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Short Courses for Horse Owners

Foal and CSU logo

A sound knowledge base and hands-on experience are two keys to success in the equine breeding industry. The Horse Owner Short Courses at Colorado State University offer an opportunity to obtain both an in-depth education on reproductive management of stallions, mares and foals, as well as hands-on experience in semen collection, artificial insemination and newborn foal care. Colorado State University has provided educational venues for horse owners for 40 years and is recognized as a world leader in horse owner education.

The true strength of the CSU owner education courses is the hands-on learning opportunities to collect semen, evaluate semen, prepare insemination doses, inseminate mares, and the unique opportunity to develop diagnostic and intervention skills in obstetrics that would be invaluable in the event of a difficult foaling.

Descriptions of the educational opportunities in two courses in equine reproduction follow.

1. Equine Reproductive Management -- Stallion, Mare and Newborn Foal
January 4-8, 2013

The flagship course of the program is designed for horse owners and breeders wishing to increase the efficiency and ultimately the success of their breeding programs. The course includes 20 hours of classroom instruction covering anatomy and physiology of the stallion genital tract; semen collection and evaluation; anatomy and physiology of the mare, principles of artificial insemination, use of cooled-transported semen; hormonal control of the estrous cycle; breeding management with fresh, cooled or frozen semen; evaluation of the problem (infertile) mare; principles of pregnancy diagnosis and management of twins; care of the pregnant, foaling, and postpartum mare; complications of pregnancy; prediction of foaling; proper on-farm methods to assist with delivery of foals and when to call for assistance with a difficult foaling; routine care and medical problems of the newborn foal; and care of the orphan foal. In addition, 15 hours of hands-on training in semen collection and evaluation; artificial insemination; preparation and use of cooled-transported semen; reproductive evaluation of the mare; techniques for prediction of foaling; on-farm obstetrical procedures; placental evaluation; assessment of colostrum quality and passive transfer of antibodies; and foal resuscitation are provided in the course. Please note: palpation and ultrasound examination of mares will not be taught in this course.

2. Techniques for Handling and Utilizing Frozen Equine Spermatozoa
January 9, 2013

The frozen semen course is designed for anyone seriously interested in learning the techniques involved in freezing, thawing, and handling of equine spermatozoa. Topics to be covered include response of spermatozoa to freezing, preparation of semen for freezing, extender preparation, proper handling, storage and thawing procedures, post-thawing evaluation of semen, management of mares for frozen semen and insemination techniques. In addition to lectures, the hands-on laboratory session will provide an opportunity for registrants to freeze, thaw and evaluate equine semen. Previous experience in semen collection, evaluation and insemination procedures or attendance at an Equine Reproductive Management short course at Colorado State University is highly recommended as a prerequisite to this course.

Dystocia trainingEvaluation of the placenta
Dystocia training Evaluation of the placenta

Additional Information

Short course attendees examining mares at the ERL

Location: Course lectures and laboratory sessions are held at the Equine Reproduction Laboratory, 3103 Rampart Road, Fort Collins, Colorado, on the Colorado State University Foothills Research Campus. Courses begin at 8:00 a.m. and end at approximately 5:00 p.m. each day. For your comfort, please bring clothing appropriate to the season.

Hotel: The host hotel for the course will be the Hilton Fort Collins, 425 West Prospect Road, Fort Collins, CO 80526. Contact information: (970) 482-2626 (phone), (970) 493-6265 (fax), or Please contact the Hilton Fort Collins directly for room rates and availability, and let the hotel staff know that you are attending a CSU Equine Reproduction Short Course. Transportation to and from the Hilton will be provided each day.

Short course attendees examining mares at the ERL

Registration: Course size is limited in order to ensure comprehensive, in-depth instruction to participants. Course registrations are accepted on a first-come basis. The entire fee must accompany the registration form. Early registration is strongly encouraged to facilitate timely confirmation of each course. Courses are subject to cancellation if registration numbers are inadequate to cover costs of the program. Registration at least 30 days before the course will help prevent cancellation. If a minimum registration number is not reached 30 days prior to the scheduled date of the course, it will be cancelled.

Please do not make travel arrangements until you receive written confirmation from Colorado State University. The registration fee includes extensive lecture and laboratory sessions, lecture notes, writing materials, transportation to and from the Equine Reproduction Laboratory from the Hilton Fort Collins, and a certificate of completion as well as lunches and breaks during course hours.

Transportation: Travel arrangements to and from Fort Collins are the responsibility of each participant. Numerous rental car agencies are located at Denver International Airport. Additionally, ground shuttle service from the airport to the Hilton Fort Collins is available from SuperShuttle (970-482-0505 or 800-258-3826 or

Please call the shuttle company for an updated schedule and/or reservations. The shuttle trip takes approximately two hours.

Collection of semen Semen analysis techniques
Collection of semen Semen analysis techniques

For more information please contact the Equine Reproduction Laboratory:

Lisa Dell
Equine Reproduction Laboratory
Colorado State University
3103 Rampart Road
Fort Collins, CO 80521
970-491-8626 (phone)