Horse Care III

Advance your horse care skills and knowledge. Learn to better manage the health and condition of horses in different situations, including while traveling or competing in events.

Course CodeBAG302
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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Manage the health and condition of your horse

Manage the health and condition of horses in different situations. Learn to identify signs of poor condition and ill health, and address the problems appropriately. Understand the things that can stress a horse and increase susceptibility to problems. Learn how to manage situations to minimise risk factors.
This course has been designed to complement Horse Care I and Horse Care II – but can be studied as a “stand alone” subject.

Lesson Structure

There are 6 lessons in this course:

  1. Blankets, Bandages & Boots
    • different blankets and rugs
    • fitting a rug
    • surcingles and rollers
    • caring for rugs and blankets
    • types of bandages and their uses
    • rules for bandaging
    • boots and their uses
  2. Maintaining The Health Of Horses
    • signs of good and poor health
    • sick nursing rules
    • isolation procedure
    • common ailments to recognize
    • taking the temperature
    • the medicine chest
    • first aid treatments
    • restraining a horse
    • emergencies
    • preventing a disease
  3. Clipping, Trimming & Plaiting
    • reasons for clipping
    • types of clippers
    • types of clips
    • preparation for clipping
    • how to clip
    • finishing off
    • hogging the mane
    • trimming
    • pulling the mane and tail
    • plaiting the mane or tail
  4. Traveling & Care of The Horse Away From Home
    • preparing a horse for travel
    • preparing a trailer
    • loading the horse
    • the problem loader
    • safety while loading
    • before a show
    • at the show
    • returning home
  5. Organising & Managing A Horse Event
    • organising an event
    • contingencies to cater for
    • the public, exhibitors and organisers
    • costs
    • guidelines for planning a show or exhibition
    • the facility
    • exclusive bookings
    • facilities without prior bookings
    • booking records
    • publicity
    • community participation
  6. Managing A Horse Enterprise
    • management plans
    • rural finance sources
    • banks
    • money market
    • financial planning
    • contract law
    • assessing profit
    • risk analysis
    • standards
    • financial records
    • cash flow
    • E.O.P accounting

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.

Learn to Manage your Horse's Health and Wellbeing

Managing the health and wellbeing of horses requires knowledge, experience and the right attitude or mindset toward a horse.

The more you learn about horse care, the better prepared you will be to deal with irregularities in a horses health. 
Knowing about illnesses will make you better prepared, and more likely to respond in a timely manner to signs of ill health.

There are many different types of illness that can affect horses. Some are more serious than others.

Consider Equine Colic?

Colic is a description of any condition causing abdominal pain. There are many causes of colic and it may be difficult to diagnose. Possible causes of abdominal pain include:

  • gut problems (abnormal motility, blood supply or stretching)
  • hepatitis (inflammation of the liver)
  • bladder infection (straining to urinate)
  • muscle disease (rhabdomyolysis) in horses in training
  • iliac thrombosis (blood clot in vessels supplying hind limbs)
  • laminitis
  • pleurisy (inflammation of the pleura - lining of the thoracic cavity)
  • complications of castration (e.g. inflammation of spermatic cord)
  • pregnancy
    - first stage labour
    - dystocia
    - post foaling involution of the uterus
    - abortion

Clinical signs of colic
Early signs of colic include reduced appetite, reduced faeces production, depression and restlessness.  As the pain increases the horse will start to sweat, attempt to roll and develop muscle tremors. In severe cases the horse will roll repeatedly, kick at its belly and may show demented behaviour such as staggering about or head pressing.  In all cases of suspected colic it is advisable to call the vet.

It is best to keep the horse walking around if possible to prevent it from rolling.  Do not feed or water the horses or give it any drenches until it has been examined by the vet as this could enter its lungs.

Treatment of colic
If the cause of the colic is diagnosed as requiring surgery, the horse should be operated on as soon as possible. If this is not possible for any reason, the horse may have to be humanely destroyed.

Many types of colic will respond to non-surgical treatment. These may include pain killers and sedatives, lubrication of the gut for example with liquid paraffin which may help to soften and break up any mass that is causing a blockage in the gut. Other treatments include anti-fermentive drugs such as oil of turpentine which may reduce gas production. Worming treatments may help if the colic is due a heavy burden of endoparasites.

Prevention of colic
Colic cannot be prevented entirely but the risk of some causes occurring can be very significantly reduced by the following:

  • regular adequate worming
  • regular exercise: necessary for normal gut function
  • regular attention to teeth: to avoid improper chewing which can lead to undigested food causing impactions
  • change rations slowly (over 2 weeks): to allow gradual adaptation of gut flora
  • feed regularly with non-mouldy feed: rolled oats should run through hands and not stick together
  • avoid indigestible roughage: old woody hay
  • ensure ad-lib water: need to lubricate food to avoid impactions
  • exercise and colic: do not work horse within an hour of feeding or feed immediately after strenuous work
  • know your horse: to be able to recognise abnormal behaviour promptly
  • seek professional advice: sooner rather than later
  • add salt to the horse’s daily ration
Learn more and improve your ability to manage equine health, through both preventative and responsive measures. 

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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
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
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