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Bringing Science to the StableNovember 2018

Horse-human relationships: Where have we come from? Where are we now? Where are we going?

Put the dates of August 19-21, 2019 into your calendar for the 15th Annual Equitation Science Conference being held at The University of Guelph – Canada’s largest and most renowned agricultural university and one of only five veterinary colleges in Canada. Come and be fascinated by what science has uncovered about the unique horse-human connection.


With the theme “Bringing Science to the Stable” the conference will focus on mankind’s history with horses, what we have learned about horse-human interactions, and how we can continue to improve our relationships with these amazing animals.

In line with the ISES mission, this conference will promote and encourage the application of objective research and advanced practice to improve the welfare of horses in their associations with humans.

An engaging lineup of high caliber speakers will be led by the Clever Hans Speaker Dr Jonaki Bhattachararyya (Ethnoecologist and Senior Researcher, Firelight Group) presenting a Canadian perspective with a focus on the cultural relationship between wild horses and indigenous peoples. Keynote speakers include Dr Sandra Olsen (Curator-in-Charge, Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum, University of Kansas) presenting a world perspective on our social evolution with horses, Dr Camie Heleski (Senior Lecturer, University of Kentucky) covering current Equitation Science trends and discoveries, and Dr Nic de Brauwere (Head of Welfare, Rehabilitation and Education, Redwings Horse Sanctuary) giving an overview of how behaviour change into the future can improve equine welfare.

The practical day will give delegates an opportunity to try their hand at large animal rescue when Rusti, a 600-pound horse mannequin, may find himself in trouble.

Dr Katrina Merkies (Associate Professor, University of Guelph) and Dr Cordelie DuBois will present the Canadian Codes of Practice and welfare assessment techniques. Business entrepreneurs of sophisticated technology to measure biophysical aspects of ridden and handled horses will showcase their products.

The city of Guelph is only a short distance from Toronto, allowing easy access for international visitors. While in Guelph be sure to visit the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada and the McRae house, birthplace of the author of the famous poem “In Flanders Fields.” It is only a short drive to Fergus, home of the Scottish Festival and Highland Games, and nearby Elora, both nestled along the Grand River with historic limestone architecture and endless trailways. And a visit to the impressive Niagara Falls and the wine-growing region is a must for any visitor to Canada.

Check the ISES website for updates . Registration for the conference will open early in 2019.