Learn the essentials of caring for horses
with this 20 hour Horse Care Course
As wonderful and rewarding horse ownership can be, it takes immense
amounts of time and dedication – owners should prepare to spend more
time caring for their horse than actually riding it. Horse care involves
a sequence of repetitive tasks including feeding and watering; grooming
and the provision of health care; cleaning of their living environment
and equipment and of course, exercise.
Not only does this course cover 10 lessons about horse care
essentials, you will also have the opportunity to test your learning
along the way with our self guided tests. There is also ample
opportunity to research many more aspects of the course topics, giving
you a thorough learning experience.
Upon completing the
very last lesson, you will be offered a more thorough automated test or
examination. This final assessment can be undertaken at any time of the day; and any day of the week; and if you achieve an overall pass;
you will be able to obtain a "certificate of completion" with your name
and completion date on it.
This course covers the following lessons:
Lesson 1: BREEDS AND IDENTIFICATION
Lesson 2: ANATOMY, PHYSIOLOGY AND MOVEMENT
- External Points of the Horse
- Skeletal & Muscular Systems
- Cardiovascular System
Lesson 3: DIGESTIVE SYSTEM AND FEEDING
- Overview of Digestive System
- Feeding Routines and Procedures
Lesson 4: HORSE HANDLING
- Basic Horse Psychology, Temperament and Behaviour
- Safe Handling
- Vices and Problem Behavior
Lesson 5: HEALTH MANAGEMENT
- Introduction to Horse Health
- Internal Parasites
- Skin Conditions
- Equine Colic
- Contagious Respiratory Conditions – Viruses, Bacteria, Parasites
- Non-Contagious Respiratory Conditions
- Preventative Health Care Programs
Lesson 6: SHOEING THE HORSE
- Why do horses need shoes?
- Types of shoes
- Steps in shoeing the horse
- Accidents associated with shoeing
- General Foot Care
Lesson 7: CARE OF THE HORSE AT GRASS
- Grazing Requirements
- Grazing Management
Lesson 8: CARE OF THE STABLED HORSE
- Stabling Facilities
- Stable Yard Safety
- Bedding & Mucking Out
- Feeding & Watering Overview
Lesson 9: SADDLERY & EQUIPMENT
- Ancillary Equipment
Lesson 10: THE EQUINE INDUSTRY
- What Do People Do With Horses?
- Buying & Selling a Horse – Scope of the Industry
- Common Equine Careers
Learn How to Handle a Horse
The way you should handle a horse is different for every animal; however there are some general rules to learn and follow. The sex and age of a horse can have a big impact upon how you might handle it; as does it's experiences throughout life before you are dealing with it.
Mature male horses are in many ways likely to be the most difficult to handle.
Stallions used for mating purposes are, for many months of the year, left in the paddock with very little human contact and interaction. When breeding season comes it is therefore not fair to expect the stallion to adjust to being on lead or shank for 8 hours every day. It is a worthwhile investment to work with the stallion throughout the year – leading him around the paddock or yard and grooming him can help to develop the manners of the stallion. This in turn can make for an easier time when it comes to handling him during the breeding season.
Grooming and washing of the colt is important. One of the most important priorities is to get colts used to being washed. Washing the sheath is something stallions are uncomfortable with, therefore the colt should become accustomed to being washed and handled and this will make the job for handlers in his later breeding life somewhat less troublesome.
Psychological problems and the associated undesirable behaviours are often to do with the common practice of isolating them. Biting behaviours along with striking are the most common physical behaviours displayed by stallions, therefore there is often a “Look – Do not touch” mentality which further exacerbates the isolation linked behaviour and the negative cycle continues or can get worse.
Training a young stallion is necessary for him to have a successful breeding career. The training often requires the stallion being trained to mount a phantom. Inexperienced stallions will not mount a phantom. To encourage the young stallion to mount the phantom, the phantom needs to sprinkled or sprayed with urine from the estrous mare.
Also in training, the stallion needs to adjust to being handled and be well-behaved. They need to be cleaned and they need to be used to being around mares and still being well behaved. A stallion should be able to be lead away from the mare. Training is not designed to reduce or prevent natural courtship behaviour.
Steps in training a novice stallion onto the phantom
- As in any training program it is important to establish some rules and carry out some basic ground work. The stallion should be willing and able to follow simple commands such as walking forward and backward. Also a basic stand is necessary.
- Again, along with the rules comes an acceptance of the breeding environment for the stallion. He will need to become familiar and comfortable with the environment and should be allowed to walk around the breeding room or yard, sniffing the phantom and the tease rail (if these exist). During this time some ground work commands can be given again.
- At this stage the tease mare can be introduced. She should be a quiet and experienced mare unlikely to respond to the excitement or aggression from the novice stallion. Sometimes finding a quiet tease mare is not always possible and so using the appropriate equipment e.g. a strong halter, hobbles, twitch or kicking boots may be needed. The tease mare should be kept behind the foam padded barrier. Ensure it is foam padded to help reduce incidences of injury if the stallion should attempt to strike out at or mount the barrier.
- Once the stallion has achieved an erection, he should be washed. It is vital the washer maintains a physical contact with the stallion’s barrel using the left shoulder or upper arm, whilst holding the shaft of the penis in the left hand. This allows the right hand to carefully wash the shaft with a cotton cloth. At this point the stallion should be able to maintain his erection however the washer should have a can-do attitude and the stallion will become more accustomed to this type of handling.
- In the final step after washing is to allow the stallion to approach the tease mare. The phantom should be positioned close to the tease mare, with her standing at a right angle to the phantom, her hind quarters as close to the end of phantom as possible. The stallion may mount quickly or it may take many several attempts at this entire process until he mounts the phantom.
One of the most important things in training the young stallion is the capability and attitude of the team handling him. Having the right attitude is important. Also confidence is important for dealing with both the stallion and the tease mare if she is being used. A training session like the one described above may last for approximately 30 minutes. Young stallions should go through this training 3-4 times per day in the beginning until they successfully mount the phantom.
WHAT WILL YOU GET FROM THIS COURSE?
At the end of this course you will learn how to handle a horse, saddlery, different breeds, how to feed horses and watering; grooming
and the provision of health care; cleaning of their living environment
and equipment, exercise; horse shoeing, hygiene and more.