‘Embracing science to enhance horse-human interactions’
At an international equine science event, a group from DelVal jumped a horse bridleless and demonstrated how tasks such as clipping and giving a horse injections can be simplified by giving the horse a choice to perform the desired behavior.
“Embracing science to enhance horse-human interactions,” was theme of this year’s International Society for Equitation Sciences Conference, which was held July 17 through 20. The event was cohosted by The University of Delaware and the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center, which is located in Kennett Square, Pa. It brought together leading equine scientists and professionals from more than 15 countries.
The conference included two days of research presentations and a practical day, where science was put into action. The DelVal group presented at the practical day at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center.
The DelVal group included: Equine Science and Management Assistant Professor Angelo Telatin, DelVal Barn Manager Kathryn Gibson and two students, Allyson Brink ’15 and Allison Bienas ’16.
Their presentation demonstrated how learning theory can be applied when riding and handling horses to improve the interaction between the horse and human.
Dr. Sue McDonnell, head of the Equine Behavior Lab at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, said the audience enjoyed the DelVal presentation at practical day.
“Participants were awestruck that we actually do these things, rather than just talking about what we should be doing,” said Dr. McDonnell. “They were buzzing with inspiration in spite of the sweltering heat. I was so proud of this presentation staged at Penn…What a good thing it is that you are preparing students; some who come to Penn Vet.”
At the event, Telatin was voted in for a four-year appointment as a member of the International Society for Equitation Science’s (ISES) Council (Board of Directors).
ISES is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting the application of the latest research and advanced practice to improve the welfare of horses used by humans. The organization also provides an international forum for scientists to discuss research and encourages links between disciplines such as applied animal behavior science, veterinary science, psychology and more.
Telatin joined the College in 2003 and has spent his life dedicated to the scientific study of horse behavior applied to training.
He is a graduate of Padua University, where he completed his thesis in horse behavior. He also earned his M.S. in educational leadership from DelVal in 2007. Telatin is a British Horse Society fellow. In addition to being a faculty member, he also serves as head coach for the Delaware Valley College Intercollegiate Dressage Team (IDA).