Gut Health & Colic Prevention – Fall ’18

Nov 12 – Dec 18

3 wks (5-10 hrs/wk)

CE Eligible

  • This course ends on Nov. 30th, 2018; however, students will have access until midnight on Dec. 16, 2018.
Colic is the #1 killer of horses other than old age!

You can prevent colic by:

  • Calculating your Risk
  • Assessing your Management Plan
  • Developing Preventative Strategies

Reduce your Risk with Equine Guelph’s Colic Prevention Program

Designed for individuals that want to reduce the risk of colic in their own horse or horses they care for by increasing their knowledge of risk factors and preventative management strategies.

This course may be of interest for:

  • Anyone who owns are horse, as all domestic horses may be at risk of colic
  • Boarding/leasing or breeding facility
  • New horse owners who are interested in dramatically reducing colic risk for your horse
  • Owners of competitive horses, as the stress and lifestyle can predispose the equine athlete to higher colic risk
  • All youth leaders to encourage best practices for reducing colic through improved management

You will learn to:

  • Identify risks factors associated with colic
  • Understand different types of colic
  • Detect early signs and symptoms of colic
  • Assess your management plan
  • Develop preventative strategies
  • Implement practical ways to reduce your colic risk

Assignment (not graded, but recommended for personal achievement and required for certificate of completion)

Time Commitment:

  • Occurs over a 3-week period
  • 10-15 hour/week time commitment is required during this period
  • No set times to be online each week
  • Recommended you visit the course site at least 5 times a week, preferably once or more each day
  • Course is entirely online, so travel to the University of Guelph is NOT required


  • All materials are provided online within course site


  • 16 years of age or older

For more information, please contact Susan Raymond

Phone: 519 824-4120, ext. 54230

Email: [email protected]

Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of the course, you will receive a Certificate of Completion from Equine Guelph – the horse owner’s Centre at the University of Guelph.

Continuing Education Credits/Professional Development:


One Moon - Krista Cole, Owner

One Moon – Krista Cole, Owner

“This course was very informative and truly interesting. There was a lot of information covered on the subject and it was broken down in sections each day. Was very enjoyable to take.”

Krista Cole, Thoroughbred Trainer
(Krista Cole Racing Stables, Brampton, ON)
Student – Gut Health & Colic Prevention

Palomino Horse“This course provides valuable insight for anyone that has an interest in improving the management of horse health. The take away is that good management saves horse lives and reduces expensive vet calls.”

Jackie (Calgary, AB),
Student – Gut Health & Colic Prevention

“The Gut Health & Colic Prevention course was packed full of relevant and useful information along with practical applications that I can immediately implement with my horses. The Horse Health Tracker App is a very useful take away that I will be using often.”

Donna Elkow-Nash, Owner
Student, Gut Health & Colic Prevention 

Nancy Tamblyn and Kevin Sampson“Thank you for providing this course! My husband is a 3rd generation full-time Standardbred trainer and was pretty much born and raised at the race track. We thought he knew everything there was to know based on the generations of knowledge he had in his head. By the end of the first day of the course, we were already discussing possible new strategies and techniques. By the end of the 3rd week, we realized how little we actually knew and are now implementing many new methods to lessen the chances of colic happening at the track and at the farm. All trainers should be asked to take this course before they can be certified.”

Nancy Tamblyn and Kevin Sampson – Standardbred Owners, Breeders and Grooms
Sampson Standardbreds (Castor, AB)
Students, Gut Health & Colic Prevention

Don Kapper is a highly experienced equine nutritionist. Don graduated from Ohio State University and achieved his credentials as a Professional Animal Scientist from the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists in 1996 and has been a sought-after speaker for equine meetings in both the U.S. and Canada. He was a member of the “Performance Electrolyte Research” team at the University of Guelph and wrote the chapter on “Applied Nutrition” for the authoritative veterinary textbook: “Equine Internal Medicine”, 2nd edition.   Don will be fielding questions in Week Two (Nov 19-23rd).

Mike KingMike King  Since 1998, Mike has been the Principal broker at Intercity Insurance Services Inc. in Aurora, Ontario, a general insurance brokerage with a specialized focus on the equine industry.  In addition to his role at Intercity Insurance, Mike is a Partner in Capri Insurance, a brokerage based in British Columbia.   Mike has been involved in the horse industry for most of his life having participated at one point or another as horse owner, pleasure and competition rider, coach, judge, and facility manager. Today, various insurance programs under his management and oversight serve over 80,000 equine enthusiasts from coast-to-coast.  As a specialist, Mike is regularly invited to speak to groups on topics related to risk management and insurance in the equine industry across Canada.Mike participates as a guest instructor twice a year in the Equine Business Management certificate course at the University of Guelph to share his insights with an International student body and is proud to be a long standing Education Patron at Equine Guelph.  Mike will be fielding questions in Week 3 (Nov 26-30th)

Gut Health & Colic Prevention


Welcome to all caring horse enthusiasts!

Colic is one of the most feared of health conditions for the horse.  Too often it is the cause of death or euthanasia in horses.  It can come on suddenly, and can turn from bad to worse quickly.  It is also one of the top three concerns for horse owners and caretakers from a recent Equine Guelph survey. This course will first introduce you to the workings of the horse’s digestive tract.  It will show you how it all works together to provide the horse with the nutrition it needs for performance, growth and health support.  We will then look at why horses are susceptible to colic by looking at modern management practices.  Learning to prevent colic is our goal.  Step by step, we will work to identify the key risk factors and learn how to make important practical changes in how we manage and care for our horses – we can reduce the incidence of this painful and debilitating health condition.

 Did you know? Research on colic suggests that 80% of colic episodes are linked to our management practices.  In other words, 8 of the last 10 colic episodes may have been caused by their caretakers!  Can we learn to prevent colic by changing our management practices?

Course Topics 

  • Why are Horses susceptible to Colic?
    • Modern horse vs. natural environment of the wild horse
    • Overview of the Anatomy of the Horse’s Digestive Tract
  • What is Colic?
  • Major Risk Factors Associated with Colic
    • Housing/Turnout
    • Activity Level
    • Forage
    • Water
    • Concentrates
    • Dental Health
    • Parasite Control
    • Other Colic Risk Factors (horse-related and environmental)
    • Assessing and Managing Change
    • Why is Adaptation So Important?
  • Detecting Colic
    • Signs of Colic – REACT
    • What to do if your horse has colic
  • What Next?
  • More Resources
  • Conclusion