Horse Care & Welfare – Fall ’23

Oct 2 – Oct 13

2 wks (5-10 hrs/wk)

CE Eligible

Register Now

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.

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
  • Employers (e.g., trainers, owners) with an interest to invest in their business through furthering the knowledge of employees caring for their horses; to purchase an online course for an employee, please contact Equine Guelph at [email protected]
  • 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


To receive your National Equine Code & Standards Certificate:

  • Register and complete two short online courses on The Horse Portal: Horse Care & Welfare and Sickness Prevention in Horses
  • Once you have completed both courses, send an email to us at [email protected] and we will prepare your certificate!
  • Special offer this Fall! SAVE $50 by registering for both courses at once.  Choose the ‘Equine Code and Standards Certificate’ registration option below.  You will then receive an email from Equine Guelph, which will confirm your registration in Sickness Prevention in Horses, Winter ’24.  NOTE: No additional discounts can be applied to this special offer.  Please allow 2-3 days to receive your confirmation email.
  • Note: Already completed one of these short courses before?  No worries – your prior course completion will count towards your Certificate.  Complete the course you are missing, and then send an email to [email protected] to receive your Certificate!

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.

Time Commitment

  • Occurs over a 2-week period
  • 5-10 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

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:

Dr. Nicole Weidner completed an MSc and PhD in animal nutrition at the Ontario Veterinary College. Her research examined links between nutrition and disease in animals, with a focus on vitamin D. She’s worked as a guest lecturer and instructor in courses offered through the University of Guelph and has also been involved in the development of courses and educational tools. She’s interested in scientific outreach and communication, especially when it’s related to horse nutrition, health and/or welfare.

Photo: Anna Volmer Studio

“Horse Care & Welfare” was more rewarding than I expected. Familiarizing myself with The Code was easier and a lot less overwhelming than anticipated. This is a great course to find areas of horse care & welfare to improve in your own practices and to recognize the ones you are already doing well. Bonus: it’s delivered in bite-size chunks that fit easily into the life of an equestrian .”

Jessica Klarholm, Equine Assisted Learning Facilitator (Bienfait, SK)
Student, Horse Care & Welfare

“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
Student, Horse Care & Welfare

“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

kim_broadworth“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.”

Karen Pearson
Student, Horse Care & Welfare

“I think the Horse Care and Welfare course is a wonderful learning tool for ALL horse owners or potential owners.  The Code of Practice contains valuable information regarding the welfare of all equines.”

Debbie Simpson Competition Coach / Judge (Regina, SK)
Student, Horse Care & Welfare



Eligible Partner Discounts:

Course discounts available to members of the following equine organizations:

Federation Members – 15% Discount!

access until November 6, 2023 12:00 am

General Enrollment – Register Today!

access until November 6, 2023 12:00 am

Equine Code & Standards Certificate

SALE $190.00 $140.00
access until November 6, 2023 12:00 am


Save $50 by registering for both courses at once!

Course Instructor

Nicole Weidner Nicole Weidner Instructor

Nicole is a PhD candidate at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. Nicole’s MSc and PhD work have focused on animal nutrition, with a focus on links between nutrition and disease. She has been fortunate enough to be mentored by board certified veterinary and PhD animal nutritionists during her time at the University. Nicole is also interested in education. She has experience as a teaching assistant and guest lecturer with courses offered by the University, and has taken several certificate programs centered around developing an understanding of various educational strategies and approaches.