Horse Riding Arena instead of Lecture Halls

Open Day at Freie Universität’s Department of Veterinary Medicine in the Equine Center in Bad Saarow on Saturday, June 27, 2015.

This year’s Open Day of the Department of Veterinary Medicine at Freie Universität Berlin is all about horses. For the first time the Equine Center in Bad Saarow is inviting visitors to explore this new institution that opened in 2014 and is unique in Europe. Veterinarians, members of the staff, and students of equine science and veterinary medicine will be available to give adults and children an insight into their work and their studies. There will be numerous information and activity stands, demonstrations in the riding arena, and conversations with experts. Visitors will be able to learn more about topics such as species-appropriate horse training, breeding, and reproductive health of horses, as well as the anatomy of the horse. For children there will be a rally contest, horseshoe throwing games, pony rides, and a naming ceremony for the foals that were born this year. The event is public, and admission is free.

Using electrocardiogram (ECG) and stress endoscopy, the Equine Clinic and the Institute of Veterinary Physiology will show the resilience of the cardiovascular system of horses. Experts will present anatomical specimens and inform visitors about animal nutrition, animal welfare, animal behavior, and biochemistry. Students, apprentices, and lecturers will describe the degree programs in veterinary medicine and equine science as well as apprenticeships at Freie Universität related to animals. Partners of the university such as the Leibnitz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research will provide information about wolves, lynxes, raptors, and bees. Food and drinks can be purchased at a student café, a barbecue and concession stand, and the Finsterwalder Brauhaus.

The Equine Center in Bad Saarow was opened in 2014. It is the only institution in Europe that offers training in species-appropriate handling of horses, training in dealing with difficult horses, training young horses for riding, and reproductive medicine and horse breeding all in one place. The director of the Equine Center is Johannes Handler, a professor at Freie Universität Berlin specialized in reproductive medicine and imaging techniques in the horse. The 13-hectare site with state-of-the-art facilities geared to the welfare of the animals includes a 1600 square-meter indoor riding arena, outdoor jumping arena, and round pen as well as an area for boarding horses.


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