Equine dummy models for training of handling techniques

Scope of the method

The Method relates to
  • Animal health
The Method is situated in
  • Education and training
Type of method
  • Other


Method keywords
  • veterinary medicine
  • dummy
  • skillslab training
  • Animal handling
  • horse
Scientific area keywords
  • Veterinary education
  • clinical training
Method description

In the skillslab, dummy models and simulators are used for teaching various clinical skills. The veterinarians in training need to learn how to handle horses in a correct and safe way. Although training on living animals is indispensable, a part of the training process can be performed on equine dummy models in the skillslab.

Lab equipment
  • ° Home-made low fidelity models: nose twitch model
  • ° Commercial high-fidelity models (koeierij.nl; https://www.vetsimulators.com; foal: Melissa and Doug)
Method status
  • Still in development
  • History of use
  • Internally validated

Pros, cons & Future potential


The use of educational animal models in a skillslab offers a number of significant advantages:

  • → Reduced use of laboratory animals and reduced discomfort for patients, as procedures can be practised on dummy models and simulators before performing them on a live animal.
  • → Teaching of clinical skills in a quiet and safe environment, reducing anxiety and stress for the veterinary student.
  • → Complex practical skills can be split into a number of small steps when practising them in the skillslab.

High cost of models, clinical training on live animals needed as well.


Further optimalisation of home-made models and purchasing available commercial models. Virtual/augmented reality can be added.

Future & Other applications

Training for canine lab animal examination.

References, associated documents and other information

Associated documents

Contact person

Annelies Decloedt


Ghent University (UGent)
Veterinary skillslab
Flemish Region