FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — JULY 5, 2012 – Building upon its success in providing quality education in an easy-to-use online format, Equine Guelph at the University of Guelph is pleased to announce the first offering of Advanced Equine Behaviour as part of the newly introduced Equine Welfare Certificate program.
Through this 12-week online course, students will develop a higher level of understanding regarding equine behaviour, including abnormal behaviour and the management practices which contribute to them. Students will also be provided with an in-depth look at the behaviour research process and apply this evidence-based learning to current practices in order to build upon their knowledge of horses both as individuals and as a species.
Course instructor Kelly Jimmerson is an alumnus of Michigan State University’s horse management certificate and graduate programs and has worked in the horse industry since 1991. “I have studied the science and psychology of animal behavior and horse training, and it continues to be my favourite topic of study and practice,” says Jimmerson. She feels that this course will be of great interest to young professionals coming into the industry, as well as for mid-life professionals and hobbyists with an interest in equine behaviour.
Key topics of Advanced Equine Behaviour will include equine learning and the roles of positive and negative reinforcement; equine stress, sterotypies, and management practices; and management practice evaluation in regards to equine behaviour and welfare.
“A growing number of people are concerned with acting in accordance with the horse’s nature during training, handling, and care,” says Jimmerson, who is certified as a riding instructor through the Professional Association for Therapeutic Horsemanship International, and through the Certified Horsemanship Association. “This course will give students the opportunity to delve into the evidence-based research that is informing our understanding of the horse’s nature and well-being, apply it to real-life situations, as well as the tools to evaluate how closely current management systems fit with the horse’s nature.”
Students will also be provided with the opportunity to conduct a research project, giving them the opportunity to focus on a behaviour topic of their choice and allowing for an intense literature review of a specific part of equine behaviour that is relevant to their interests and situations.
“One of the larger goals of the research project is to give students the skills necessary to stay ‘current’ and to evaluate sources of information and theories so that they may conduct research independently after the course is complete,” says Jimmerson.
Other courses offered in Equine Guelph’s Fall 2012 lineup include: Management of the Equine Environment, Equine Health & Disease Prevention, Equine Nutrition, Growth & Development, Exercise Physiology, Equine Business Management, Equine Journalism, and Stewardship of the Equine Environment. Registration is now open, with early bird registration ending August 10. Courses run from September 10 to December 2, 2012.