Free online course helps horse owners prepare for the worst

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Horse owners and event officials are being urged to take part in a free online short course that aims to raise awareness about personal safety and animal welfare when working with horses involved in an incident.

The course is being offered by Australian equine advocacy group Horse SA and aims to prepare those taking part for incidents that may occur at equestrian events or in the workplace, or as a result of a natural disaster or biosecurity threat.

Horses and other large animals get into all sorts of trouble at the stable yard, at competitions, in a road crash, or as a result of fire or flood. In an attempt to rescue animals, owners and handlers risk serious injury unless a few steps to improve safety are put into place.

The course, titled ‘Incidents involving large animals’, is in an easy-to-follow format supported by illustrations and photographs, and covers such topics as horse behaviour, working as a team and specialist equipment.

“We hope the course will raise awareness amongst employers and community horse event organisers about the need to train staff and volunteers in how to deal with an incident involving a horse or other large animal,” said Julie Fiedler, Executive Officer for Horse SA.

“It takes less than 30 minutes of your time and on completion, a certificate of participation and a link to downloadable planning resources is provided.”

The course needs to be completed in one sitting, and can be accessed here.

The project was funded under the National Disaster Resilience Program by the South Australian Government and the Commonwealth Department for Home Affairs.

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