Learn to Choose and Care For a Horse
- A course for the new equine student or new horse owner
- Learn to keep a horse mostly in a grazing paddock
- Start anytime; study at your own pace.
Comment from one of our Horse Care students:
"I learnt many new skills that are easily applied to day to day runnings" A. Green
There are seven lessons as follows:
1. Horse psychology and handling
- The early horse
- Survival mechanisms of the early horse
- The modern horse - behaviour and memory
- Using psychology to handle horses
- Catching and leading horses
- Fitting the bridle and saddle
- Tying up a horse
- Safety rules
2. Buying a horse
- Weight carrying ability
- Equine dentition and aging
- Glossary of terms
- Dentition diagrams and detailed explanation
- Colour and markings
- The shape of the skeleton
- Body proportions and parts
- Conformation problems
- How to describe confirmation
4. The digestive system and principles of feeding and watering
- The digestive System
- The alimentary canal
- The Stomach
- The small intestine
- The large intestine
- Absorption of food
- Groups of food nutrients
- The composition of some common horse feeds
- The principles of watering
- The principles of feeding
- Feeding concentrates and roughage
- Feeding groups of horses at one time
5. The grass kept horse and pasture management
- Advantages and disadvantages of working off grass
- Paddock size and minimum area needed
- Types of fencing
- The water supply
- Fodder trees
- General management of the grass-kept horse
- Management in summer
- Management in winter
- Grooming the grass-kept horse
- Conservation of the land
- Keeping horses at grass on small areas
- Roughing off and turning a horse out
- The skin - epidermis, dermis, the coat
- How the skin regulates body temperature
- Reasons for grooming
- Grooming tools
- Grooming techniques - strapping, sponging, brushing
- Using a stable rubber, dealing with stable stains on grey coats
- Oiling the feet
- Setting Fair/Brushing off
- Washing the mane and tail
- Washing the sheath
- Shampooing the horse
7. Industry Applications
- Writing resumes - employment readiness
- Competition horses (overview) - event horse, dressage horse, show jumper, endurance
- Educating Horses
- Farm planning
- Short term operations
- Farm business structures
- Quality management systems
- Whole farm planning
- Preparing a farm business
- Managing risk
- Sensitivity analysis
- Financial management
- Record keeping
- Finance sources
- Setting up a small business
SUMMARY OF COMPETENCIES DEVELOPED
- Differentiate between the different procedures used for the handling of horses.
- Describe the procedures for the buying and selling of horses.
- Develop a program for the evaluation of the conformation of horses on a property/facility.
- Analyse the digestive system, including structure and function, of horses.
- Develop appropriate procedures to manage a horse at grass.
- Explain the methods used to prepare horses for specific uses, including their grooming for different tasks.
- Explain commercial opportunities available in the horse industry.
WHAT THE COURSE COVERS
Here are just some of the things you will be doing:
- Describe different psychological traits of a horse including: herd instinct, memory, fright.
- Explain how an understanding of horse psychology can assist with handling a horse.
- Compare three different methods of breaking in a horse.
- Demonstrate how to put on different pieces of tack including: a head stall, a bridle, a saddle.
- Demonstrate how to lead a horse.
- Demonstrate how to ride a horse.
- Develop a list of safety rules for handling horses in a specified situation.
- Compare the differences in the way two different horse owners handle their horses, at the same horse show or competition.
- Describe the different ways of trading (ie. buying or selling) horses in your locality.
- Develop a checklist of factors to consider when buying a horse for a specified type of use.
- Compare five different advertisements for the sale of horses of a similar type, to determine which of the five appears to be the best value, and listing the reasons why it appears good value.
- Evaluate the features of a horse being offered for sale in your locality, to determine the value of that horse.
- Label an unlabeled diagram of the parts of a horses body.
- Define the different conformation terminology, including: girth, body proportions, leg settings, conformation, bone.
- Describe the preferred features of the parts of a horses body referred to in earlier points.
- Compare the conformation of two different breeds of horses, based upon a physical inspection of a horse from each breed.
- Compare procedures used to evaluate the conformation of horses at two different properties/facilities.
- Label the parts on an unlabeled diagram of the digestive system of horses.
- Explain the function of different components in a horses diet.
- Explain how the watering of a horse, as observed by you, on a specific property is likely to affect that horses digestive processes.
- Evaluate the digestive processes involved in the digestion of three different horse feeds analysed by you.
- Differentiate between the digestive processes in three different types of horses, including:
very active horses, horses being rested.
- Compare the advantages with the disadvantages of keeping a horse at grass.
- Recommend paddock facilities, in your locality, which are appropriate for horses kept at grass.
- Prepare a description, and use illustrations where appropriate, of the facilities you recommended.
- Differentiate between the requirements of a specified horse kept at grass, at different times of the year, in your locality.
- Develop guidelines for managing a specific horse at grass, on a property visited and investigated by you.
- Explain three different husbandry tasks which are essential to the management of the horse investigated by you.
- List the different reasons for grooming horses.
- Describe how to use different items of grooming equipment.
- Write a procedure for washing a horse, in a specified situation.
- Compare how to groom horses for different situations, including: dressage, pony club competition, exhibitions, stock work.
- List the different applications for horses in modern society.
- List the resources available for different sectors of the horse industry in your locality, including: racing, breeding, competitions, recreational riding.
- Determine the minimum facilities required to establish three different specified businesses in the horse industry, including; a riding school, a stock agent, another horse business.
- Evaluate the financial viability of four different sectors of the horse industry.
- Evaluate the potential of two different specified horse enterprises in your locality.
The Best Horse is Physically Sound and Well Cared For
SKELETAL and MUSCULAR SYSTEMS
Like the human skeleton, the horse’s skeleton has three major functions. The skeleton provides protection for major organs, it supports soft tissues and soft parts of the body. It provides a framework for the attachment of muscles. Horses have 205 bones which are divided into two parts referred to as the appendicular and axial skeleton. The appendicular skeleton is the limbs (legs) and the axial skeleton is the skull, vetebrae, ribs and sternum.
If interested in exercise science, foaling and breeding, veterinary science or chiropractic and massage therapy for horses, then deep knowledge of the skeleton and joints is required.
The muscular system attaches to the skeleton system through a number of tendons. A broad thin sheet of muscles lie directly under the skin covering the neck, abdomen and chest. This muscular sheet is attached to the skin through fibrous tissue. The muscles of the neck, back and loin are found tightly position against the underside of the spine. movement of the horse is controlled by the contraction and relaxation of certain muscles and muscle groups. An example of this is the forward extension of the neck which is controlled by the muscles which extend between the poll and withers and the small muscles which connect certain vertebrae.
Again, if you need to deepen your understanding of the anatomy of horses for hobby or professional purposes, you will find innumerable resources on this subject matter.
The cardiovascular system, made up of the heart, blood and blood vessels, and the respiratory system, trachea and lungs, work to together to supply oxygen and nutrients to the tissues and organs of the horse. We can say the lungs (found within the chest cavity) are responsible for respiration and blood subsequently delivers the oxygen to the cells and tissues of the body. We call breathing respiration. The act of drawing air into the lungs is called inspiration and the forced push of air out of the lungs is called is called expiration.
Adult horse: 30-40 beats per minute (resting rate).
Nursing foal: 70-90 beats per minute (resting rate).
Exercise improves overall fitness. As blood volume increases, circulation improves and the heart pumps more blood with less effort. This means overall the volume of oxygen that is delivered to cells each minute increases. During exercise, as the breathing rate increases, several muscles are used to increase the chest cavity and allow for fuller expansion of the lungs.
Healthy breathing and cardiovascular health is demonstrated by quiet, relaxed breathing with no anomalous coughs or sneezes. Also a consistent rhythmic heart beat should be heard. Clean and clear nostrils are also a good sign. Breathing problems on the other hand could be seen through irregular, increased or laboured breathing; reduced ability to cope with periods of exercise and longer recovery times after exercise.
Learn to manage the daily requirements of a horse at grass.
This course is an introductory study for students, horse owners or anyone working in the equine industry who has not previously undertaken formal studies.
It aims to develop:
- The ability to handle horses using a range of different procedures
- Skills to evaluate a horses conformation
- An understanding of diet
- Knowledge of grooming procedures
- An ability to develop appropriate management procedures
- Knowledge of commercial opportunities, including trading horses.