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About the Equine Practitioner Certificate

Catalog Year: 2016-2017 (view other years)
Minimum credits required:  30
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Gainful Employment Data

The Equine Practitioner certificate prepares students for entrepreneurship, employment, or advancement in a variety of equine fields including business/barn management, training, husbandry, grooming, sales, marketing and nutrition.


Program-Specific Requirements

Course Course Title Hours
AGE100 Intro to Equine Science

AGE 100. Introductory Equine Science (4). Introduction to horses as they relate to humans including history and development, adaptation, basic anatomy, types and classes, breeds, and horsemanship. Four lecture.

1. History and development of the horse industry
2. Selecting horses
3. Functional anatomy
4. Physiology
5. Types, classes, and breeds of horses
6. Horsemanship

1. Explain the history and development of the horse and horse industry. (1, 5)
2. Identify the status and future of the horse industry and its role in the global economy. (1)
3. Identify breeds, types, and classes of horses along with selection and conformation. (3-5)
4. Describe functional anatomy and physiology of the horse. (3, 4)
5. Investigate basic reproduction and breeding practices. (2-5)
6. Explain digestion and nutrition. (3, 4)
7. Review horse behavior and its relationship to training. (5,6)
8. Describe necessary skills for safe horsemanship and equitation. (6)

AGE101 Riding Methods I

AGE101. Riding Methods I (2). Basics in pre-ride preparation, tacking, mounting, controlling and directing a horse at appropriate gait for horse and rider (e.g. walk, trot, lope). Emphasis on safety, fundamental patterns, and smooth transitions. Includes exercises to develop focus, feel and balance to create fluid synchronization between horse and rider. Horse ownership required or contact instructor for lease option. One lecture. Two lab.

1. Safety
2. Grooming
3. Tack
4. Warm-up
5. Mounting and dismounting
6. Riding aids
7. Walk, trot, halt, back
8. Cool down

1. Apply safety, handling, grooming and tacking techniques in preparation for riding. (1-3)
2. Apply warm-up techniques such as lunge lining, hot-walker, round-pen. (4)
3. Mount and dismount safely. (1,5)
4. Develop effective use of riding aids of legs, seat, hands and voice. (1,6)
5. Perform transitions between the walk, trot, halt and back. (1,7)
6. Apply focus, feel and balance methods while riding. (1,6,7)
7. Perform cool-down exercises. (1, 8)

AGE120 Equine Health & First Aid

AGE 120. Equine Health and First Aid (2). Equine health management with emphasis on identifying potential problems at an early stage, causes and prevention. Includes terminology to better communicate with health care practitioners and horse handling during routine health maintenance, first aid, and emergency situations.

1. Basic equine anatomy and physiology
2. Clinical signs of equine disease
3. First aid
4. Orthopedic emergencies
5. Surgery and postoperative care of horses
6. Basic reproduction
7. Vaccinations and infectious disease control

1. Identify basic equine anatomy and physiology. (1)
2. Differentiate between three major categories of equine infectious diseases. (2,7)
3. Identify causes, diagnostic methods, and treatment of various diseases and illnesses. (2,5,7)
4. Define medical terminology relating to health and disease of equines. (2,6)
5. Explain special care considerations for newborn to aging horses. (2,6)
6. Perform first aid techniques on equines. (3-5)
7. Identify basic orthopedic emergencies in equines. (4)
8. Discuss postoperative care for equines. (3-5)
9. Explain the basic care and health of reproductive horses. (6)
10. Discuss immunizations and infectious disease control for equines. (2,7)
11. Administer medications and treatments for horses. (1-7)
12. Use skills necessary to interact with veterinarians during emergencies, routine exams, and treatments. (1-17)

AGE122 Prin of Equine Nutrition

AGE 122. Principles of Equine Nutrition (2). Principles of horse nutrition and its application to horse health. Includes the equine digestive system, functions of feeds, nutrient needs, protein, minerals, vitamins, water-soluble vitamins and rations. Emphasis on identifying potential problems at an early stage, causes and prevention. Two lecture.

1. Equine digestive anatomy and physiology
2. Functions of feeds
3. Feed management practices
4. Nutrient needs
5. Diseases and ailments as they relate to nutrition
6. Henneke scoring system for body condition

1. Describe what constitutes good nutritional health in a horse. (1, 6)
2. Describe the anatomy and physiology of the digestive system. (1)
3. Explain nutritional requirements from newborn to senior horses. (3,4,6)
4. Identify feed management practices for individual horse requirements. (2-6)
5. Describe diseases and disorders related to nutrition (3-6)
6. Identify quality feed and recognize potential dangers. (4)

AGE125 Equine Behavior and Psychology

AGE125. Equine Behavior and Psychology (3) (Fall). Exploration of how and why horses behave the way they do. Developmental timelines, perception, learning, social organization, and play. Includes observation and discussion of the elements that cultivate the horse/human connection. Three lecture.

1. Horse behavior
2. The 'physical' horse
3. Horse/human connection

1. Distinguish between the various life-stage characteristics and behaviors of horses through developmental timelines. (1)
2. Describe horses' senses and their role in behavior. (1)
3. Explain how horses learn. (1,2)
4. Describe the differences between domestic and natural behavior. (1)
5. Report the elements of the physical horse that affect behavior. (1,2)
6. Structure behavior reinforcement/modification plans for various temperaments and situations. (1-3)
7. Discuss methods and activities to cultivate the horse/human connection. (1,3)

AGE140 Equine Hoof Care

AGE140. Equine Hoof Care (3). Basic anatomy and physiology of the legs and feet. Equine conformation, movement and performance. Basic horseshoeing trimming techniques. Three lecture.

1. Anatomy of the lower limbs
2. Physiology of the lower limbs
3. Trimming and shoeing techniques
4. Relationship of anatomy and physiology to movement and performance
5. Equipment and products

1. Identify the parts of the legs and feet of a horse. (1)
2. Explain the locomotion of the legs and feet. (1)
3. Diagnose injury and disease of the legs and feet. (1)
4. Describe proper horse conformation. (1, 2)
5. Distinguish various shoes and alternative hoof wear by use and purpose. (5)
6. Identify equipment and products by name, use and purpose. (5)
7. Assess a horse for balance, soundness and performance. (3,4)
8. Evaluate proper trimming and horseshoeing for health and performance. (3,4)

AGE201 Riding Methods II

AGE 201. Riding Methods II (2). Riding skills for any discipline. Emphasis on safety, tack, grooming, horsemanship, and applicable gaits for various breeds. Focus on balance, control, posting, transitions, lateral work, training patterns and basic trail obstacles. One lecture. Two lab. Horse ownership required or lease option available; contact instructor.

1. Safety and etiquette
2. Grooming and saddling
3. Contact and control
4. Aids
5. Walk, trot/jog or gait, and canter/lope
6. Transitions
7. Lateral work
8. Patterns and basic trail obstacles

1. Apply safety rules when engaging a horse. (1,2)
2. Apply arena etiquette. (1,2)
3. Identify and fit the tack used in English and Western riding. (2)
4. Use correct seat and aids for specific styles of riding. (1,3,4)
5. Present a horse in a walk, jog/posting trot or alternative gait and canter/lope. (3-7)
6. Present transitions through the gaits. (3-6)
7. Turn a horse on forehand and haunch half and side pass. (1,3-7)
8. Ride a horse through patterns including figure eight and serpentine. (1,3-8)
9. Navigate basic trail obstacles (1, 3-8)

AGE230 Barn Management

AGE 230. Barn Management (2) (Fall). Basic skills of handling horses in a safe manner to complete daily job duties in a working barn. Stall cleaning/maintenance, daily feeding/rations, inventory, purchasing, record keeping, ethics, and client relations. One lecture Two lab.

1. Grooming
2. Tack care and usage
3. Stall cleaning and maintenance
4. Safe horse handling
5. Business processes
6. Client relations
7. General horse condition and food/water quality
8. Ethics

1. Perform basic grooming for maintenance, health, and safety of horse. (1,4)
2. Identify different types and usage of tack and describe proper care, repair, cleaning, and storage of tack. (2,5)
3. Identify and safely apply all styles and methods of cleaning and maintaining stalls. (3-5)
4. Handle and restrain a horse safely in various situations, including haltering, escorting to turn-outs, wash racks and exercisers. (4)
5. Prepare inventory lists and purchase orders. (5)
6. Report business transactions and animal health data. (1,3,5)
7. Identify proper stall and horse conditions. (3,7)
8. Use communication skills with supervisors, clients, and co-workers. (6)
9. Describe and exhibit a strong work ethic, and ethical business practices. (8)

AGE260 Ground Skills/Training Tech

AGE 260. Ground Skills and Training Techniques in Horsemanship (3) (Spring). Ground skills necessary for safety, control and cooperation with horses. Various training philosophies as well as methodologies involved in preparing individuals to train their own horse. Includes hands-on sessions with horses to build ground manners for liberty and riding. Personal horses welcome but not required. Two lecture. Two lab.

1. Ground skills and handling safety
2. The language of the horse
3. Renowned horsemen past and present
4. Training basics
5. Common problems and their solutions

1. Handle a horse with control and safety. (1)
2. Interpret the language of the horse and related behavior. (2)
3. Compare and discuss similarities and differences in training methods of renowned horsemen. (3, 4)
4. Explain and implement methods for developing a working foundation with a horse. (1-5)

AGS215 Agricultural Mechanics

AGS 215. Agricultural Mechanics (3). Principles and operative skills in agriscience technology, including troubleshooting, maintenance, and repair of common agriculture tools and equipment. Emphasis on mig welding, electricity, concrete and mortar, pumps, engines and motors, and basic construction practicing OSHA safety standards. One and one-half lecture. Four and one-half lab.

1. Mig welding and cutting torch operation
2. Tools and power tools
3. Construction fencing, concrete, forms, and mortar
4. Electrical wiring and fuses
5. Pump operation, troubleshooting, maintenance and repair
6. Small engine and equipment operation, troubleshooting, maintenance and repair
7. Safety standards

1. Produce durable mig welds when given specifications and raw materials. (1)
2. Utilize a cutting torch for project completion. (1)
3. Choose the best hand and/or power tool for the required task and support the decision. (2)
4. Operate hand tools and power tools safely and with proper care. (2,7)
5. Measure, lay out and create wooden forms for concrete construction applications. (3)
6. Identify concrete components and determine slump for various concrete applications. (3)
7. Plan, estimate and lay block and brick. (3)
8. Design, estimate, calculate materials and construct fencing projects. (3)
9. Wire sprinklers, timers and valves utilizing the proper gauged wire. (4)
10. Complete basic wiring of a light and test for functionality. (4)
11. Identify and replace fuses as needed in agricultural settings. (4)
12. Troubleshoot, disassemble, reassemble and repair pumps in agricultural settings. (5)
13. Diagnose and perform routine maintenance on agricultural equipment, including oil, filters, fuel, batteries and belts. (6)
14. Safely operate agriculture equipment, such as tractors, ATV's, mowers, tillers and sprayers. (6,7)

Select 4 credit hours from the following courses:
AGE156 Equine Grooming Show Hlth

AGE 156. Equine Grooming for Show and Health (2). Introduction to equine grooming. Includes grooming techniques, handling and tools for different horse breeds and horse shows as they apply to the equine industry. Two lecture. One lab.

1. History and purpose of equine grooming
2. Clipping, trimming and braiding
3. Grooming tools, equipment, and products
4. General care such as bathing, blanketing, and hoof care
5. Grooming for health benefits
6. Grooming preparation for horse shows
7. Handling and restraint for safe grooming

1. Describe history and purpose of equine grooming. (1, 5)
2. Use techniques for safe handling and restraint while grooming a horse. (7)
3. Apply grooming, clipping, trimming, and braiding techniques as they relate to different horse breeds and horse shows. (2-4, 6,7)
4. Differentiate between tools, equipment, and products as they relate to health and show grooming. (3)
5. Organize products and equipment needed to properly set up a show tack stall. (6)
6. Use grooming skills to prepare a horse for photography or sale. (2-4, 6,7)
7. Choose proper hoof treatments for show and health. (4-7)
8. Identify health benefits of proper grooming. (5)
9. Identify the steps needed to bathe a horse. (4, 7)
10. Evaluate and choose appropriate horse coverings for health and show such as blankets, sheets, hoods, boots, and wraps. (4)

AGE157 Equine Event Plan & Mgmt

AGE 157. Equine Event Planning and Management (2). Events management for the equine industry. Includes selection of event, marketing, budget, insurance, registration and facility selection. Two Lecture

1. Event promotion and marketing
2. Facility selection and set-up
3. Choosing an event
4. Insurance and liability
5. Budgeting
6. Registration procedures
7. Volunteers and employees
8. Contracts/permits

1. Select an equine event or competition. (3)
2. Determine the budget to host a quality equine event. (2,5)
3. Design and implement a promotional campaign for a given event. (1)
4. Prep a facility for an event. (2)
5. Negotiate a contract agreement for rental of facilities. (2,4,8)
6. Design registration forms for an event. (6)
7. Evaluate and select appropriate liability insurance for an event. (4,8)
8. Present a complete plan for a specific event. (1-8)
9. Select personnel for specific positions and describe how to get and keep volunteers. (7)

AGE158 Fundamentals of Trail Riding

AGE158. Fundamentals of Trail Riding (2). Preparation of horse and rider for safe and enjoyable trail rides. Includes appropriate tack selection, trail first aid, etiquette of riding in groups, camping considerations, and trailering. On-campus use of trail obstacle course includes water crossing, teeter-totter, pedestal and bridges. Horse ownership required or contact instructor for lease option. Ability to transport horse to site required. One lecture. Two lab.

1. Trailering, handling, loading, and transport of horses
2. Trail-specific tack and gear for horse and rider
3. Maneuvering trail obstacles
4. Trail etiquette and safety
5. Trail-specific first aid and kit design
6. Introduction to camping with horses

1. Identify and implement elements for safe transport of horses. (1)
2. Evaluate trail-specific tack and gear for horse and rider. (2)
3. Safely and efficiently maneuver a trail obstacle course. (3,4)
4. Explain basic trail first aid. (5)
5. Develop a trail-specific first aid kit. (5)
6. Identify horse camping considerations including camp selection and horse containment while camping. (6)
7. Develop a list of supplies for horse and rider for weekend camp trips. (6)


Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Equine Practitioner Certificate program, the learner will be able to:


  1. Design, operate, and implement a business plan to manage an equine facility, business or event. (AGE 157, AGE 230, AGS 215)
  2. Identify external parts of a horse and apply that knowledge to everyday functions of the horse. (AGE 100, AGE 120, AGE 122, AGE 125, AGE 140, AGE 156)
  3. Explain herd psychology and implement it into a training program. (AGE 100, AGE 125, AGE 260)
  4. Identify and apply overall health and nutrition needs for the newborn to senior equine. (AGE 100, AGE 122)
  5. Identify the anatomy of the hoof and explain correct shoeing procedures. (AGE 100, AGE 140)
  6. Recognize a variety of horse illnesses, lameness and diseases, and recommend the proper treatment for each. (AGE 100, AGE 120, AGE 122, AGE 140, AGE 158)
  7. Identify digestive anatomy and physiology and design a feed program for a variety of equine breeds. (AGE 100, AGE 122)
  8. Compare popular training techniques from ground work to under saddle/harness. (AGE 101, AGE 201, AGE 260)
  9. Identify and correct behavioral problems in relation to riding and training.  (AGE 100, AGE 101, AGE 201, AGE 260)
  10. Explain and use basic riding techniques and associated equipment needed for each. (AGE 101, AGE 201)
  11. Identify and apply barn management skills, including cleaning, horse care, and supply management. (AGE 230)
  12. Identify and apply effective grooming, handling, tools, and products for various horse breeds and shows. (AGE 156)