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EQ300SA Equine Biomechanics

Course Instructor
Dr Hilary Clayton, BVMS, PhD, MRCVS.

Prerequisites:   A good knowledge of veterinary vocabulary, anatomy and horse handling skills is  required. Students having no previous background in vocabulary and anatomy should first participate in the online free EQ50: Equine Anatomy Course. See prerequisite below.


Classroom hours during course:                      16 hours             
Hands-on practical during course:                   8 hours         
Guided home study during course:                  6 hours +         
Required guided externship after course:         40 hours

TOTAL COURSE HOURS:                          70 hours +

Students attend class daily 8:30 am – 5:00 pm for 3 days and have an additional 3 hours of evening studies.

Students learn basic equine anatomy, conformation evaluation and movement analysis through biomechanical methods and current research. This knowledge base will enhance owners, trainers, care givers, breeders, judges and equine body worker\\\'s skills.

After completing this course, the student will be able to(1) employ the palpation skills required to locate surface anatomy to place markers for bone measurement, joint angle and inclination for conformation and gait assessment, (2) know the basic terminology used for biomechanics and equine locomotion, (3), know the history of equine biomechanics and (4) know the protocol to analysis equine movement using high speed cinematography.

This subject matter for this course is presented in a variety of mediums. Independent home study is required by completing the provided Study Guide prior to the course for those just beginning their studies. Time required will vary on the student\\\'s comprehension level of veterinary anatomy and vocabulary. The classroom lecture portions are usually followed by lab practicals in the classroom and on the subject (in this case the horse). The classroom lecture may be supported by visual aids (slides, PowerPoint, model, specimen or overheads) and discussion. The lab practical vary depending on the topic and can be supported by templates, labeling sessions, gait analysis sessions, muscle and surface anatomy identification and practical hands-on. Independent additional study activities are required in the evening. This study will be evaluated through self assessments and quizzes.

This course is presented by Dr. Hilary Clayton, specialist and researcher in equine biomechanics and sports medicine. She is also the author of The Dynamic Horse and Conditioning Sport Horses and co-author of Activate Your Horse\\\'s Core, Equine Locomotion and Clinical Anatomy of the Horse. Dr. Clayton needs no introduction when "biomechanics" is mentioned; she is accepted as one of the leading international specialists in the subject matter. This 3-day course is offered through a classroom and hands-on approach.

Class Outline:
           History of equine locomotor research
           Basic anatomy and terminology
           Functional anatomy of the equine musculoskeletal system
           Palpation of external landmarks used to locate centers of joint rotation and for making segment and angle measurements
           Conformation evaluation
           Biomechanical analysis techniques
           Kinematics and kinetics of equine locomotion
           Sports biomechanics of equine athletes
           Rider biomechanics
           Research studies on saddle pressure, rein tension and bitting behavior
           Core training exercises for horses

Tuition: Includes course hand-outs and supplies 

Required Text: The Dynamic Horse by Dr. Hilary Clayton. This text is available through various online bookstores.

Students should lightly read through it a few times before class. You are not expected to know the material, but reading it first will prepare you for the lectures and practicals. 

A good knowledge of veterinary vocabulary, anatomy and horse handling skills is required (An equine massage or anatomy course no less than 150 hours will usually cover this material). Participants of the Equine Body Worker ® Certification course will be well prepared even if the externship has not been completed. Students new to Equinology or new to equine anatomy and vocabulary should register for the EQ50: Precourse Distance Equine Anatomy Course. Please register for the precourse study to give you plenty of time to go through the material. This precourse equine anatomy study guide is also available as an online course which is free to anyone. You can find those details by going to:

This course is required for completion of the Equine Body Worker ® Level II certification.