Study Horses and Horse Management
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Through studying this course you will, depending on the electives chosen, be able to describe the procedures for the buying and selling of horses, differentiate between the different procedures used for the handling of horses, evaluate conformation, and understand the digestive system, including structure and function.
Explore and Learn about:
- Appropriate procedures to manage a horse at grass,
- Methods used to prepare horses for specific uses, including their grooming for different tasks
- Commercial opportunities available in the horse industry.
- Feeds and feed content of grazing animals.
- Equine behaviour
- Horse breeding
Note that each module in the Certificate in Equine Husbandry is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.
Managing Horses is Much More than You might Expect
Having a horse is both an opportunity and a risk. Good horse management is all about maximizing the opportunities and minimizing the risks.
Obviously risks are that an animal can become unfit or even die. Some animals may be extremely valuable, perhaps as a racehorse or breeding animal; and risks may in part be managed by taking out an insurance policy. Proper horse management however, involves far more than simply paying insurance premiums.
Animals need to be fed and exercised properly; inspected regularly and handled in an appropriate way.
This course provides an excellent foundation in all such things.
What is Equine Influenza and how is it Managed?
- highly contagious respiratory disease of major economic importance
- caused by several strains of influenza virus (continuously changing) and spreads rapidly through groups of horses
- incubation period is 1 to 5 days and the horse remains infectious for 6-10 days after symptoms have appeared
Clinical Signs include:
- an elevated temperature (39-41 degrees C) for 1-4 days
- watery nasal discharge (may become purulent)
- harsh, dry cough
- enlarged lymph nodes under the jaw
- depression and loss of appetite
- rest (preferably outside) until 2 weeks after the clinical signs have disappeared
- medication such as bronchodilators and mucolytics and antibiotics (for secondary bacterial infection). Serious
- omplications such as heart and liver disease, pneumonia or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) may occur if insufficient rest is given to allow a full recovery before resuming work.
Control of Spread Involves
- Strict hygiene and isolation procedures as it is spread by inhalation of droplets released by coughing and by ingestion of viral particles from discharges on tack, buckets, handlers clothing etc.
- Apparently healthy horses from infected yards should not attend shows etc. as they may be incubating the disease and spread it before overt clinical signs become obvious
Prevention Relies on Vaccination
Vaccines should be given to every horse in a yard every 6-12 months
- pregnant mares one month before foaling
- horses who have not been vaccinated in the last 4-6 months when an outbreak occurs (+ avoid mixing with other horses for at least 14 days to allow immunity to develop)
- most competitive equine events require evidence of an up to date vaccination regime