Equine conditioning is not a “one-size-fits-all” concept

No matter the discipline, proper conditioning is a key element toward enhancing your horse’s athletic performance and its ability to endure the activity without succumbing to injury or health problems. Learn the physiology of equine conditioning and what’s best for your equine athlete with Equine Guelph’s online course, Equine Exercise Physiology.

“Unfortunately, the ‘one size fits all’ concept does not work for conditioning equine athletes,” says course instructor Dr. Amanda Waller, who has a Ph.D. in Equine Exercise Physiology from the University of Guelph. “Each horse is an individual and must be treated that way. We then add all the differences in the demands of each discipline, age, breed and conformation of the horse, as well as the environmental factors and terrain. You can see how training must be optimized to each unique scenario.”

A lifelong horse owner and competitor, Waller believes if we ask our horses to do physically demanding tasks, then it is our responsibility to make sure we knowledgeably train and prepare them for this task based on the latest information. “The field of equine exercise physiology is constantly evolving,” she says. “Therefore, one of the clear benefits of taking this course is the opportunity to learn the most up-to-date information from instructors and guest speakers who are experts in their field, such as gold medalist and Olympic eventer Jessica Phoenix and award-winning racehorse trainer Joe Stutzman, as well as renowned specialists in the nutrition and physiology of the equine athlete.”

Offered through the University of Guelph, the 12-week online Equine Exercise Physiology course will provide students with an in-depth study of the physiological systems and metabolic pathways that are important to equine performance and conditioning. It also offers interaction with fellow horse enthusiasts from around the globe to discuss cutting-edge, evidence-based research. By the end of the course, students will be able to safely carry out a daily conditioning workout to prevent over-work, design and monitor a year-round training program for a horse, assess the advantages and disadvantages of new technology and alternate training venues or programs for the athletic horse, and explain the scientific rationale for suggested practices based on an understanding of horse exercise physiology.

“I believe the quality and diversity of the course topics makes it a great educational experience for those with a passion for any equestrian discipline,” says Waller, who currently works in the Center for Clinical & Translational Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, where she is researching human and animal physiology as it relates to biomedical health and disease. “By understanding the concepts of exercise physiology, students will be in a better position to make knowledgeable decisions about the progress and alternatives for their horses.”

Registration for Equine Guelph’s Summer 2014 semester is now open with courses beginning on May 12, 2014. Other Summer course offerings include Advanced Equine Functional Anatomy, Equine Behaviour, Equine Business Finance & Risk Management, Equine Nutrition, Advanced Equine Functional Anatomy, and Management of the Equine Environment. The early bird registration deadline is April 12, 2014.

More information can be found at www.EquineStudiesOnline.ca or by contacting Open Learning and Educational Support at info@OpenEd.uoguelph.ca or 519-767-5000.

Equine Guelph is the horse owners’ and care givers’ Centre at the University of Guelph. It is a unique partnership dedicated to the health and well-being of horses, supported and overseen by equine industry groups. Equine Guelph is the epicenter for academia, industry and government – for the good of the equine industry as a whole. For further information, visit www.equineguelph.ca.

About Open Learning and Education Support

Open Learning and Educational Support provides expertise and leadership to the University of Guelph community and our partners in the following: the scholarship and practice of teaching, technology-enhanced education, open learning and professional development. We provide support for teaching and learning that is evidence-based, responsive, developmental and based on best practices.

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