You are here

Introducing Maple Stirrup!

Ontario Veterinary College DVM students work with a new high-tech horse modelA new high-tech horse model at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) now has a new name – Maple Stirrup.

An online contest to name the new equine model garnered more than 100 entries from OVC Doctor of Veterinary Medicine students. The winning entry was selected in an open online vote. Congratulations to Deborah Stanton, Class of OVC 2022, for this creative, winning entry! 

The life-like horse model, donated by the Equine Foundation of Canada (EFC), enhances student veterinarian hands-on learning, allowing DVM students to practice clinical skills at their own pace before working with live mares. 

Student veterinarians have embraced learning with the model since it was incorporated into the DVM curriculum in the fall 2018 semester. The detailed model, produced by Canada’s Veterinary Simulator Industries, allows them to practice clinical and technical skills, vital to improving confidence and competence. 

“Students appreciate the chance to learn on the model first,” says Dr. Tracey Chenier, a theriogenologist and professor in OVC’s Department of Population Medicine. “They are able to watch a clinician palpate to see how it is done by viewing through the model’s opening, and then are able to figure out where to find the uterus and ovaries and experience what they will feel in the model, before going to the live mare.” 

In addition to the anatomically correct reproductive tract with ovaries and a uterus, the advanced model includes the spleen, kidneys and digestive tract so students can palpate for normal and colic conditions. 

Special material built into areas of the neck allow students to practice intramuscular injections. They can also practice venipuncture on jugular vein models that can be filled with imitation blood. 

Fourth year student veterinarian Amanda Avison values the hands-on learning opportunities the model horse offers. “These are so important for us to practice essential veterinary skills like rectal palpation of abdominal organs. The model provides us the ability to watch how faculty and other students position their hands and the motions they use to ensure that we are learning a safe and effective way to palpate.”

For second-year student veterinarian Taylor Hull the model provided an opportunity to learn what the structures of the female horse feel and look like. “In real life, identifying structures with your hand is crucial to examining the reproductive tract,” says Hull. “Being able to see what I was feeling really helped me to be more confident once I started palpating live mares.”

The EFC has been rotating funding proposals annually among the five veterinary colleges in Canada and the Ontario Veterinary College was the beneficiary in 2018. 

The Equine Foundation of Canada is an outgrowth of the Canadian Morgan Horse Association (CMHA), founded in 1960. In 1983, the Association expanded its interest to concern for the welfare of all horse breeds and created the Foundation to assist in safeguarding their future. 

See the model on OVC Instagram, Facebook and Twitter