Those looking to understand more about equines from birth to old age can expand their knowledge and gain fascinating insight at The Horses Inside Out Conference next month (17-18 February, 2024). The theme of this year’s conference is A Journey of a Lifetime and will take place at Loughborough University.

The two-day event is packed with inspiring and educational talks from world-leading presenters including Dr Sebastian McBride who will be talking about Recognising Clinically Depressed Horses. Dr McBride is programme leader for Postgraduate Courses in Animal and Equine Science, Department of Life Sciences at Aberystwyth University and has done several research studies on stereotypes in horses. More recently he has been looking at depression in horses.

“Behavioural depression is difficult to get a sense of in the horse,” he said. “If you look at a horse in a stable with its head down, is it in a state of drowsiness? Is it sleeping or just resting? Or is it in a state of behavioural depression? It is difficult to clinically identify it and is something that we are working on to improve our understanding.”

Another topic that will be discussed, is how much does conformation influence the long-term soundness of young horses. Dr Sue Dyson who specialises in equine orthopaedics, with a focus on lameness and poor performance in sports horses will be looking at whether performance and longevity can be predicted by the assessment of conformation.

She will discuss the findings of her own studies on equine conformation, review other studies and combine this with her own clinical observations to offer her advice to help you make an informed choice when you are buying a young horse.

“It’s important to recognise that a beautifully formed horse may not move well but movement (limb flight and loading) is sometimes more important than absolutely correct conformation,” said Dr Dyson. “Also, when it comes to training young horses, it must be slow and progressive. Many young horses don’t have the musculoskeletal strength and coordination to support themselves unless they are trained correctly and slowly.”

Other topics to be covered over the two days of the Horses Inside Out Conference include training aids, skeletal maturity, modern breeding, the future of feeding and much more.

Tickets are available to attend the conference in person, or via online streaming. For more information about the conference, visit

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