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Online equine training courses offered

The University of Minnesota Extension Horse Team is once again offering online certificate courses for horse owners and professionals. All course are online, semi self-paced, six-weeks in duration, and start Jan. 13. To earn a course certificate, participants must earn above 70% on three quizzes and participate in three online course discussions. 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, and will not result in college credit.

Four returning courses and one new course are being offered in 2020, including:

1. Growing and Feeding Horse Hay focuses on growing and feeding horse hay in the upper Midwest. 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.

2. Horse Pasture Establishment and Management focuses on establishing and managing horse pastures in the upper Midwest. Topics include pasture layout and design, pasture establishment, pasture management, estimating pasture intake, managing diseased horses on pasture, pasture resources, and pasture research updates.

3. Basic Horse Nutrition focuses on developing 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. Topics include the horse GI tract, feeding behavior, key nutrients, types of feedstuffs, reading a feed tag, and feeding young, adult, aged, and performance horses.

4. Manure Management focuses on developing an understanding of manure management for horse and small farm owners. This course introduces learners to basic manure disposal and use as a fertilizer. Topics will include manure characteristics and basics, environmental concerns, rules and regulations of manure, composting, and stockpiling and land application.

5. New this year is Equine Biosecurity which focuses on preventing or reducing the spread of infectious disease. Topics include an introduction to equine biosecurity, infectious diseases, biosecurity at home, biosecurity at horse shows and events, and economics of practical biosecurity. Participants will also be encouraged to develop a biosecurity plan, which is an additional requirement for participants wanting a certificate of course completion.

Each course costs $75 and registration is due by 11:59 p.m. Jan. 12. More information and registration is available at https://extension.umn.edu/courses-and-events/horse-online-certificate-course

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