COVID-19 Update: Our externship application process has been revised. Please see the details below. An externship will not be a prerequisite for internship application but is strongly encouraged if travel restrictions allow. We are able to accommodate a limited number of externs at this time. Please reach out via [email protected] if you would like to receive more information about our program.

Contact Person: Gus A. Abuja DVM,  DACVS

E-mail address: [email protected]

Type of Practice

Equine exclusive, full- service referral hospital and ambulatory practice.

Number of Externs Per Week

Up to 3

Duration of Externship

1-4 weeks

Our program runs Sunday (arriving after 12 noon) to Sunday (departing by 12 noon).


2 Board-certified Surgeons, Board-certified Internal Medicine specialist, Board-certified Theriogenologist, consulting Board-certified Ophthalmologist, 6 General Practitioners, 4 Interns, 6 Veterinary Technicians, 7 Veterinary Assistants, 4 Barn Staff/Attendants (full-time), 3 Barn Staff/Attendants (part-time), 8 Office Staff.


State-of-the-art hospital. Facilities include: two large treatment/outpatient examination areas, spacious operating room with overhead hoist/monorail system, 19 stalls including divided mare and foal stalls, 4 isolation stalls, including a stall for neurologic cases with a sling,  diagnostic imaging suite, full-service in-house laboratory, extensive pharmacy, and capability for all regenerative medicine modalities. Equipment includes: 300 mA radiology system, digital radiography, Nuclear scintigraphy,    video endoscopy and gastroscopy, complete ASIF (Synthes®) orthopedic instrumentation and implants, videoarthroscopy and laparoscopy with the full array of accessories/instruments, Nd:YAG surgical laser, Ligasure® system, focused HMT® extracorporeal shock wave unit, arthoplasty equipment, telemetry, tonometry, and multiple ultrasound units.

Case Load

Ambulatory Case Load

Approximately one third of the ambulatory caseload is derived from the Thoroughbred industry and includes everything from breeding management and neonatal care to horses in training.  We also service several Standardbred operations. 

Another third of the ambulatory caseload is composed of high-caliber show/sport horses of various breeds to whom we provide lameness work-ups and prepurchase examinations, as well as a wide range of treatment modalities for the diagnosed conditions. The remainder of the caseload is composed of pleasure horses. Complete wellness services are provided and several practitioners have advanced training in dentistry. 

Hospital Caseload

The hospital caseload is derived from patients within our practice as well as referral cases and is comprised of about 85% in-patients and 15% outpatients. Of the inpatients, 50-60% are elective, and 40-50% are emergencies. The emergency caseload consists primarily of colics, but also frequently includes neonates, dystocias, wounds/ lacerations, synovial infections, and fractures. Typically we perform 5-15 elective surgeries and 3-8 emergency surgeries weekly. Of the elective surgical cases, approximately 50% are orthopedic, 25% are soft tissue, and 25% are respiratory/other. 

The medicine case load includes a full spectrum of cases seen both in the field and the hospital, with a concentration on neonatology in the spring. Elective medicine cases often include respiratory evaluations, gastroscopy, ultrasonography, and echocardiography.

We offer comprehensive reproductive services for all horse breeders. The varied caseload ranges from basic breeding management to evaluation of the problem mare. In addition to breeding management, mares can be enrolled in our high-risk pregnancy program and a variety of reproductive surgeries are performed at the clinic.

Our consulting ophthalmologist is available approximately once a month to perform complete evaluations and provide advanced medical and surgical treatments.

Philosophy and Goals of the Externship

The goal of the externship is to provide veterinary students with aspirations for a career in equine medicine and surgery an opportunity for an in depth clinical experience in a private referral hospital. The practice is committed to providing the extern with a rewarding clinical educational experience. The scope and depth of any hands-on experience will vary with the maturity, aptitude, clinical skills, and “common sense” of each extern. The extern’s primary responsibilities will involve assisting the interns, specialists, and technicians with the evaluation, management, and care of hospital patients, as well as participating in surgery and anesthesia for cases that require it. Externs may have the opportunity to assist with surgical procedures and anesthesia. The externs are also responsible for assisting with the administration of treatments, application of bandages, and performing other tasks in the hospital. While accompanying ambulatory clinicians, the externs will become familiar with ambulatory emergencies, routine health care, theriogenology, and lameness evaluations. The externship also provides an excellent opportunity for a mutual assessment of good fit for an internship.

Emergency Duty Requirements

The extern will be expected to be available to assist the interns, specialists, and ambulatory doctors with all emergencies. When multiple externs are scheduled, emergencies may be seen on a rotating schedule.

Living Quarters

We have accommodations in the clinic building for up to three externs at one time.

Prerequisites of Application

Interested applicants should submit the application form and send a brief letter of intent and CV by e-mail. If you are unable to complete an externship due to COVID restrictions, you may still apply for the internship if you complete a remote interview. All veterinary students are welcome to apply; however, third-year students exploring the possibility of the internship will be given preference. Documentation of liability coverage through the PLIT student program, or equivalent, is required before starting your externship.

Please see our AAEP Avenues ExternshipInternship Listings for further details.


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Office Hours

Ambulatory and hospital emergency service is provided 24 hours a day.

Rhinebeck Equine


8:00 am-5:00 pm


8:00 am-5:00 pm


8:00 am-5:00 pm


8:00 am-5:00 pm


8:00 am-5:00 pm






Read What Our Clients Say

  • "Dr. Sotela is fantastic and has always been incredibly kind and patient with my mare, Mira. In May, Mira had to have surgery at the clinic for a soft tissue sequestrum. Dr Gus and the staff were wonderful to deal with."
    Danielle Meenan Heaney
  • "We love Rhinebeck Equine and their vets and staff. They've been our equine vets for about 30 years and we love working with them."
    Thorunn Kristjansdottir
  • "Amazing facility with awesome staff. My friend had a horse who needed surgery and they were awesome the entire time. We hung out in their waiting room. Staff was friendly and talkative, and let us play with their dog. Dr. Gus is a great surgeon!"
    Hanna Gavel