A horse's health more than just skin deep

Published on: Dec 19, 2012
A growing number of horse owners rely on the misconception that if their horse appears healthy and fit, then chances are it is. What if we had the tools to help us look beyond a horse’s appearance so that good decisions could be made for its optimal health and management? In January 2013, Equine Guelph, University of Guelph, will be offering Equine Functional Anatomy, a 12-week online course that will assist those in the horse industry to increase their scientific background and overall knowledge of horse anatomy and physiology.

“One must have some idea of how horses’ body systems work to be able to care for our four legged friends appropriately,” says course instructor Dr. Wendy Brett. A veterinarian and long-time horse enthusiast, Brett grew up riding hunters and jumpers, and then moved to eventing 10 years ago. With a background as an equine veterinarian who completed a Residency in Equine Surgery, Brett also operated an equine mobile and surgical practice. She is currently involved in research projects at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, and also teaches foreign veterinarians.

Through the use of many visual resources, students will gain a better understanding of the horse’s anatomical structures and functions, as well as how one’s decisions can impact the health and well-being of the horse. The course will also cover feeding, movement and health of a horse as they relate to its anatomy; additionally, course terminology and concepts will assist in discussing injuries and diseases with a veterinarian. 

“Almost everyone in the horse industry would benefit from this course, whether one is new to horses or has been around them for many years,” advises Brett. “We do cover a broad range of topics, such as the gastrointestinal system, respiratory system, cardiovascular and musculo-skeletal system and hoof care. Each topic involves viewing of the CD section, articles within the course reader, and plenty of interaction between students and facilitators by means of group discussions and class learning questions.

Other courses offered in Equine Guelph’s Winter 2013 lineup include The Equine Industry, Equine Behavior, Management of the Equine Environment, Equine Nutrition, and Marketing and Communications in the Equine Industry.  Registration is now open, with courses running from January 7 to March 31, 2013.

For more information, please contact the Centre for Open Learning and Educational Support at info@coles.uoguelph.ca , call 519-767-5000 or visit www.equinestudiesdiploma.com .