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 2020 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!

2020 Workshop

Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

The 10th 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, farriers and equine scientists. We are pleased to share that the workshop has filled to capacity in recent years.

We strongly encourage participation in workshop as a lead-in to join us on other EI programs and projects. 

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

Logistics for Costa Rica Equitarian Workshop 2020


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.


Participants should plan to arrive in San Jose, Costa Rica on Friday, January 17th. 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.

On the morning of January 25th, participants will take the bus (or flight) back to San Jose where lodging will again be provided. Unless remaining in-country independently, flights home should be scheduled for Sunday, January 27th. An airport shuttle will be provided.


The small town of Puerto Jimenez will be home base. Lodging is arranged
and provided by the Equitarian Initiative. Participants should expect close quarters and shared spaces. Internet access is unknown. Meals will also be very simple and prepared by local cooks and include dietary accommodations as indicated in the application.

Additional Info

Participants should expect to work hard, both physically and mentally in tropical conditions, and live very simply, as do the local people. The climate is generally hot and humid in the Osa region and work and is at an accelerated pace. There will likely be a little down time with theopportunity  to swim at local beaches or waterfall at least one day during the program. Of course, there are many 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 four workshops were RACE approved for over 30 CE credits. Individual state CE approval is an option as well.
The registration fee of $1200 includes all workshop meals, lodging, and transportation. NOT included are alcoholic beverages and mandatory evacuation insurance (~$30 depending on choice of policy).
A deposit of $300 is required to have your application considered. Space is limited so if you are not selected for the 2020 workshop, your deposit will be returned in full. If you are selected for the trip and choose not to attend, you must notify us by December 15 th , 2019 to receive a full refund.
Applications will be accepted until November 1 st , 2019. Selected participants will be notified no later than November 15 th , 2019 4 th year students and new grads (up to five years post-graduation) are welcome to apply!
*Student scholarship opportunities are currently pending*

Applications will be accepted until November 1st , 2019. Selected participants will be notified no later than November 15th , 2019. 4th year students and new grads (up to five years post-graduation) are welcome to apply!

There are 4 scholarships available from the AAEP Foundation for 4th year students and new grads up to 5 years out. More details and supplemental application coming soon. Please fill out general application first.

Additional Opportunity
This year, we are offering an opportunity to extend your stay!
Dr. Neil Gray will be leading an auxiliary week-long Equitarian project directly following the Workshop in another region 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.

Please contact Dr. Cassie Torhorst Wallor for more details or if you have any questions: drcassie@uwalumni.com

2020 Workshop Applications are Closed!

Equitarian Initiative Workshop Scholarships

Deadline is November 7th, 2019

Applications are now open for Equitarian Initiative Workshop Scholarships supported by the American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation. Each scholarship will be a total of $1500.00. This will cover the cost of the workshop along with $300.00 toward airfare. To qualify, applicants must be either a senior veterinary student from an AVMA-accredited veterinary college or a veterinarian who graduated from an AVMA-accredited veterinary college within five years from the start of the Workshop.  Housing, meals and transportation within Costa Rica during the Workshop will be covered as part of registration.


Two Delta Equine Seminar scholarships will also be offered. The same qualifications apply plus applicants should be Canadian or associated with the Delta Equine seminar. The amount of each will be $2050.


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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