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Woman embracing horses' head standing in pasture


Discussing equine welfare can be challenging. We have different perspectives and our responses to various issues can often be emotional. This program challenges you to consider welfare from the perspective of the horse. You will use an evidence-based approach to support your views for or against specific issues relating to equine management and gain an in-depth understanding of the Five Freedoms, a core concept in animal welfare. You will examine the science behind what is required to support sound management and welfare practices for horses in Canada and around the globe. 

With a total of six courses to complete, this certificate will help you discover solutions to the behaviour and health problems horses face because of management practices. 

Learning Outcomes 

Upon successful completing of this program, you will be able to: 

  • Explore past and current practices from a welfare perspective examining regulatory structures and laws in various equine industries globally. 
  • Develop a high level of understanding of equine behaviour and the abnormal behaviours and management practices which contribute to them and the nutritional requirements of healthy horses by studying research and theory and applying the theory to practice. 
  • Reach a high standard of information literacy, knowing how to find, analyze and combine information from a range of reliable sources and apply that knowledge to the management of horses. 
  • Developed an understanding of the difference between animal legislation, regulation and practice. 


  • Equine Welfare Specialist 
  • Barn Hand 
  • Equine Specialist 
  • Farm Assistant 


This program requires the completion of four required courses and two electives. Courses may be taken in any order. 


Enrolment is on a course-by-course basis and there is no application required. This program is intended for adult learners who are at least 18 years of age or have completed Grade 12 or equivalent. Course availability changes each semester. It is recommended you submit notification requests for each course in the program to be informed when registration opens. Course registration closes six days after the start of the semester. The courses are facilitated by an instructor and all students registered in the course progress through the course content at the same time.

Complete four required courses and two elective courses. Request your parchment through the OpenEd Student Portal once all requirements are met.

You can take up to 5 years from the start of your first course to complete and receive the certificate.

The price per course is currently $625. Course prices are subject to change and are not guaranteed. The total cost of the program may vary depending on available discounts* and the length of time to completion.

*There are early bird and alumni tuition discounts available for this program.

Additional Information 

If you would like additional information about this program, please contact our Main Office

Sponsoring Partner 

Equine Guelph 
Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare 


Minimum Required

4 Course(s)

Students have the option of completing either Equine Nutrition or Advanced Equine Health through Nutrition
Minimum Required

2 Course(s)

Students may choose either Equine Nutrition or Advanced Equine Health through Nutrition. Choose two of the following:

Industry Certification

Equestrian Canada recognizes equine online accredited courses delivered by the University of Guelph as an approved professional development activity for NCCP certification maintenance. Each course will receive the maximum 3 points award per activity.

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