Academics Tracking Options Equine Track

Equine Track Photo: Woman with Horse

Equine Track

Exciting career opportunities

Explore the challenges of medicine and the rewards of working with horses and the people who share your passion for them. A career in equine medicine is exciting and offers opportunities to work with equine athletes, family pets, varied breeds, and a wide range of disciplines. Some career options include:

  • Ambulatory private practice
  • Specialty practice through board certification
  • Teaching and research
  • Regulatory medicine
  • Public health

Courses designed to develop excellent practitioners

The equine track curriculum includes track and elective courses tailored to student interests and career goals, such as:

  • Equine Medicine and Surgery I & II - Advanced study using a systems-based approach covering the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of equine medical and surgical disorders. Spend the first semester examining the musculoskeletal, respiratory, and cardiac systems and the second semester examining anesthesia, ophthalmology, neurology, gastrointestinal, dermal, and urinary systems. Experience hands-on laboratories designed to develop necessary skill sets for the equine practitioner.
  • Equine Theriogenology I & II - Building on the core theriogenology course taught earlier in the curriculum, these courses provide advanced study of equine reproductive issues, which are fundamental for basic equine practice. Explore topics such as breeding management, estrous cycle manipulation, parturition and foaling issues, reproductive disease diagnosis and treatment, assisted reproductive technology, and semen management. Experience hands-on laboratories, which reinforce skill sets learned in class.
  • Equine Nutrition - Building on the core nutrition course taught earlier in the curriculum, this course provides advanced study of nutrition requirements of equine patients and the variety of nutritional needs for different classes of horses. Explore the relationship between nutrition and equine clinical disorders. Learn how to develop nutritional management plans under various conditions and participate in a problem-solving nutrition project to further develop these skills.
  • Equine Podiatry - The old saying still holds true: "No hoof, no horse." This course provides advanced training in current techniques and science in equine podiatry. Examine anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, and farriery as they relate to preventive foot health care and management of lameness in clinical practice.
  • Equine Neonatal Medicine - This course puts neonatal medicine all in one place, providing a cohesive curriculum covering the beginning of a horse’s life. Explore normal parturient events, diseases that affect neonatal foals, and diagnositic and treatment options through a problem-based learning approach using case examples.

Extensive learning opportunities beyond the classroom

Equine trackers in our program have many opportunities beyond the classroom to gain knowledge and develop essential skills.

  • Two comprehensive equine hospitals - The Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Va. and the Harry T. Peters Large Animal Hospital in Blacksburg, Va., which includes the ambulatory Equine Field Service, emphasize hands-on student learning with two teams of specialized faculty and staff and two different horse-owning communities, which expose students to a large and diverse set of teachers, clients, and patients.
  • Colic and foal watch teams - Join student teams dedicated to experiential learning. Members of the colic team have opportunities to observe clinicians responding to after-hours emergency colic cases. Members of the foal watch team participate in shifts to ensure 24-hour surveillance for sick foals receiving care in our hospitals.
  • American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) student chapter - The student chapter of AAEP at VA-MD Vet Med provides educational opportunities for students interested in all levels of equine medicine, including monthly talks presented by guest speakers from various areas of the equine world, weekly rounds in the large animal hospital, and wet labs and mare palpations designed to give students valuable clinical equine experience.
  • Practitioner and faculty mentors - In the first three years of the program, students are able to shadow large animal teaching hospital faculty during off-hours and make weekend visits to practices of some of our referring veterinarians for additional mentoring and clinical experience. Students also receive mentorship from regional practitioners, many of them VA-MD Vet Med alumni, through the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association and Maryland Veterinary Medical Association Mentor Program.
  • Student technician positions - In the first three years of the program, students can apply for paid part-time technician positions requiring evening and weekend shifts.


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