Wednesday Welfare Webinar: how to support equine mental wellbeing - Veterinary Practice
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Wednesday Welfare Webinar: how to support equine mental wellbeing

The Final webinar in the World Horse Welfare’s Welfare Wednesday series will will review past, current and future equine management and training practices on 25 August

Wednesday 25 August at 8pm marks the last in World Horse Welfare’s current series of webinars focusing on equine mental wellbeing. In this final webinar to be held in conjunction with the University of Nottingham, Andrew McLean will review past, current, and future equine management and training practices and will guide us in how we can interact with our horses in a way that optimises their mental wellbeing.

Andrew is an internationally recognised rider, trainer, and coach whose mission is to make riding and training horses safer, more effective, and more enjoyable for both horse and rider through the use of equitation science.

Following his presentation, Andrew will be joined for a panel discussion by John Francome, former National Hunt Champion Jockey, television pundit and author, and Caroline Heard, assistant manager at World Horse Welfare’s Belwade Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre. Among other topics, the discussion will cover assessment of mental wellbeing in horses, the most common barriers to achieving it and how we can all improve our horses’ quality of life. The panel discussion will be followed by a Q and A session where you will have the chance to “ask the experts” any questions you may have.

By registering for the webinar through Zoom, you will be able to take part in the various polls, ask questions during the Q and A and enjoy an interactive experience. If you are keen to be part of the conversation, then please join.

The webinars, which have run monthly during the summer, are free to attend and, if you are unable to attend via Zoom they can be viewed as a Facebook Live session. If you have missed any of the previous webinars – which have tackled subjects as fascinating and diverse as keeping horses fit, weight management, euthanasia, biosecurity and travelling – they are all available to watch on the World Horse Welfare YouTube channel.

More about the presenters

Dr Andrew McLean is a zoologist who specialises in training horses and elephants. He has also written numerous books and papers on the science and ethics of horse training. Among other positions, Andrew is CEO of Equitation Science International, a co-founder of the International Society for Equitation Science, a member of the Racing Victoria Welfare Advisory Board, and a Director of Pony Club Australia. Andrew has represented Australia in eventing, ridden to Grand Prix level in showjumping and dressage and, in 2018, won the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM) National Championships in tetrathlon (+35 years section). He also won numerous bareback races in Australia and New Zealand in the 1970s and 1980s. In 2009, Andrew founded the Human-Elephant Learning Programs (H-ELP) not-for-profit company. The systematic approach to elephant training espoused by H-ELP is endorsed, continued and supported at government level in Nepal, India, Thailand, Myanmar and Laos.

John Francome is a former National Hunt Jockey who rode a total of 1,138 winners, becoming Champion Jockey seven times between 1976 and 1985. After retiring as a jockey, John went on to become a trainer, and he was a pundit on Channel 4 Racing for 27 years. In addition to his direct involvement with horses, John has written 20 fictional books about the world of racing. He is also outspoken on many issues relating to horse welfare, including the use of the whip.

Caroline Heard first joined World Horse Welfare 27 years ago as a volunteer at Belwade Farm in Aberdeenshire. Since then, she has worked for World Horse Welfare in various capacities, including in their campaigns department where she focused primarily on transport to slaughter and Project Romania. Between roles at World Horse Welfare, Caroline has completed a degree in equine science, worked as a nurse in an equine hospital and as a stud hand at Shadwell’s Nunnery Stud, and has nursed horses with grass sickness at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. Now back at Belwade Farm, Caroline is enjoying the hands-on welfare opportunities provided by her current position as assistant farm manager.

University of Nottingham’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, based in the UK, offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses in veterinary medicine, science and research. A fundamental aspect of undergraduate teaching is an evidence-based approach to equine care and management, with a particular emphasis on handling techniques that promote good equine mental wellbeing in a veterinary environment.

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