read More

Rescued Horses: Looking For A Universal Companion

Sue McDonnel, PhD, tells us how to choose rehabilitation companions for rescued horses. Read More

Basic Horse Temperament and Behavior (Book Excerpt)

Those who have worked with different breeds of horses almost always have their opinion as to basic temperament and behavioral characteristics of certain breeds. Few would not agree that in general the warmblooded breeds, such as Thoroughbreds a Read More

Tongue Lolling

My Friesian filly will sometimes try to bite at her chest and stick her tongue out when I saddle her. Read More

Student Research on Horse Behavior

Q: I am a third-year veterinary student at Guelph's Ontario Veterinary College. I am working on a paper for my Equine Health Management class, and I am focusing on equine behavioral stereotypies (cribbing, weaving, stall/box walking) and pasturing... Read More