Develop Your Equine Management Skills With This 600-hour Program
Learn how to care for the horses, the owners and visitors, and the land and facilities. Learn how to confidently run the operations for a profitable business.
Reduce risks associated with this industry by being fully trained in aspects of equine property management.
Course Duration: 100 hours
Six modules, including compulsory and elective subjects.There are four compulsory modules, which need to be studied in order starting with Horse Care I, then moving to Horse Care II, then III and finally a course on managing pastures.&;
The final part of the course then involves two further modules chosen from a range of options that may be relevant to managing an equine property.
Select two of the following:
Ready to get started? Click on the orange enrol now button.
Have questions? Click here to email our course counsellors.
How To Manage Stable Vices
The majority of stable vices are the direct result of boredom or stress caused by long periods of confinement. The horse is by nature a wanderer and this confinement is both unnatural and stressful. Stable vices can take many forms but the most common are:
Crib-biters take hold of an object such as the stable, feed manger or partition with their teeth and chew or pull at the object usually for long periods of time.
This causes damage to the teeth and can mean they are ingesting harmful material such as wood splinters. It is caused by drastic negative events resulting in an emotional build up, over excitement through deprivation, frustration or conflict. It is best prevented with appropriate management, feeding and handling.
Prevention of crib-biting can be achieved through:
- Painting the stable doors or mangers with an anti-chew paste such as crib box.
- Fitting all potential cribbing surfaces with wide metal strips which do not allow the horse to get his mouth round or putting electric fencing on paddock rails.
Wind sucking is when the horse takes hold of an object in the stable and gulps in air. This is a very serious vice which must be declared if the horse is being sold. The swallowing of air can cause colic and loss of condition.
Prevention is generally by the use of a collar which stops the horse from arching its neck sufficiently to be able to gulp in the air.
A horse that weaves will sway or rock from side to side transferring his body weight from one front leg to the other. This is a serious vice and again must be declared if the horse is being sold. Horses that weave put extra stress and strain on their front limb joints and lose condition.
Between 1 and 10% of all horses weave (depending on breed, management and use).
The extent of weaving can vary greatly also. At one end of the scale a horse may exhibit as few as 3 or 4 weaving periods each day; while others might exhibit up to 15. The duration may be as short as 15 mins but in extreme cases a weaving period can last almost 5 hours.
Weaving is commonly caused by traumas (e.g. Studies have shown weaving occurs following traumatic events such as weaning, at the start of training, upon change of ownership, etc). It is not triggered by boredom. It is triggered by heightened stimulation (e.g. anxiety, excitement). In situations where feeding is at set times each day, for instance, as the horses anticipation rises, weaving can occur 1-2 hours prior to feeding. If weaving persists it can become a conditioned response that is difficult to eliminate.
Weaving is best treated by reducing the source of agitation. Horses may often weave when kept in a stable, but the weaving can decrease or disappear when they are put in a paddock. Extending feeding times, social contact and exercise opportunities are all positive moves toward treating weaving.
Anti-weave grills can be fitted to stables or plastic bottles can be hung either side of the doorway to discourage the side to side movement and give the horse something else to think about.
Because of boredom, nervousness or stress, the horse paces round and round the box digging up the bedding and working itself into a sweat. This can also be seen with horses that are turned out in a paddock when they pace up and down the fence line.
The horse chews or tears rugs and bandages because they are irritating his skin or because he is bored. In extreme cases this can escalate to self mutilation where the horse will physically bite itself until it breaks the skin.
Manure eating is normal in nursing foals up to about eight weeks of age and may have dietary significance. In adult horses, this behaviour can be caused by boredom or a craving for minerals. Manure eating is primarily seen in horses with insufficient access to chew-able roughage. Sometimes it may also be related to parasite problems. The latter is usually accompanied by other signs such as weight loss and other signs of ill-health. Manure eating increases the risk of parasite infestations.
Failure to lie down
This is classified as a symptomatic behavioural aberration. Horses generally rest in a standing position and it is quite normal for them to spend very little time lying down. A refusal to lie down can also be the result of a feeling of insecurity, perhaps due to a new environment perhaps following a move to a new barn or from an isolated situation to a group situation.
More serious causes may include an underlying disease such as degenerative joint diseases or back problems, which may make the lying position painful for the horse. In this instance, appropriate medical therapy should be sought.
Biting and snapping
This may vary from a harmless pulling of faces to the more dangerous habit of lunging at people from the back of the box or over the stable door with bared teeth. It is often caused by mismanagement of the young horse when they may nip playfully and are not reprimanded.