Horse Care I

Horse care basics course- understand and learn how to care for a horse kept at grass. Ideal for working with horses or for those who are wanting to learn the essentials of caring for their own horse.

Course Code: BAG102
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
Get started!

Manage the daily requirements of your horse  
  • Learn Horse Management at home
  • Study Horse Care either Online, by eLearning (USB Memory Stick) or with Distance Education course notes
  • Self paced: Learn about horses when it suits you and where it suits you

Learn about horse psychology and handling, evaluate conformation, understand the importance of dietary requirements to the horse, learn about the horses digestive system and the principles of feeding and watering your horse, use correct grooming procedures, develop appropriate management procedures and broaden existing knowledge of commercial opportunities in the horse world. Manage horses kept on pasture and learn relevant pasture management techniques to maintain productivity and prevent "horse sick" pastures.

 

Lesson Structure

There are 7 lessons in this course:

  1. Horse psychology and handling
    • The early horse
    • Survival mechanisms of the early horse
    • The modern horse - behaviour and memory
    • Using psychology to handle horses
    • Catching and leading horses
    • Fitting the bridle and saddle
    • Tying up a horse
    • Safety rules
  2. Buying a horse
    • Temperament
    • Size
    • Weight carrying ability
    • Age
    • Equine dentition and ageing
    • Glossary of terms
    • Dentition diagrams and detailed explanation
    • Colour and markings
    • Breeds
  3. Conformation
    • The shape of the skeleton
    • Body proportions and parts
    • Conformation problems
    • How to describe confirmation
  4. The digestive system and principles of feeding and watering
    • The digestive System
    • The alimentary canal
    • The Stomach
    • The small intestine
    • The large intestine
    • Absorption of food
    • Groups of food nutrients
    • The composition of some common horse feeds
    • The principles of watering
    • The principles of feeding
    • Feeding concentrates and roughages
    • Feeding groups of horses at one time
  5. The grass kept horse and pasture management
    • Advantages and disadvantages of working off grass
    • Paddock size and minimum area needed
    • Types of fencing
    • The water supply
    • Shelter
    • Fodder trees
    • General management of the grass-kept horse
    • Management in summer
    • Management in winter
    • Exercise
    • Grooming the grass-kept horse
    • Conservation of the land
    • Keeping horses at grass on small areas
    • Roughing off and turning a horse out
  6. Grooming
    • The skin - epidermis, dermis, the coat
    • How the skin regulates body temperature
    • Reasons for grooming
    • Grooming tools
    • Grooming techniques - strapping, sponging, brushing
    • Using a stable rubber, dealing with stable stains on grey coats
    • Oiling the feet
    • Quartering
    • Setting Fair/Brushing off
    • Washing the mane and tail
    • Washing the sheath
    • Shampooing the horse
  7. Industry Applications
    • Resources
    • Writing resumes - employment readiness
    • Competition horses (overview) - event horse, dressage horse, show jumper, endurance
    • Educating Horses
    • Breeding
    • Farm planning
    • Short term operations
    • Farm business structures
    • Quality management systems
    • Whole farm planning
    • Preparing a farm business
    • Managing risk
    • Sensitivity analysis
    • Financial management
    • Record keeping
    • Finance sources
    • Setting up a small business

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Describe the procedures for the buying and selling of horses.
  • Differentiate between the different procedures used for the handling of horses.
  • Develop a program for the evaluation of the conformation of horses on a property/facility.
  • Analyse the digestive system, including structure and function, of horses.
  • Develop appropriate procedures to manage a horse at grass.
  • Explain the methods used to prepare horses for specific uses, including their grooming for different tasks.
  • Explain commercial opportunities available in the horse industry.

Where can you Graze a Horse?

If establishing new grazing or re-seeding old areas, an appropriate seed mix should be used. Standard agricultural mixes are not suitable for horses as they tend to produce very rich grass with a high protein level, which can be detrimental to a horse’s health. Wherever possible, grass species of native origin should be used. Some suitable grass types are listed below:

  • Perennial Rye Grass (Lolium perenne) - an important grass present in many ready-made forage seed mixes. Very tolerant to heavy grazing but needs a fertile soil to grow to its full potential
  • Creeping Red Fescue (Festuca rubra) – Forms a hard wearing turf due to its creeping ability. Generally hardy and can cope with lower soil fertility
  • Cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata) – provides useful growth in both early and late season. Particularly hardy to drought so useful for very dry soils
  • Crested Dogstail (Cynosurus cristalus) – a short leafy grass that provides a good turf base. Particularly palatable to horses but has a fairly low nutrient value
  • Smooth-Stalked Meadow grass (Poa pratensis) – drought resistant so useful for dry soils. Not particularly palatable so should appear in small amounts in a seed mix
  • Timothy (Phleum pratense) - useful in heavy or peaty soils, tolerates low soil fertility and winter conditions. Very mature Timothy has a low digestibility level  and low crude protein level
  • Herbs add variety and palatability to grazing. Specific horse paddock herbal mixes are available to buy on the market. Appropriate herbs are: Melilot (Melilotus officianalis), Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum), Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis), Chicory (Cichorium intybus), Queen-Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota), Dandelion (Taraxacum officinalis), and Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile).
  • White Clover- small amounts of clover are beneficial; clover fixes nitrogen from the air into nodules in its roots, which helps to improve soil fertility.  Large amounts of clover should be avoided due to the potential health problems it can cause; in particularly wet seasons clover can become mouldy and consequently toxic to horses

Grazing horses have access to a wide variety of plants; few fields are totally free of poisonous plants. Luckily, poisonous plants are rarely eaten when the horse has adequate food. Problems occur when there is little grass available to eat and they may eat a poisonous plant due to hunger.

All fields and boundary fences and hedges should be inspected for any poisonous plants before horses are turned out into the area. Any poisonous plants found should be removed and burnt, particularly ragwort which is more poisonous when dead. Some of the most common plants poisonous to horses include Ragwort, Laurel, Yew, Foxglove, Ivy, Deadly Nightshade, Laburnum, Buttercup, Lantana, White cedar, Star thistle, Birdsville indigo, Oleander, Zamia palm, African boxthorn and Night Scented Jasmine.

  • Ragwort is probably the most dangerous poisonous plant for horses; it is widespread and develops easily in pastures in poor condition. Horses do not normally eat it in its growing state but its presence in hay is dangerous. It is best to remove the plant by hand and burn the remains before the land is grazed.   Once horses have started to eat it, they often develop a taste for it and will actually search it out. It causes liver damage which may not affect the animal until much later on its life
  • Yew poisoning is usually the result of animals straying or eating clippings, which are as poisonous as the fresh plant
  • Laburnum often overhangs fences from adjoining gardens
  • All parts of the deadly nightshade plant are poisonous; particularly the roots and berries which look like black cherries when ripe
  • Check for acorns and green oak leaves hanging over a field boundary
  • Privet should never be used as a hedge plant for a horse field boundary
  • Buttercups are normally rejected by the horse but can be eaten if there is not adequate grass. They spread rapidly and are an indication of high acidity in the land. They are eradicated by spraying with an appropriate weedkiller

If an area of grazing is to provide a nutritionally adequate and economical food source for a horse, a sound maintenance programme is required. If constantly grazed without rest and proper management the land will become 'horse sick' and quickly deteriorate. Horses will generally only eat the grass they like and they will not eat coarse or rank grass which grows as a result of droppings continually souring the ground.

As well as improving grass quality, removing droppings from the grazing area also plays a big part in reducing a horse’s parasite burden. The majority of worms that affect a horse spend a major part of their life cycle lying dormant in the ground or attached to the grass. By removing droppings regularly the life cycle of the worms is disrupted and consequently the horse’s worm burden is reduced. 

 

 

Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.


How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

You can see the course price at the top of this page. Click 'enrolment options' to see any payment options available.

You can pay by Credit Card, PayPal, Afterpay or bank transfer.

Yes! We have payment plans for most courses. Click 'enrolment options' to see the available payment plans.
We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).


What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your login.training portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $55 (AUS) $50 (O/S) for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exam and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Statement of Attainment. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email acs@oamps.com.au.


Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.


How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.


What if I have any more questions or need more information?

We can assist you to find the right course for your needs. Get in touch with us via email (admin@acs.edu.au) call on +61 7 5562 1088 or complete our course advice form.


What if I change my mind?

Please get in touch with studentservices@acs.edu.au if you would like to be removed from our mail list.

If you would like ACS Distance Education to delete your information at any time (whether you are a customer or a prospective customer), please contact our privacy officer and we will process this ( admin@acs.edu.au ).




Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Cheryl Wilson

Cheryl has spent two decades working in agriculture, equine and education industries, across England, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand. She graduated with a B.Sc.(Hons), HND Horse Mgt, C&G Teaching Cert.
For several years, Cheryl managed the distance

Dr. Gareth Pearce

Veterinary scientist and surgeon with expertise in agriculture and environmental science, with over 25 years of experience in teaching and research in agriculture, veterinary medicine, wildlife ecology and conservation in the UK, Australia and New Zealand





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Jade Sciascia

Former Business Coordinator, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, Secondary School teacher (Biology); Administrator (Recruitment), Senior Supervisor (Youth Welfare). International Business Manager for IARC. Academic officer and writer with ACS for over 10 years, both in Australia and in the UK.

Yvonne Sharpe

Over 30 years of experience in horticulture, education and management, Yvonne has travelled widely within and beyond Europe, and has worked in many areas of horticulture from garden centres to horticultural therapy. She has served on industry committees and been actively involved with amateur garden clubs for decades.

Julia Mayo-Ramsay

Dr Julia Mayo-Ramsay is a practicing environmental and agricultural lawyer. She holds a PhD in International Environmental Law, LLM, BLJS, GDLP, LLM (Environmental Law) and a Master of Applied Science (Agriculture).
Julia started out in agriculture working on various dairy farms in the 1980s before working as dairy manager / tutor at Hawkesbury Agricultural College Richmond NSW. Julia then went on to work at Riverina Artificial Breeders at Tabletop (Albury) NSW as an embryo transfer technician assisting vets with artificial breeding and embryo transfer in cattle, sheep and deer. This was followed by two years as a herd manager for a very large commercial dairy herd milking 3,000 cows over three dairies on the outskirts of Sydney before heading overseas. In 1994 Julia accepted a position in NE Thailand at the Sakhon Nakhon Institute of Technology (now a University) training farmers and students in cattle breeding and dairy farm management. On returning to Australia in late 1996 Julia completed a Master of Applied Science in Agriculture at Hawkesbury Agricultural College (UWS) as well as law degrees and maritime studies. Julia now works as a Lawyer in the area of environmental and rural law.
Currently Julia teaches a variety of maritime subjects for Marine Rescue NSW.
As well as teaching Julia is working on a number of environmental research projects.

Need Help?

Take advantage of our personalised, expert course counselling service to ensure you're making the best course choices for your situation.


I agree for ACS Distance Education to contact me and store my information until I revoke my approval. For more info, view our privacy policy.