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Course Description

Woman riding horse on path through the woods

Understand the importance of properly managing the natural environment and built facilities to optimize the health of your horses. Explore the concepts related to the natural ecosystem, ecosystem services, and beneficial management practices.

The relationship between the health and well-being of the environment and the health and well-being of the horse will be explored, as well as the role of the equine industry in meeting broader societal goals of environmental citizenship.

A wide range of current topics—such as wildlife habitat and management, manure management, source water protection policies, and green building concepts—will also be examined through an equine industry perspective.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Conduct a basic biophysical inventory of a farm or rural property through the application of nature interpretation skills
  • Identify the basic components of the natural ecosystem and discuss the concept of ecosystem services
  • Identify and highlight a farm or rural property's environmental strengths and areas of concern, and set realistic action plans with timetables
  • Investigate a current issue related to the equine industry and environmental stewardship, examining the relationship between environmental stewardship and horse health issues
  • Discuss the concept of ‘environmental citizenship’ and the role of the equine industry in relation to the protection and stewardship of the natural environment
  • Develop research and writing skills through the investigation of a current topic related to stewardship of the equine environment

Course Topics

  • An Introduction to the Ecosystem
  • Your Farm's Ecosystem
  • Beneficial Management Practices
  • Green Design Concepts
  • Water Resources and Manure Management
  • Role of the Industry and Broader Implications of Environmental Stewardship
  • Poisonous Plants and Pasture and Woodlot Management
  • Wildlife Habitats
  • Reducing Your Environmental 'Hoofprint'

Additional Requirements

  • This course is intended for adult learners who are at least 18 years of age.
  • There are no prerequisites for this course.
  • You may take this as an individual course or choose to complete one of our equine certificates or the diploma.*
  • You do not need access to a horse to participate and be successful in this course.
  • You can expect to spend 6-10 hours per week to compete the course material, discussions and assignments.

*If you are a certificate or diploma program student, we recommend that you complete Management of the Equine Environment first, or very early in your course of studies. This course is offered every semester.


Assessment Item Weight
Assignment 1: Biophysical Assessment 20%
Quizzes (3 x 5%) 15%
Course Learning Questions Discussions (5 x 3%) 15%
Assignment Worksheets (3 x 10%) 30%
Assignment 2: Reflective Essay 20%
Total 100%

Please note that the course assessment is subject to change.

Sponsoring Partner

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Technical Requirements

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*Course details are subject to change.


View the upcoming course schedule at our Equine Studies Online program website.

Thank you for your interest in this course. Unfortunately, the course you have selected is currently not open for enrolment. Please complete a Course Inquiry so that we may promptly notify you when enrolment opens.

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