You know your horse needs a good solid nutritional program. His life and career depend on the building blocks that nutrition will provide as the solid foundation; but you don’t need a Ph.D. to make sure your horse has a good basic diet! This course leads you through the maze of equine nutrition and gives you the practical knowledge and skills you need to develop and maintain a healthy nutritional program for your horse. The course covers the basics of nutrition, balancing rations and special populations.
Students responsible for the nutritional requirements of horses, including owners, trainers, coaches, barn managers, grooms, and sales and technical personnel working in the feed and tack industries.
By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:
- Develop knowledge of the characteristics of typical horse feeds and identify the function of the major components of the equine diet and the role of forage, concentrates and supplements in the feeding of horses for good health;
- Identify and describe important anatomical structures and basic functions of the digestive tract as well as how it functions to meet the nutritional needs of the horse;
- List horse management decisions and understand how they impose changes on the function of the digestive tract and how these changes affect the health of the horse;
- Identify terminology and concepts that will assist when discussing nutrition with your veterinarian, nutrition specialist or feed store representative;
- Interpret theory as it relates to the feeding of horses, including the functions and required levels of the various nutrients in the diet, and the role of NRC guidelines for horses in different categories;
- Identify the category of horse based on age, physiologic state, exercise level and other important factors when developing rations;
- Read a feed tag and interpret the information that is presented, then apply that information to the formulation of a diet for an individual horse;
- Visually assess forage and recognize the value of the chemical analysis of forage and how to read feed analysis reports;
- Assess a diet and develop a new diet based on the forage the horse is receiving;
- Develop the skills and knowledge needed to formulate simplified rations for various types of horses, using the NRC guidelines as a starting point; and
- Identify the special needs of different classes of horses such as performance horses, stallions, broodmares and foals.
Equine Nutrition will provide you with practical information on diet and nutrition and it's relationship to the health and performance of your horse.
- Assessing your Horse
- Digestive Function and Nutrient Requirements
- Forages and Pasture Management
- Supplements (Vitamins and Macro/Micro Minerals)
- Practice Ration Balancing
- Performance Horses
- Broodmares and Stallions
- The Growing Foal
- Special Needs Horses (Senior, Obese and Hard Keepers)
- Toxic Plants
- Nutrition Related Conditions
This course is intended for adult learners. Students must either be 18 years of age or have completed Grade 12 or equivalent, in order to register.
It is recommended certificate and diploma students complete Management of the Equine Environment as their first course.
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Open Learning and Educational Support
You do not need access to a horse, or own your own horse to participate and be successful in this course.
You can expect to spend 6 - 10 hours per week to complete the course material, discussions and assignments. Plan to be on the course website at least 3 - 5 per week to keep up-to-date and on schedule with weekly readings, activities, and discussion.