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APSC 5244: Applied Equine Behavior

Concentration:  Applied Animal Behavior and Welfare
Credits: 3 graduate credits


Principles of learning and ethology to create behavior plans for stable management, routine handling, and training. Causes of unwanted, unsafe, and abnormal equine behavior, and interventions based on evidence-based best practices. Best practices approaches to equine training and management. Ethical and professional standards for training and behavior intervention.

Learning Objectives

Having successfully completed this course, the student will be able to:

  • Assess equine body language using objective and validated quantitative and qualitative methods
  • Apply principles of equine ethology and animal learning to analyze the behavior of domestic horses in the stable environment, in social interactions with other horses, and in humans-horse interactions
  • Interpret a horse’s behavior using genetic, physiological, physical, social, behavioral, and environmental information
  • Compare different equine management and training practices as regards their ease of implementation, efficacy, potential effects on behavior, and welfare implications
  • Create equine behavior and training plans applied to routine husbandry and handling, the ridden horse, and for modification of unwanted, unsafe, or abnormal behavior
  • Integrate safety protocols and standards of professional ethics into training and management decision-making
  • Develop implementation strategies that take into account differences in skills and knowledge of owners/handlers/trainers and are based on evidence-based best practices of applied equine behavior

Prerequisites and Corequisites

APSC 5134 or instructor approval


Erica Feuerbacher