How Equitation Science Conference Is Going to Make a Difference from the Ground Up: ISES 2019

May 27, 2019 | by Jamie Meilach and Samantha White, BBRM Equine Management students

Perhaps even more important than the attending equine vets, scientists and researchers are the people that deal with the horses on the ground on a day-to-day basis

The 2019 International Society for Equitation Science (ISES) conference being held in Guelph, ON from August 19-21is drumming up plenty of interest with local and international horse people. With an impressive lineup of high calibre speakers including researchers, lecturers and welfare scientists, the conference places heavy emphasis on the importance of science in the equine world. The conference will attract a host of highly-educated attendees, but perhaps even more important than the attending equine vets, scientists and researchers are the people that deal with the horses on the ground on a day-to-day basis. Farm staff – the people mucking out stalls and feeding horses at the crack of dawn every morning – are the undeniable backbone of the equine industry. Farm staff are the first people to see the horses every morning and often the last to see them at night, and are in many cases solely responsible for the level of handling and care of our equids that ultimately determines their welfare. Therefore, it seems particularly important for these people to attend a conference of the quality and caliber of the ISES conference.

attendee EJ
Emily Janecek, 21, seen here at her workplace, hopes to attend the 2019 ISES Conference to “bring something new to the table” at her place of work. Photo credit: Olivia Gray 2015

21-year old Emily Janecek is a local horse enthusiast that works at a private farm near Guelph, ON. Having worked several farm staff jobs in her lifetime, Janecek admits that she has no formal education relating directly to equine welfare. “What I have learned so far in the horse world has come from hands-on experience. I know what to do in a crisis situation and have some understanding of what a horse needs [in order to] live a healthy lifestyle but in reality my knowledge is limited, and when I am the only one who sees the horses every day, that’s not enough” says Janecek of her equine qualifications. Janecek, while grateful for her job, argues that barn owners should be looking for staff that are qualified, and hopes to attend the ISES conference to further her knowledge for the sake of the horses that she works with. “I want to be able to bring something new to the table at my farm. I hope that other non-professional horse people take interest and feel the same way.”


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BBRM student Samantha White and her horse, Lady.

Samantha White is a second-year student in the Bachelor of Bio-Resource Management degree at the University of Guelph majoring in Equine Management. White is looking forward to attend this year’s ISES conference. She is especially interested in the demonstration on large animal rescue. White’s father is a fire fighter and White recalls “One time my dad had a call for a horse stuck in a ditch and his crew didn’t really know what to do in that situation, so it took much longer to get the horse out.” White said that the conference will help her and her father gain the knowledge to help animals in emergency situations.


Registration is now open for the 15th annual ISES conference. Don’t miss the early bird deadline of June 1 for conference registration. For all the details and links to registration and accommodations, visit the Equitation Science website or the Horse Portal.


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