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Meeting the Royals: Frisian Horses Open Vet Tech Students’ Eyes

Published on August 26, 2013 by Peter Tomala

veterinary technology programStudents in the vet tech program at Broadview University had the rare pleasure of meeting some very unique horses in class. Equine students met up with Certified Journeyman Ferrier, Clark Metcalf, and his Frisian horses at Royal Carousal Frisians in West Jordan, Utah. Frisian horses are an ancient breed that comes from the Northern province of Friesland, Holland. The breed was used to pull royal carriages and was ridden by kings and knights. Today, Frisians are used in dressage and jousting tournaments.

Broadview students learned about hoof anatomy as well as differences in breed characteristics. The differences between breeds became evident while students watched them move during a training session.

Broadview University’s students learn anatomy and physiology, behavior, nursing care and infectious diseases of horses in the classroom. Getting to see these horses in real life and learning hoof anatomy from an industry expert allows for a more practical, real-world learning experience.

“It’s not every day you get to see Frisian horses,” said Veterinary Technology Program Chair and Equine instructor Jill Bruneau. “To have the opportunity to learn about hoof anatomy from one of the best ferriers in Utah was icing on the cake.”

Students get more hands-on experience with small animals because they are easier to house on campus. Being able to interact with larger animals requires coordination with horse owners and conducting field trips. Once on site, students have the opportunity to partake in complete physical exams and sample collection on horses. This work prepares students to possibly work in a large animal clinic. vet tech program

“Many students don’t even think about large animal as a career possibility until they get to this class,” added Bruneau. “Their eyes are opened to how amazing these creatures are and they are hooked.”

There are a number of possibilities for vet tech graduates if they want to work with horses after college. Students can work with a mobile equine vet, in a large animal practice, or even at a breeding facility. Heck, maybe there are opportunities working with a jousting team!?

By Veterinary Technology Program Chair Jill Bruneau

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