Getting Started

Hi everyone! So I guess I’ve been behind the ball on getting this thing started so I have a lot to fill you in on. Since this is my first blog I will introduce myself first. My name is Taryn Yates and I am doing research in Edinburgh, Scotland at the Royal “Dick” School of Veterinary Studies. I am working with an equine cardiologist, Dr. Karen Blissitt, on a retrospective echocardiographic study of left atrial size in horses. The first week at work started out pretty slow, mostly reading articles to get a good background on the topic and then working with the measuring equipment and learning the basics.

Friday I had a really good meeting with Dr. Blissitt and Dr. Keen (the other vet helping me on the project), and we worked out the methods and variables to consider in the project. I am pretty excited about it! This last week I had the awesome opportunity to go to Newmarket, England with Dr. Blissitt while she taught two cardiology extended learning courses. I had the opportunity to spend the first two days there listening to racehorses with different cardiac pathologies and helping ultrasound the horses for the course. It was a great chance to learn more background for my project and listen to horses with murmurs. My project is focusing on mitral valve disease and left atrial size so being able to listen and scan horses with mitral valve problems was a huge helping me understand the variables used in the project.

The other fun part of going to Newmarket was that the entire town was centered on racing, which is perfect for any horse fanatic like myself!  I stayed at the British Racing School where they train new jockeys and got to watch some of their training.  It was really fun, and a bit crazy since they are putting 16 year olds (many haven’t ridden before) on ex-racehorses and teaching them to exercise ride.  I just gotta say that they are some brave trainers.  But the town itself is awesome because there are horse crossings about every 100 yards and every half hour or so a new group heads to the gallops and all traffic has to stop while about 50 thoroughbreds cross the main roads in town.  It is quite a site.

I have been working on choosing the horses to be used in the study and on Monday I will begin my measuring.  I have a lot to get through this summer but I feel like it is going to be a worthwhile project and the measurements will be useful to vets in the future!  Check in with you all again soon!


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