Dr. Sue McDonnell, certified applied animal behaviorist (CAAB). Supplied photo.

What makes horses tick?

In mid-February, western Canadian horse owners will have the chance to meet Dr. Sue McDonnell and learn more about equine behavior during the 2020 Saskatchewan Equine Expo in Saskatoon, Sask.

By Rigel Smith

The Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) has invited McDonnell to visit Saskatoon for several educational events — including a public seminar from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 14, at Prairieland Park. 

During the two-hour session, McDonnell will cover the “top 10 things every horse owner should know about equine behavior,” along with other highlights based on three decades of observational research (read more). 

The certified applied animal behaviorist will use video clips from her extensive case library to demonstrate what works — and what doesn’t work — when it comes to interacting with horses. Her session will also include time for discussion and questions from the audience.

McDonnell’s presentation is a prime example of the Saskatchewan Equine Expo’s focus on public education and awareness — a key aspect of the annual event. Each year, the three partners behind Expo — Prairieland Park, Saskatchewan Horse Federation and WCVM — work with a volunteer committee to provide educational experiences in everything from horse training and riding disciplines to equine health and management.

One of the key attractions of the ninth annual Saskatchewan Equine Expo is Alberta horse trainer Josh Nichol, who will be the show’s featured clinician. Based in Colinton, Alta., Nichol’s training methods rely on building a connection with horses, striving to understand their needs and empowering them to perform at peak capacity. 

Saskatchewan Equine Expo takes place from Feb. 13 to 16, 2020, at Prairieland Park. Visit the show’s website for more details.

Visit the WCVM events page for more information about Dr. McDonnell's special seminar during the Saskatchewan Equine Expo. The deadline for registering is Friday, Feb. 7. Download event poster. 

New Bolton Center’s semi-feral pony herd roam on 50 acres of pastureland in rural Pennsylvania. Supplied photo.