How to recognise and manage the autumnal transition out of the breeding season

Horses have always been a big part of Erin Oberhaus’ life. Raised on a farm in southeast Missouri, she grew up in a family that participated in barrel racing. Today, she is an assistant professor in the LSU AgCenter School of Animal Sciences.

But Oberhaus didn’t initially plan on having a career related to horses. After completing a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness at Southeast Missouri State University, she decided to take a different path. She pursued a master’s degree at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and a doctorate at LSU, both in animal science.

“Both my master’s and Ph.D. work involved equine reproduction,” Oberhaus said. “I loved every aspect of it, from breeding the animal to then gestation, parturition and foal care.”

As a student at LSU, Oberhaus worked with AgCenter equine physiologist Don Thompson, who recently retired. Oberhaus, who joined the faculty of the School of Animal Sciences in 2017, now oversees the reproductive physiology lab that Thompson once ran.

“That’s been a very exciting and rewarding opportunity for me to follow in his footsteps while making some of my own,” she said.

Oberhaus’ research focuses on altering horses’ reproductive cycle to be able to breed the animals earlier in the year. The horse racing industry prefers horses to be born as early in the year as possible. An animal with an earlier birthdate has a competitive advantage over one born later in the same year.


24 minutes




The Estrous Cycle

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