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Courses open for VSPNer registration

TECH180-0110 : Equine Handling, Restraint, and Behavior

Shelley Shopsowitz, RVT, BA

January 11-February 10, 2010
Real Time Sessions: Sunday evenings, January 17, 24, and 31; 8:00pm-9:30pm ET (USA)

An understanding of equine behavior is fundamental to safe and effective handling of these large, often temperamental, and potentially dangerous animals. In this course we will address the topic of inherent equine behavior, as well as consider a variety of handling techniques and training theories. Handling horses in general for a multitude of purposes will be reviewed as well as restraining horses for specific veterinary procedures. We will consider a variety of restraint devices used in practice and in the field. Safety to the handler and to the animal will be stressed throughout the course.

The course will be presented in three (3) 90 minute real time interactive live sessions and will include online handouts, quizzes, and message boards discussion interaction with both the instructor and other course participants. Ms. Shopsowitz has taught several courses online for VSPN CE and adds this essential component for all veterinary staff in handling techniques specific to an equine practice with an emphasis on skills necessary for AAEVT certification.

Upon completion of this course, the participants should be able to

TEXTBOOKS: There are no required texts for this course. The instructor will include recommended resources in the course area library.


Week 1: Horse behavior
Content: We will look at innate horse behavior and how it affects human/horse interactions. We will discuss a variety of horse handling techniques including the concept of "natural horsemanship" and how these various techniques can be considered in our dealings with horses in the equine veterinary practice setting.

Week 2: Basic horse handling
Content: In this session we will look at techniques and the understanding needed to successfully handle horses safely including catching the horse in the field, haltering, leading, tying safely, picking the hooves, approaching in the stall, loading onto a trailer, etc. Use of equipment associated with horse handling will be covered as we move through the situations. Common reasons for handling include taking a rectal temperature, pulse and respiration checks, auscultating for gut sounds, checking for dehydration, and checking capillary refill time. We will review these essentials and consider methods of acquirement and what is considered normal for horses.

Week 3: Handling for veterinary procedures
Content: We will look at handling for specific veterinary procedures such as venipuncture, and various injections. We will discuss jogging a horse for veterinary examination, handling for x-ray and other diagnostic procedures including the safety issues. Nursing and handling considerations for nursing mares; how to deal with difficult animals; and mare, foal and stallion handling will be covered. Restraint devices such as twitching, cross tying, stocks and considerations for chemical restraint will finish up this course.

LIBRARY MATERIALS: Library materials will be made available prior to the topic week so participants will have plenty of time to prepare for the real time sessions and discussion.

MESSAGE BOARD DISCUSSIONS: Message board discussions regarding the topic presented will begin on the day the course opens and continue for one week following the last real time session. These discussions will be held in the VSPN CE course area.


$90 ($81 early bird special if registered before December 28, 2009).
*Students currently enrolled in and taking at least 2 classes or 5 units at an AVMA accredited or CAAHT approved Veterinary Technician Program may be eligible to receive a 50% discount off the regular rate for this course (upon verification of student status). You must include the following information in the comments section of the CE enrollment form in order to be eligible for this discount: your program director's name and contact information (email/phone) and school name.

** NOTE: Enrollment will be closed when the maximum number of participants is reached or at 5pm ET the day of the first real time session

**The Participant's Resource Center includes all you need to know about online CE with VIN and VSPN.


  1. Each person must individually be a registered member of VSPN ( Membership in VSPN is free.
  2. To enroll in any VSPN CE course click on the ENROLL NOW link below the course title on the right side of the page at
  3. Each enrollee must be able to receive emails from and addresses. This is our major form of communication with participants. It is highly recommended that course participants use their own, personal emails rather than clinic/hospital email addresses.
  4. VIN Member veterinarians SHOULD NOT register for their staff. Please have the staff member register through VSPN. Please email if you have questions.
Note: "This course has been submitted for approval for 4.5 continuing education credits in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB RACE approval; however participants should be aware that some boards have limitations on the number of hours accepted in certain categories and/or restrictions on certain methods of delivery of continuing education. Call VSPN CE at 1-800-700-4636 for further information." (Attendees are encouraged to check with their licensing jurisdiction(s) for information regarding recognition by their board).
COURSE WITHDRAWAL AND REFUND POLICY: Withdrawal prior to the listed start date of a course entitles the registrant to a complete refund or a credit toward a future VSPN or VIN CE course, whichever is preferred. Withdrawal within 1 week after the listed start date (i.e. including no more than one real-time session) entitles the registrant to a credit toward any future VIN CE course. (Does not apply to courses with only one real-time session.) After the first real-time session, a registrant may withdraw due to special circumstances and receive prorated credit towards a future VIN course. These requests will be handled on an individual basis. The amount of the prorated credit will be determined based on 65% of the time remaining in the course at the time of withdrawal. It is not possible to withdraw retroactively.
Note: To ensure rapid handling of your request for withdrawal, we recommend that you call the VIN office at 1-800-700-INFO (4636).
** For More Information on VSPN's upcoming CE Courses, check out

Nanette R. Walker Smith, M.Ed., RVT, CVT, LVT
VSPN Content Director & CE Coordinator

VSPN CE Services:
1-800-846-0028 or 1-530-756-4881
Charlotte Waack (; ext 193
Chris Upchurch (; ext 197
Darci Palmer (; ext 179
Debbie Bess (; ext 178
Nanette Walker Smith (; ext 187


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777 West Covell Blvd, Davis, CA 95616

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