Horse health and safety course goes online for young equestrians

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Many equestrians who have sustained injuries when working with horses say their injuries were preventable, a study has revealed. To help increase safety awareness, a new Horse Safety and Behaviour course is being offered online.

The course is being offered to young riders aged 14 to 17 by Canada’s Equine Guelph, and a version for those 18 and over will run at the same time.

In Canada, horses are the #1 cause of animal-related injuries; 67% of animal-related injuries (requiring hospitalization) are caused by horses. All too often, injuries occur due to lack of education or understanding of equine behavior and proper handling practices. In fact, a current study shows that half of equine-related injury patients believe their injuries were preventable and due to human error.

The three-week online short course will run from October 2 to 22 and will be delivered on The Horse Portal – Equine Guelph’s new e-training platform designed to provide a practical, common sense community approach to learning for horse enthusiasts of all ages.

Equine Guelph has partnered with all English-speaking equestrian federations across Canada and a special 10% course discount is available for both adult and junior members. The youth course costs between $C40 and $45, but 50 free courses are on offer to 4-H Ontario Horse Club Members and 50 for Ontario Equestrian Federation Junior Members on a first-come-first served basis.

“We are proud that our first online course for youth will deliver safety training to this grassroots segment of our industry,” says Gayle Ecker, director of Equine Guelph. “The Horse Portal will bring together our young people in a safe, online community where they will learn how to ‘speak horse’ – and, ultimately, stay safe around horses and on the farm!”

The course has been made possible by a grant from the Grand River Agricultural Society.

Course information is available at

Reporting: Henrietta Coole

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