Twelve-week online course on equine behaviour offered

According to course instructor Sid Gustafson, stereotypic behaviours such as cribbing or chewing are often the result of substandard husbandry.
According to course instructor Sid Gustafson, stereotypic behaviours such as cribbing or chewing are often the result of substandard husbandry.

A 12-week online course on equine behaviour is being offered by Equine Guelph, the horse arm of the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.

Equine Guelph says the course will teach people to better understand horses through their own eyes and how to care for their physical and behavioural needs.

“The primary focus in this class is not to explore what horses can do for humans, but to teach humans what they can do for horses, to facilitate willing partnerships by maintaining optimal physical and behavioural health,” says course instructor Dr Sid Gustafson.

Gustafson says students will learn about the evolution of the horse, tracing the horse’s development through time in order to appreciate the nature of the horse.

Students will also discuss domestication science to understand the merging of human society with horse society and the social constructs that are shared between humans and horses.

Other topics include horsemanship based on learned science, equine welfare, social play, training, and the various stereotypies that affect horse behaviour such as cribbing, rearing and bucking.

An equine behaviourist, novelist, and veterinarian, Gustafson was raised with horses on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana and was able to experience the culture of horses and humans in a natural setting. He operates a pet and equine practice  in Big Sky, Montana, where “these days, my students and horses are my primary teachers”.

“The objective of this course is to make the world a better place for horses, and subsequently make it a better place for horse folk,” he says. “Students learn how to care for horses as horses prefer to be cared for.”

Equine Behaviour and Advanced Equine Behaviour are part of the Equine Science Certificate continuing education program and will be included in Equine Guelph’s Winter 2014 online lineup.

Other course offerings include Equine Functional Anatomy, The Equine Industry, Management of the Equine Environment, Equine Health & Disease Prevention, Marketing and Communications in the Equine Industry, Advanced Equine Health through Nutrition and Global Perspectives in Equine Welfare.

The winter semester runs from January 13, 2014 to April 5, 2014. Registration is now open.

More information: email, call 519-767-5000 or visit

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3 thoughts on “Twelve-week online course on equine behaviour offered

  • December 20, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Please send me more details on the cores I am in South Africa is it a on line course ?

    • January 7, 2014 at 3:48 am

      Yes, this is an online course from Equine Guelph, at the University of Guelph. It is a very flexible way of learning as you can manage your own time during the course from week to week. There are many students from several countries that join this learning community.

  • February 8, 2014 at 9:32 am

    Do you know when the next class will start?


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