Advancing Equine Knowledge Online, One Course at a Time

Posted on Monday March 18, 2024
Gillian Allen

Having the opportunity to study at a world-class veterinary college is an ideal situation for many horse owners, and that’s even more the case when you can study from home! Meet Gillian Allen, horse breeder and retired teacher. After several years of working full time and completing one course at a time, Gillian earned a Diploma in Equine Studies at the University of Guelph (U of G). This highly specialized program helped her to advance her skills to a level where she can effectively care for multiple horses within her care and communicate with her veterinarian in a way that wasn’t always possible.

“My stable care has vastly improved by learning the science behind my choices,” explains Gillian. “I have a better relationship with my veterinarian and fewer emergency calls. My vet will discuss situations over the phone because he knows I have the skills to take temperature, pulse and respiration (TPR) and assess the situation.”

This wouldn’t have been possible before Gillian completed the program. With her ongoing growth and development in the field of equine studies, Gillian has been able to elevate her knowledge to impressive standards.

“I share as much of my newly learned skills and knowledge with boarders and students in my barn,” says Gillian. “They too have benefited from this knowledge. I am now chairperson on a provincial/regional conference—Atlantic Canada Equine Symposium (ACES)—designed to educate general horse owners on the vet emergencies that are most preventable, such as feeding the gut to reduce colic and respiratory incidences, biomechanics of lameness, and the Code of Practice in the Care and Handling of Equines. All of this is from my renewed confidence in equine care knowledge learned from Equine Guelph courses.”

The Equine Studies Online program at U of G offers a wide variety of courses in an asynchronous online format three semesters a year. This online format provides ultimate flexibility to learners across the globe. Horse owners can stay at home with their horses while learning valuable skills online.

“The Equine program allowed me to study from home. It was an accredited program and I could take the courses that best fit my situation,” says Gillian.

When asking Gillian what advice she would offer to those interested in the program, she emphasized the impact of specialized individual courses and the importance of the diploma program.

“My advice would be to take the courses,” concludes Gillian. “Take one at a time and do every reading and assignment. The opportunity to learn is a gift. Any person running a stable should complete the diploma. Even if they believe they know it all, they don’t. General horse owners would benefit from the diploma program and individual courses such as Management of the Equine Environment will give them tools to improve their horse care. The Equine Behaviour course introduced me to positive reinforcement training and I haven't looked back.”

Summer ’24 Equine Courses are open for registration and begin on Monday, May 13, 2024.