Horse Behaviour and Safety

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

Oct 2 – Nov 12

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.

During Week 3 you will have an opportunity to interact with our guest expert.  Our guest will join us this week (Mon-Fri) in the Guest Expert discussion forum.  Please note that our guest speaker may not have the time to answer all questions presented.  Discussions must be general in nature – our guest cannot diagnose in this forum.

Guest Speaker: Madison Lawson

A member of the National Para Dressage Team and also the team representative to Equestrian Canada. Madison suffered a broken back and was paralyzed from a fall off a horse when she was 13, and has worked her way out of the wheelchair, into the saddle and onto the podium!  Madison is well versed in returning to sport after an injury and the importance of safety when working around horses.

Madison has been actively riding since the age of five years old, at which point she doggedly worked her way from a beginner to intermediate-level rider and began to compete at local shows. Just as a riding career in Eventing began to flourish, Madison suffered an accident that interrupted her life and put a hold on her riding dreams. While out conditioning and exercising a friend’s horse in the summer of 2007, the animal reared unexpectedly, throwing Madison to the ground and falling on top of her. She spent the rest of the year learning to walk again at Sick Kids Hospital and adjusting to life as an incomplete paraplegic.
By February 2008, Madison was back in the saddle, throwing her energy and time into learning all about the Para-Dressage discipline. Learning to ride after her accident had proven easier than tackling the act of walking. So she began competing again and has emerged as a young Canadian athlete to watch in coming years. Ask Madison yourself, and you will find a confident young rider with a distinct set of goals – first to compete at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, and finally to compete on the National Team at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, England.
Madison is currently going to school in the United Kingdom, to earn a degree in Equestrian Sport Sciences at Hartpury College.
For more information please visit this blog post.

Blog post link is:

Federation Members

access until 11/12/17

General Enrollment

access until 11/12/17