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Sat, 08 Dec


Hartpury College

Dissection Workshops

These hands-on day courses offer an insight into the anatomy of the horse and provide a rare and invaluable opportunity to look at the structures we influence by training and therapy. Led by Gillian Higgins, Kirsty Lesniak, Sarah Dolman and Mark Johnson.

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Dissection Workshops
Dissection Workshops

Time & Location

08 Dec 2018, 09:00 – 10 Dec 2018, 17:00

Hartpury College, Hartpury, Gloucester GL19 3BE, UK

About This Event

The Spine Dissection Workshop will focus on joint mechanics from the poll to the tail. Gillian will lead a dissection looking at the spinal ligaments and musculature and their effect on movement, performance and posture. Kirsty will lead a dissection focussing on the spinal cord and major nerves. This dissection day is of special interest to all equine therapists, saddlers, coaches and all riders. This is our most popular dissection day course so book early to avoid disappointment.

The Head and Neck Dissection Workshop will look at aspects of the head and poll area including the mouth, teeth, hyoid apparatus. Gillian will lead a dissection focussing on cervical joint and TMJ movement and the musculature of the head, neck, poll and jaw areas including the connections to the tongue. Understanding this anatomy helps to explain about neck positions and outline. Sarah will lead an examination of the brain will also examine behaviour patterns and how malfunction can give rise to repetitive stereotypic behaviours such as crib-biting and weaving. It can also explain responses to outside stimuli - of real interest to both therapists and riders.

The Entire Fore and Hind Limb Dissection Workshop will include a focussed look at the entire fore and hind limb. Gillian will lead a dissection focussing on the muscles, tendons and ligaments mainly above the knee and hock. The forelimb dissection will include scapula, the stay apparatus of the forelimb and some of the thoracic sling muscles. The hind limb dissection will include the entire limb from the pelvis enabling an in depth study of the superficial and deep muscles of the hind quarters, the stay apparatus, and the joints in the hind leg including the sacroiliac joint.

Kirsty will lead dissections of limbs below the knee and hock, focussing on the mechanics, loading and injury of the tendons and ligaments of the lower limb and inner structures of the hoof.


09.00: Registration

09.30: Introductions and Explanations

10.30: Led Dissections and Practical Sessions

12.30: Lunch

13.30: Led Dissections and Practical Sessions

15.00: Tea Break

15.30: Led Dissections and Practical Sessions

16.30: End of Dissection, Discussion and Collect Certificates of Participation

17.00: Close

Please Note:

- Certificates of Participation suitable for CPD will be issued.

- Disposable gloves, lab coats and safety equipment will be provided.

- Tea and Coffee will be available throughout the day from the college canteen.

- Lunch is available from the college or bring your own.

- Directions and a location map will be sent with your receipt.

- For accommodation nearby we suggest you use


"Throughout this dissection there is emphasis on how knowledge of all the structures we identify can be applied to therapy, riding, training and assessment of horses. From a veterinary viewpoint it was great to do the dissection … valuable revision but also really helped to give the anatomy a biomechanical perspective. I would recommend this as a great refresher and at the same time new insight for any vet who spends a lot of time looking at horses moving." Lindsay Brazil

"A massive thank you again to both you and Gillian and the staff at Hartpury for a great learning weekend. It's certainly worth all the effort everyone puts in." Amanda Craufurd

About the Dissection Leaders:

Sarah Dolman has both a BSc (Hons) in the field of Equine Science and Business and MScRes in Equine Behaviour and Welfare from the Royal Agricultural University, with research specialising in exploring equine neurophysiology and subsequent effects on behaviour. She has spent a number of years working and teaching on a variety of equine yards, holds a BHSAI and has previously worked for the BEF in their equine development department. Sarah's further research areas include, equine behaviour, reproduction and performance.

Gillian Higgins is an equine physical therapist, functional anatomist, biomechanist, author and anatomical artist with a special interest in assessing movement, compensation patterns and designing exercise programmes for rehabilitation and maintenance. In 2006 Gillian founded Horses Inside Out to bring the latest scientific research to riders, trainers, therapists and other equine professionals to show how understanding equine anatomy and biomechanics can improve welfare, performance and reduce the risk of injury. Gillian has been leading equine dissections since 2006 and has a particular interest in myofascial connections and compensation patterns.

Kirsty Lesniak is currently the Programme Manager for all of the equine postgraduate provision at Hartpury College. Prior to this Kirsty programme managed the BSc (Hons) Equine Science for eight years and has also programme managed the Equestrian Sports Science provision and developed and managed the BSc (Hons) Equine Management (Top-up) programme. Kirsty’s teaching areas are predominantly within equine functional anatomy, exercise physiology and sports medicine. She has also been actively involved in teaching the areas of neonatal medicine, performance horse management and equestrian sport analysis as well as supervising dissertations at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Kirsty’s research interests include investigating the links between equine conformation, injury and career longevity. Her work particularly focusses on the anatomical symmetry of the hoof and the limb and its relationship with performance, and the relationship between laterality and asymmetry. Kirsty is currently collating work towards a DPhil interlinking these subject areas.


  • Spine Dissection Workshop

    Ticket for the Spine Dissection Workshop on Saturday 8th December 2018

    Sale ended
  • Head Neck Dissection Workshop

    Ticket for the Head and Neck Dissection Workshop on Sunday 9th December 2018

    Sale ended
  • Limb Dissection Workshop

    Ticket for the Entire Fore and Hind Limb Dissection Workshop on Monday 10th December 2018

    Sale ended
  • All 3 days Dissection Workshop

    Ticket for the Entire Fore and Hind Limb Dissection Workshop on Monday 10th December 2018

    Sale ended



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