April 16, 2014

Try Free Colic Risk Evaluator Tool From Equine Guelph

After declaring 2013 the ‘Year of Colic Prevention,’ Equine Guelph has announced the release of its latest online health care tool, the Colic Risk Rater. The free, customized tool is designed for the individual horseperson to rate his/her horse’s risk of colic.

The Colic Risk Rater assesses and calculates colic risk while providing useful feedback on management practices through a series of questions in 10 categories, requiring less than 10 minutes to complete.

The goal of the Colic Risk Rater tool is to provide horse owners a simple way to determine if their horse is at a high risk for colic, given the horse’s personal scenario. After each question, the risk rater dial will fluctuate back or forth, revealing the constantly changing risk – and in the end, providing an overall colic risk rating calculation for each horse.

Historically, colic became the horse’s arch nemesis thousands of years ago when humans started taking horses out of their natural environment. The use and management of modern horses are a huge departure from their wild counterparts, placing them at a higher risk of colic.

Logically, it follows in Dr. Christine King’s writings from ‘Preventing Colic in Horses’ that 80 per cent of colic cases are management-related. Dr. Crossan, guest speaker in Equine Guelph’s colic prevention eWorkshop, concurs with Dr. King’s staggering statistic. “Experts agree that the majority of colic’s are a result of management practices,” says Dr. Crossan. “Prevention through management is the best course of action when it comes to colic.”

Thus, horse owners can play a major role in reducing colic risk through management. Owners must be aware of the risk factors, especially the ones we can manage such as feeding, housing, parasite control and stress.

The Colic Risk Rater is one more crucial tool in the horse caregiver’s arsenal, designed to identify the risk factors and provide prevention tips, aiming to minimize needless pain and suffering of our equine companion. Given that colic is the No. 1 killer of horses (other than old age), the 10-minute investment in this free tool is invaluable.

In addition to funding from Standardbred Canada, investment in this project has been provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP). In Ontario, the Agricultural Adaptation Council delivers this program. Partners include: Central Ontario Standardbred Association, Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Society of Ontario, Ontario Association of Equine Practitioners, Ontario Equestrian Federation, Ontario Harness Horse Association and the Ontario Veterinary College.

To check out the Colic Risk Rater or to find out more about Equine Guelph’s Colic Prevention Programs including the upcoming fall eWorkshop, scheduled for September 9 -22, click here.

(Equine Guelph)

Equine Guelph Offers Popular Course On Advanced Equine Behaviour

 Finding out just why horses do the things they do is the focus of Advanced Equine Behaviour, a 12-week course being offered by Equine Guelph that has been designed to increase your knowledge through evidence-based research as it relates to horse behaviour, learning theory, and related welfare issues.

“The field of horse behaviour and welfare has exploded with research in the last 10 years and more is generated each season,” said course instructor Kelly Hecker-Jimmerson. “My job as instructor is to highlight some of the areas that are getting the most attention – for example, equine learning, neurophysiology of behaviour and stress, and welfare management. We also show students where to find the latest research, without reading or hearing about it from a second or third party, so that they can stay informed even after the class is over. This will help them develop the proper skills to critically assess research and apply it to real life situations.”

Hecker-Jimmerson is a graduate of Michigan State University with an M.S. in equine behaviour and management and a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology. She is a certified riding instructor with CHA (Certified Horsemanship Association), PATH International (Professional Association for Therapeutic Horsemanship), and is certified through ARPAS (American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists) as a Professional Equine Scientist.

Course topics include exploring equine behaviour research, understanding equine learning and abnormal behaviours, and relating management practices to equine behaviour and welfare. Students will also be provided with the opportunity to conduct a research project with a topic of their choosing as it relates to equine behaviour. Through researching, students will also be able to obtain different interpretations on the information gathered and share it with their peers.

“In our first offering of this course last year, students became quite intrigued with issues related to understanding horse psychology and behaviour,” said Hecker-Jimmerson. “One popular topic is horse learning theory: how does the horse really learn what we ask of him and what can we do to enhance our communication to facilitate that process.”

“We also look at equine stress and stereotypies,” she added.  “Just how do we know when a horse is stressed? Can we identify stereotypic behaviours and manage them effectively? Learning about behavioural and biophysical indicators of stress that are used in conducting research can be very helpful in assessing the mental status of a horse at virtually any point in our care.”

Not only will students have the opportunity to review some of the latest research in horse learning theory through this online course, but they will also have the opportunity to discuss learning theory with certified trainer and behaviourist Shawna Karrasch.  In the late 1980′s, Karrasch trained marine mammals such as killer whales and dolphins at SeaWorld in San Diego, California, and now uses the same technique with horses.

Hecker-Jimmerson said that often times, our interactions with horses becomes very subjective, and can be influenced by our personal mood and perceptions. Helping students to develop tools and skills that allow them to more objectively evaluate the horse and their interactions, frees them from their own emotions to get another view of what is happening in that relationship, and hopefully give them some insights on to how they can improve their communication with their horses and strengthen that bond.

“And isn’t that what most of us are striving for?” she added. “A strong bond based on trust and respect?”

Advanced Equine Behaviour is part of the Equine Science Certificate continuing education program and will be included in Equine Guelph’s Fall 2013 online lineup. Other course offerings include Management of the Equine Environment, Equine Nutrition, Equine Functional Anatomy, Equine Genetics, Equine Growth and Development, Stewardship of the Equine Environment, Equine Business Management, and Equine Journalism. Registration is now open, with courses running from September 9 to December 1, 2013.

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



Equine Guelph Fundraiser In Rockwood, Sept. 6, Features 5 Star Parelli Professional In Evening Of Entertainment

Equine Guelph will benefit from a special presentation by 5 Star Master Parelli Professional trainer David Lichman who is coming to Rockwood, ON on Friday, September 6, 2013.

Lichman’s show is improvisational. Although there are specific things the horses know, the horses have a say in what happens, depending on how they are feeling.  The result is a display of affection, bonding and respect.  By asking instead of telling them to do things, Lichman puts his relationship with the horse above all else.

“I try to help people connect with horses so that it’s fun for both the human and the horse,” said the California based horse trainer.

The show will take place from 7:00p.m. to 9:00pm at:  Northfield Farm, 8368 Hwy 7 Rockwood, Ontario. N0B 2K0.

Gayle Ecker, Director of Equine Guelph, will share the spotlight with Lichman and his three horses as the evening’s guest speaker.

Lichman’s lifelong passion for helping humans and horses has inspired him to collaborate with equine organizations worldwide.  His first encounter with Equine Guelph was with researcher Dr. Jeff Thomason, a leading expert in measuring stress in the hoof. Lichman was intrigued with the future research applications that could be made with the ability to electronically measure and quantify stress applied to the hoof.

Fifty percent of the proceeds of the one and only Canadian show date on Lichman’s North American  tour will go to Equine Guelph.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door (children 12 and under are free). Tickets are available through this link:



Equine Guelph Silent Auction At Can-Am A Success

Equine Guelph extends thanks to all the donors and buyers at the Silent Auction  hosted during this year’s Can-Am Equine Emporium which was held at the  Orangeville Fairgrounds and attended by over 7500 people.

Can-Am President Ross Millar matched the monies raised, sending the total over $5000 to benefit the operation of the educational and research  centre at the University of Guelph.

Special thanks to the auction coordinators Janice Blakeney and Ross Millar.


Equine Guelph Advises of Equine Herpes Virus Case in Wellington County

Equine Guelph has advised in a recent newletter that a case of Neutropic Equine Herpes Virus-1 was diagnosed in Wellington County in mid-April.

To read  details on the treatment for and suggested prevention measures against this highly contagious virus, please  see the Equine Guelph Newsletter here.

Free Equine Guelph Seminar To Provide Latest Research Updates For Horsepeople, Sat., April 6

Equine Guelph is hosting a free daylong seminar on Saturday, April 6, to highlight the Ontario Veterinary College researchers who have been featured in the popular “Report On Research” Series.

You can be one of the first to find out about the latest developments in equine research by attending this event which celebrates the Ten Year Anniversary of Equine Guelph.

Some of the topics covered will include: breakthroughs in stem cell research, recent developments in treating heaves, new understanding about the equine heart and fascinating advances in studies examining how the hoof functions.

During Equine Guelph’s 2013 “Report on Research” Update, participants will be able to ask questions and learn about how these new developments affect the people and the horses within our industry.

Many thanks to the Knowledge Translation and Transfer Program under the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs OMAFRA-U of G Partnership for the grant which made the “Report on Research” videos possible.

Register early – space is limited. Equine Guelph is a not-for-profit organization.  Donations are appreciated.

For more information about our researchers please visit  http://www.equineguelph.ca/research/index.php

To view the Report on Research videos go to:      http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9ACE18F9180735B1&feature=plcp

If you are interested in attending the “Report on Research” seminar on April 6th, please call Equine Guelph at 824-4120 ext. 54204 or email Jolene Perdue at eqmania@uoguelph.ca.

Or Register Online:   http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e71sh16g852ccece&llr=vhklqpjab


University of Guelph Students Now Worried About Job Prospects In Equine Industry As Slots At Racetracks Program Closes

University of Guelph students pursuing an equine specialty are becoming increasingly concerned about job prospects as fallout from the Slots at Racetracks fiasco continues to trickle down.

Uncertainty in the horse racing sector will undoubtedly lead to drastic cuts in funding for research in 2013 and Equine Guelph head Gayle Ecker is concerned about the drop in enrolment in equine courses and certificates.

Read the full story by Dave Briggs writing in The Guelph Mercury here.

Equine Guelph Again Offering Popular Infection Control Workshops For Horse People

Equine Guelph has announced the second offering of the Biosecurity Prevention eWorkshop from October 22 to November 4, 2012 and four more local workshops in Ontario.

Equine Guelph’s new eWorkshops are two-week online short courses designed for busy horse owners. They provide the latest evidence-based information available from University of Guelph facilitators and experts from the industry.

Last April horse enthusiasts from around the globe enjoyed the launch of Equine Guelph’s first eWorkshop on equine biosecurity.  Over a two-week period students learned how to protect their horses from infectious diseases in three steps:    1. Identify risks of infectious disease in the barn 2. Apply practical ways to reduce risks of disease 3. Reduce the chances of sickness

The first offering was met with positive feedback by students. Patty Russen, New York, USA said, “This course offered extensive information on biosecurity. I believe it to be valuable, and even essential, for any barn owner or for any horse owner/boarder that wants to protect and give their horse the best and safest conditions possible.”    Students joined in from around the globe, reaping the benefits of the flexible online format. Sue Kristiansen from Sweden commented, “This course really brought home the meaning of equine biosecurity.”    Local area students who just can’t find enough hours in the day to get off the farm were also among the participants of Equine Guelph’s first eWorkshop.

Jan Huntley of Ontario notes, “If you care about the health of your horse don’t miss this course! This was the best equine course I have taken. I gained new, valuable knowledge from every assignment. The assignments provided information and practical practices that you can apply immediately around your barn and horse to make the chances of catching or spreading diseases less likely. It is about time someone made the topic of biosecurity available to equine owners and handlers.”


Equine Guelph will also be offering free two- hour Biosecurity Workshops at:

Grand River Raceway, Elora, September 6, 1 – 3pm

University of Guelph, Guelph, September 13, 5 – 7pm

Woodbine Racetrack, Toronto, September 25, 1 – 3pm

Best Western Inn, Orangeville, September 27, 1 – 3pm

To register please contact Susan Raymond (slraymon@uoguelph.ca)

“Beat the Bugs” was developed by Equine Guelph with the assistance of its 13 industry partners: American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation, Colorado State University, Central Ontario Standardbred Association, Grand River Agricultural Society, Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, Ontario Association of Equine Practitioners, Ontario Equestrian Federation, Ontario Harness Horse Association, Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association, Ontario Veterinary College, Standardbred Canada, Vétoquinol Canada Inc. and Woodbine Entertainment Group.   This program is funded through the Agricultural Biosecurity Program (ABP), part of the Best Practices Suite of programs under Growing Forward, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of several Growing Forward programs in Ontario.

For more information about Equine Guelph’s biosecurity programs and to view the Biosecurity Calculator please visit www.EquineGuelph.ca/biosecurity.php or  contact Susan Raymond at Equine Guelph, slraymon@uoguelph.ca.

Equine Guelph offers award-winning online education from one of the top universities in Canada — the University of Guelph.   Students benefit from insights offered by leading industry experts from across North America. Equine Guelph’s online program has attracted over 1,000 students from all around the world, including every province in Canada, the United States, France, United Arab Emirates, Korea, Egypt, Australia, Austria, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Israel, Columbia, India and South Africa. Equine Guelph is known worldwide as one of the most respected online equine learning communities.

Don’t miss out on the next two-week eWorkshop from October 22 to November 4, 2012.  Cost is $75 + HST. Visit http://www.equineguelph.ca/biosecurity_esessions.php for course details.

Equine Guelph’s Unique and Highly Valued Industry Role Highlighted

The Canadian Sportsman magazine,  which  once again carried off an armload of Awards  at the recent American Horse Publications ceremonies, spotlighted the uniqueness of Equine Guelph in its latest issue.

The article by Sandra Snyder outlines the latest research developments pertinent to racing, as well as how the partnership between the equine industry and the University of Guelph is breaking new ground in both reaching and educating horsepeople.

View the full story by clicking here.


Groom One Course Through Equine Guelph Now Accepting Registrations


The next offering of the popular Groom One Course from Equine Guelph begins March 30, 2012.

Groom One is recognized by both Standardbred Canada and the Ontario Quarter Horse Racing Industry Development Program.  Horse enthusiasts over 16 years of age learn industry standards in this four-phase program combining hands-on experience and online education.

Phase One begins with a two-day orientation at Country Hill Stables in Goodwood, ON Friday, and Saturday March 30-31, 2012.

In Phase Two, students are assisted in finding entry-level employment to accumulate six months of work experience (based on a 35 – 40 hour work week).

Phase Three, ‘Groom One Online’, is set to begin May 21, 2012 and runs for three months.  The CD based units are complemented by online discussions & presentations with industry mentors.  The six units include: The Horse, Horse Handling, Horse Care, Nutrition, Management, and the Racing Community.

Phase Four, the ‘Learning Assessment’, completes the certification process with a demonstration of skills and knowledge.

Registration Details for Groom One are available on this link to Equine Guelph.

Equine Guelph has more to offer than any other online equine studies certificate or diploma program, with 19 courses taught by highly qualified, respected industry professionals from the University of Guelph’s renowned Ontario Vet College and beyond. New offerings developed due to popular demand include Equine Welfare as well as advanced courses in: Behaviour, Anatomy and Nutrition.

Full course listings are available at:  www.equinestudiesdiploma.com



Darryl Kaplan of Trot Magazine Interviews Kathleen Wynne

Upcoming Stakes Events at WEG Tracks


Blossom - Friday, April 11
3YO F Pace FINAL - $30,000

Don Mills - Saturday, April 12
4&5YO Open Trot Leg 1 - $18,000

Youthful - Monday, April 14
3YO C&G Pace FINAL - $30,000

Lifetime Dream - Monday, April 14
4&5YO Mare Trot Leg 2 - $18,000

Celias Counsel - Thursday, April 17
3YO F Trot Leg 1 - $15,000

Don Mills - Saturday, April 19
4&5YO Open Trot Leg 2 - $18,000

Lifetime Dream - Monday, April 21
4&5YO Mare Trot FINAL - $40,000

Tie Silk - Monday, April 21
3YO C&G Trot Leg 1 - $15,000

Celias Counsel - Thursday, April 24
3YO F Trot Leg 2 - $15,000

Princess - Friday, April 25
3YO F Pace Leg 1 - $20,000

The Diplomat - Saturday, April 26
3YO C&G Pace - Leg 1 - $20,000

Don Mills - Saturday, April 26
4&5YO Open Trot FINAL - $40,000

Tie Silk - Monday, April 28
3YO C&G Trot Leg 2 - $15,000