Girl and horse

Horse Behaviour & Safety – Youth Course (ages 14-17) – Summer ’18

Jul 23 – Sep 2

3 wks (5-10 hrs/wk)

  • This course ends on Aug. 10th 2018, however students will have access until midnight on September 2nd.
This course is intended for young horse enthusiasts aged 14-17.

Learn Horsemanship through Understanding Behaviour

Take action to create a safe environment for you and your horse:

  • Understand horse behaviour and how to speak their language
  • Learn smart, practical horse handling skills
  • Reduce physical risks on your horse’s farm

Course Topics:

  1. Horse Behaviour – Wild vs Stabled
  2. How Horses See and Hear
  3. Herd Behaviour – How Horses Interact with Each Other
  4. Horse Handling – Basic Safety Around Horses
  5. Rider/Helmet Safety
  6. Safe Trailering – Basics
  7. Fire Safety
  8. Safety around the Barn and Paddocks
  9. Returning from an Injury

This course may be of interest for:

  • Young horse enthusiasts (aged 14-17) who are taking on more responsibilities for horse care, or are currently taking riding lessons, and want to learn more about horse behaviour and safety
  • Young horse enthusiasts who are interested in a career in the horse industry
  • New horse owners, or those who are thinking of getting a horse and want to learn more

Sneak Preview of course!

  • Understand horse behaviour and how to speak their language
  • Learn smart, practical horse handling skills
  • Reduce physical risks on your horse’s farm

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

Quizzes – please check as some are required and others are optional.

You are required to complete the assignments to receive your certificate of completion but assignments are not graded. Completion of assignments is recommended for personal achievement

Part A: Horse Handling Factsheet

The first part of your assignment is to create a horse handling factsheet that could be posted in a barn.  Please pick one skill and describe how to do it safely. Please limit it to one letter sized page (single sided).  The font size can be large and we recommend using a numbered or bullet point list.  You want it to be easy for people to read if posted on a bulletin board in a stable.

Suggestions for topics (but please feel free to pick one that isn’t listed):

  • Approaching a horse in a field or in a stall
  • Taking a horse out of the field through a gate
  • Putting on a halter
  • Leading a horse
  • Taking off a halter and releasing a horse in a stall or field
  • Tying a horse or using cross-ties
  • Basic grooming
  • Blanketing a horse

Background information for this assignment will be covered throughout the course.

Part B: Fire Prevention Inspection of a Stable

The second part of your assignment is a fire prevention inspection of your stable (or a stable that you have access to).

Print the Fire Safety Checklist (pdf) and spend some time in your stable. (note: pdf is not “checkable”)

Please address each checkbox on the list. Include a summary of your areas of concern and how you plan to make improvements.

You are required to complete the assignments to receive your certificate of completion but assignments are not submitted or graded.  We encourage you to complete these and perhaps post in your barn.

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


  • This course is for students aged 14-17

For more information, please contact Jackie Bellamy.

Phone: 519 824-4120, ext. 54756

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.

Linda PlankLinda Plank has been involved in horses all her life. Not only is she an active competitor, Linda is very involved in the organizational aspect of her sport. Her past volunteer duties have included acting as Chair of the National Athlete Development Program for Equestrian Canada. She also was the National Young Riders Coordinator and the Coordinator of the Ontario Young Rider Program for over 10 years and is currently a Level 2 Technical Delegate in the Eventing discipline for Equestrian Canada. Linda and her husband run Sprucehaven Farm, a beautiful boarding, competition, training and breeding facility located in Mount Elgin, Ontario.


* Special discount price available to members of English-speaking horse associations from across Canada!  For members from PEI, Newfoundland, and Yukon, please visit your Provincial Horse Federations page on The Horse Portal for instructions on how to receive your discount price.

Unit 1 – Introduction and Horse Behaviour: Wild vs. Stabled (Day 1 – Monday)

Unit 2 – How Horses See and Hear (Day 2 – Tuesday)

Unit 3 – Herd Behaviour: How Horses Interact With Each Other (Day 3 – Wednesday)

Unit 4 – Horse Handling: Basic Safety Around Horses (Day 4 – Thursday)

Unit 5 – Rider/Helmet Safety (Day 5 – Friday)

Unit 6 – Safe Trailering: Basics (Day 6 – Monday)

Unit 7 – Fire Safety (Day 7 – Tuesday)

Unit 8 – Safety around the Barn and Paddocks (Day 8 & 9; Wednesday and Thursday)

Unit 9 – Returning from an Injury (Day 10 – Friday)

Unit 10 – Guest Expert and Review (Week 3)