Each year the Equitarian Workshop allows veterinarians to head to a symposium where they learn about the needs of working equids around the world.

In January 2018 we head to Costa Rica for this opportunity for hands-on and educational discussions. This workshop is an excellent chance to get to know other Equitarians from around the world, exchange ideas and learn from one another. Veterinarians learn about the nutritional and medical needs of the horses as well as how an Equitarian program can be created and made sustainable. Join us to learn more!

2018 Workshop

Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

The 8th Equitarian Workshop will again be based in the Osa Peninsula in the southwestern part of Costa Rica. This mountainous area is home to the Corcovado National Park, with lush jungle, tropical wildlife, and beautiful beaches. The Workshop is open to veterinarians, veterinary students, veterinary technicians and equine scientists, however, the number of participants is limited, so apply early if you are seriously interested.

Our Vision: A world where every working horse, donkey and mule receives basic health care.

Logistics for Costa Rica Equitarian Workshop 2018


Participants need to arrive in the San Jose airport by midmorning on Saturday, January 6, 2018. Based on flight availability, most participants will arrive the day before, Friday, January 5th. You will be met at the airport. Transportation will be provided to the small inn where the team will spend the night before leaving for Puerto Jimenez. Room sharing should be expected. Travel from San Jose to the Osa Peninsula will be via a chartered bus. Any wishing to forego the 6 hour bus ride can pay to fly down in a small plane, which usually costs ~$250 dollars roundtrip. A brief orientation will be held Saturday evening on arrival.


The small town of Puerto Jimenez will be home base. Lodging will be dormitory style in a large house, with many sleeping on the outside deck under mosquito nets. Some internet access is expected. Meals will also be very simple and prepared by local cooks. Vegetarian accommodations are planned.


The first day in Puerto Jimenez will be spent in the classroom, providing the beginning of the knowledge base and perspective needed for effective work in the rural communities. The instructors are leaders of Equitarian projects and have many years of experience in equine practice for the underserved. Two days of community service will be followed by a second classroom day with a more in-depth curriculum, followed by two more community service days. Informal case discussions will occur in the evening. The four communities with working horses, donkeys and mules are within an hour’s drive of Puerto Jimenez. Travel to the communities is by local cattle truck, as the farmers have offered to transport us, our equipment, and supplies. The final morning will cover a discussion of questions related to the experiences and cases during the workshop plus suggestions for the next Workshop.

Additional Info

Participants should expect to work hard in tropical conditions, and live very simply as do the local people. There will likely be a little down time with the opportunity to swim at local beaches or waterfall. On Saturday, January 23th, Workshop participants will return to the San Jose airport in the early afternoon. Depending on weather and destination, flights leaving Saturday evening may be feasible, however, it is safer to plan to stay over Saturday night and leave on Sunday. Of course, there are many Registration Form for the 8th Equitarian Workshop Saturday, January 6, 2018 – Saturday, January 13, 2018 beautiful places to see throughout Costa Rica, so consider some vacation time before or after the Workshop.

Continuing Ed & Cost

Continuing education credit approval will be sought from RACE. The preceding three workshops were RACE approved for over 30 CE credits. Individual state CE approval is an option as well. The registration fee of $850 includes all workshop meals, lodging, and transportation during the workshop. NOT included are alcoholic beverages and mandatory evacuation insurance (~$30 depending on choice of policy).

Please contact Dr. Julie Wilson for more details or if you have any questions: info@equitarianinitiative.org.

Second Opportunity

Dr. Neil Gray will be leading an auxiliary week-long Equitarian project after the Workshop in another area of Costa Rica in conjunction with Costa Rica Equine Welfare. Workshop participants who are interested in an additional week of Equitarian work should contact Dr. Gray: neil@ngraydvm.com for details and estimated costs. This project will also consider veterinarians that are unable to attend the Workshop.

Direct Aid

Through hands-on learning and discussion at the Equitarian Workshop and Equitarian projects throughout many parts of the world, veterinarians are empowered and mentored to join and start health care delivery and education projects.


Equitarian Initiative and individual volunteer veterinarians maintain project success by partnering with local veterinarians, veterinary colleges and charities that share our vision.


An emphasis on community partnership creates a two-way educational discussion in which working equid caretakers communicate the value of the animals and volunteers share best methods of animal care.


We increase public awareness of the vital role working equids play in developing economies and the critical support they provide for the livelihood of the families that depend on them.

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