Horse Care & Welfare
Supporting the Five Freedoms and Beyond
Taking on the care or ownership responsibilities of a horse (or donkey) is a serious and challenging undertaking. It is important for the health and well-being of the animal to ensure that basic industry standards are followed by all of us in the horse industry. And we need to ensure that have the knowledge and skills to do so.
Based on the National Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Equines, this course considers the care and management of horses in terms of the Five Freedoms of animal welfare:
- Freedom from Hunger
- Freedom from Discomfort
- Freedom from Pain and Injury
- Freedom to Express Normal Behaviour
- Freedom from Fear and Distress
This course may be of interest to:
- All horse owners who would like to know more about implementing best practices
- New horse owners, or those who are thinking of getting a horse and want to learn more
- Those running a horse business of lessons, boarding, or breeding
- Those with involvement with horse welfare causes, whether through horse rescues or welfare assessment
- Anyone involved in horse associations or education programs to learn standards and best management practices
- All youth leaders in order to consistently promote best practices for your students
- Policy and program development leaders to learn and encourage best practices
- * This course was previously known as ‘Equine Welfare-Canada’s Code’
The main objective of this course is to help all horse owners and caretakers develop the knowledge on horse care as well as specific information on Requirements and Recommended Practices presented in the Canadian “Equine Code”.
Upon completion of this short course, you will have developed a full understanding of the obligations of horse owners and caregivers as outlined in the Code along with minimal requirements and recommended practices for horse care and handling that are in a part of the “Equine Code”. While this document primarily focuses on horses, donkeys and mules are also covered in this document as there are some important differences.
The assessment will be through online quizzes (one for each week). Quizzes are multiple choice or True/False format and based on the Code.
- Occurs over a 3-week period
- 10 – 15 hour 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
- All materials are provided online within course site
- 16 years of age or older
Course Schedule – Horse Care & Welfare
The Horse Care & Welfare course is structured over 3 weeks. Each day (Monday through Friday), you will have different learning activities provided to you. Each section of the Code will be covered, supported by the various learning activities and discussions, requiring about 1 to 2 hours per day (required times may vary between students).
Unit 1 (Day One – Monday) – Introduction to the Course and the Code of Practice
Unit 2 (Day Two – Tuesday) – Duty of Care
Unit 3 (Day Three – Wednesday ) – Facilities and Housing
Unit 4 (Day Four – Thursday) – Facilities and Housing (cont’d)
Unit 5 (Day Five – Friday) – Feed and Water
Unit 6 (Day Six – Monday) – Health Management
Unit 7 (Day Seven – Tuesday) – Health Management (cont’d)
Unit 8 (Day Eight – Wednesday) – Husbandry Practices
Unit 9 (Day Nine – Thursday) – Reproductive Management
Unit 10 (Day Ten – Friday) – Transportation
Unit 11 (Day Eleven –Monday) – Euthanasia
Unit 12 (Day Twelve – Tuesday) – Finishing up!
Unit 13 (Day Thirteen – Wednesday) – What’s Next?
“A wonderful learning opportunity for both novice and experienced horse owners. The interactive tools are fun and informative. The convenience and duration of these short courses is perfectly suited for our busy lives. Keep them coming!”
Lydia Dubanow (Timmins Therapeutic Riding Association, Timmins ON)
Certified EC Instructor, Canadian Therapeutic Riding Coach
“Hats off to Equine Guelph for the development of this new educational tool. What a super easy way to be involved in online courses and learn!! Keep up the excellent work!”
Carol McIsaac (Rocking Chair Ranch, Coldwater ON)
Student, Horse Care &Welfare
“The Horse Care and Welfare short online course is a MUST for all horse owners! The course is easy, flowing, practical and thorough, covering all aspects of horse ownership.”
Kimber Broadworth (Purpledusk Farm, Napanee ON)
Student, Horse Care & Welfare
“The Horse Care and Welfare short course was phenomenal! All aspects of equine care are explored and discussed in an online community. You are doing yourself and your equine partner(s) a disservice if you don’t take the time to educate yourself about the Five Freedoms, The Code of Practice and corresponding Scientific Reports.”
Student, Horse Care & Welfare
Horse Care & Welfare
Description of Course
Do you own a horse? Thinking about buying a horse? This course is for you!
Taking on the care or ownership responsibilities of a horse (or donkey) is a serious and challenging undertaking. It is important for the health and well-being of the animal to ensure that basic industry standards are followed by all of us in the equine industry. And we need to ensure that we have the knowledge and skills to do so.
‘Horse Care & Welfare’ is a short course offered online by Equine Guelph in a unique Canadian partnership with each of the provincial equestrian federations. Equestrian Canada is also a training partner and this course has been accepted for PD credits for the coaching program.
It is based on the national document, entitled, The Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Equines. This is a three-week online course that you can complete during the scheduled 3 weeks listed for the course offering. A facilitator/instructor will help guide you through the course materials.
This course is directed at individuals that are new to the horse industry and all individuals that would like to know more about the Code of Practice for horses, as part of their on-going personal or professional development. It can also be helpful to horse owners beyond Canada who are looking to learn more about horse care or about the national standards developed in Canada.
Objectives of the Course
The main objective of this course is to help all horse owners and caretakers develop the knowledge for horse care as well as the specific information on Requirements and Recommended Practices presented in the Canadian “Equine Code”. Upon completion of this course, you will have developed a full understanding of the obligations of horse owners and caregivers as outlined in the Code along with minimal requirements and recommended practices for horse care and handling that are in the “Equine Code”. While this document primarily focuses on horses, donkeys and mules are also covered in this document as there are some important differences.
How Does this Course Work?
After joining our learning community, you will get to know your instructor and the other students taking this course. Over the next three weeks, you will be given specific learning activities that may include videos, slide presentations, interviews, reading assignments, and quizzes. Keeping up with the course will be an important priority for your optimal learning experience. You will interact via the discussion boards with your instructor and other students (click on the icon to open up the discussions to see the other posts). Your instructor is here to help facilitate your learning experience and help you throughout the course. You can post questions in the Questions to the Instructor for assistance.
Assessment in the course is completed by quizzes. All quizzes, and all sections of the course, must be successfully completed to be eligible for your completion Certificate.
This course is 3 weeks long. It is divided into sections and as you will see by the schedule, each day will cover specific learning objectives and activities relating to the sections of the Code. You will need to go to the NFACC website and download a copy of the Equine Code of Practice on your computer as the main reference for this course. Visit https://www.nfacc.ca/pdfs/codes/equine_code_of_practice.pdf
For each Section of the course, you will be asked to review a section of the Code, complete the learning activities and then engage in discussion with your instructor and classmates on specific topics. Active participation is an important part of your learning pathway, so try to schedule time to access the course site and spend time on the learning activities for this 3-5 times per week. This will help you stay current and will also enhance your learning and your interest in the course (if you miss day, do not worry, you can catch up on the next day or two). We can learn a great deal from each other as well in a supportive learning community.