Adam Austing & Krishona Martinson, University of Minnesota Extension
Back by popular demand, five online horse certificate courses will be offered by UMN Extension in 2021! Courses include equine biosecurity, manure management, basic horse nutrition, growing and feeding horse hay, and horse pasture establishment and management. The six-week courses begin on Monday, January 4 and conclude on Sunday, February 14. Registration ($75 per course) is required by January 3 and each course is limited to 100 participants. Interested individuals can find more information and register on the UMN Extension website (www.extension.umn.edu).
The equine biosecurity course provides caretakers an introduction to equine biosecurity by covering infection diseases, biosecurity at home, biosecurity at shows and events, and the economics of practical biosecurity. Participants are also led through the process of developing a biosecurity plan for their operation.
The manure management course is focused on developing an understanding of manure management for horse (and small) farms and introduces learners to basic manure disposal and use as a fertilizer. Weekly topics include manure characteristics and basics, environmental concerns, rules and regulations of manure, composting, and stockpiling and land application.
In the basic horse nutrition course, caretakers will develop an understanding of how the anatomy and physiology of the horse’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract interacts with the use of feedstuffs and the horse’s nutritional requirements. Weekly topics include the horse GI tract, feeding behavior, key nutrients, types of feedstuffs, reading a feed tag, and feeding differed aged horses, and using nutritional information.
The growing and feeding horse hay course is focused on hay production in the Midwest. Weekly topics include hay field establishment and management, harvesting and storing high-quality hay, submitting and interpreting an equine hay analysis, tips on buying and selling hay, hay options for diseased horses, and hay feeding and estimating hay needs.
The horse pasture establishment and management course is also focused on managing horse pastures in the Midwest. Weekly topics include pasture layout and design, pasture establishment, pasture management, estimating pasture intake, managing diseased horses on pasture, and pasture resources.
All courses are offered completely online, information can be accessed at any time, and are semi self-paced. To earn a certificate of course completion, participants must earn ≥70% on three 10-point multiple choice quizzes and participate in three course discussions or assignments by the assigned due date. If a certificate is not wanted, participants do not have to complete quizzes or course discussions. Courses are recommended for adult learners (ages 18 and older) but are open to everyone. Courses do not result in college credit. Information for all courses is available at extension.umn.edu/courses-and-events/horse-online-certificate-course