Sue McDonnell, PhD, Certified AAB

Sue M. McDonnell, PhD, is a certified applied animal behaviorist and the founding head of the equine behavior program at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine. She is also the author of numerous books and articles about horse behavior and management.

Articles by: Sue McDonnell, PhD, Certified AAB

Horse Play

I have a report to do for science class on animal behavior (middle school, fifth grade). My teacher, Mr. Brennan, said to pick a favorite animal species and a favorite type of behavior. My favorite animals are wild horses, and my

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Biter Gone Bad

We’ve been raising a Welsh pony for the kids. At about nine months of age, he started with constant nipping at your arm and the lead shank, kind of playing with you. We read on the Internet that this biting is a colt thing, and that it”P>We’ve been raising

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Bizarre Behavior

Dr. Sue McDonnell addresses readers’ questions about an older pony’s grumpy behavior and why horses might eat dirt.

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Ground Work

What training tips do you have for working with a horse that hasn’t been ridden in four years?

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Rolling Along

Almost every time I let my horses out of the stalls after feeding them, they roll in the dirt, dust, or mud. Why?

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Playful Rearing

We recently received an orphaned colt from a very reputable breeder friend who had neither the time nor facilities to raise the baby. We picked him up when he was five hours old, and he is now three weeks old. Health-wise he is doing fine. H

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Problem Behaviors in Pastures

I recently purchased a 4-year-old gelding. He is extremely aggressive toward my other gelding in the pasture, and I’m unable to turn them out together. I am able to turn the horse out with my pony mare and pony gelding, but he

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Mare Madness

Temperament and performance problems believed to be related to the estrous cycle in mares are among the most common complaints of owners and riders of mares. The problems come in a few varieties. Careful evaluation sometimes can identify the cause and lead to resolution, or at least a strategy for satisfactory management.

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Paddock Ins And Outs

Our 12-year-old gelding, Ringo, has become difficult to bring in from the pasture. He sometimes drags us through the barn door. Then he barges through the stall door and straight to his grain tub. There’s almost no stopping him. For a couple

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Battling Mares: Fighting for Dominance

Q. Within the past three weeks, we have purchased our second miniature horse, a 10-year-old mare in foal. When the mare arrived at our farm, we assumed that she would be a good companion for our 2-year-old miniature mare. We also expected that

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