About a month ago I mentioned in a post that I had started a Diploma in Equine Studies with the University of Guelph. I had orgininally planed on taking the Equine Welfare program, however I decided I wanted to perhaps further my studies at some point and decided the diploma was the right step in that direction.
So why take a Equine Studies? Well once part of my job will be sharing information, and I felt that I just don’t have enough background knowledge about horses to do that job efficiently. I am very much a person who believes you have to know what you are promoting. So if i want to be promoting better horse welfare, horse health etc I should have a basic understanding of the horse in general. I felt the best way to do this was through an university study of some sorts.
Now I am way past the age of wanting to go back to school, so if I was going to do it this time it was going to be something very specific and something I actually wanted. I searched around for various equine studies programs, and unless I wanted to go to the UK to study I was going to be a bit out of luck. Then I found equinestudiesonline.ca and they offered three different short programs. I am familar with online study, and know that some are good, and some are not good. One big thing for me was that if I was going to spend the money, then I needed some reasurance that it was accredited in some way, or at least the intitute providing the edcuation was. I happy to see that it was the University of Guelph that was providing the program. Being from Canada I recgonized the university right away and felt confident in signing up.
I also felt that this was going to be a great program to pair with my horse therapist (horse bodywork) certificate that I am working towards. I really like having a well rounded knowledge of something, so between these two programs I get both the more scientific and more practical side of things. They also give be a good ground to further work that is planned.
So I started my first two courses in September.
I signed up for Equine Health & Disease Prevention and Stewardship of the Equine Environment, and I only have postive things to say about the program so far.
The health program has been very interesting as it have showed me how two countries can be very different in their approaches when it comes to the health of the horse. That being said a lot of the knowledge is the same for everyone, it is just the approach that differs, and neither is right or wrong (in my opinion). I feel I have a much better grasp on general horse health issues, which of course is valuable, and there has been topics that I can definitly use for my bodywork course.
Stewardship of the Equine Enivronment has been a bit of a challenge for me, as it has forces me to think a bit out of the box when it comes to group discussions. This isn’t becasue the idea is new to me, it isn’t and my background with geography has helped, however I can see there are huge differences in regulation in some areas between Canada and Denmark, and since a majority of the program focuses on Canadian regulation and ways of doing things some of it felt like it did not apply. That being said I am still walking away with a lot of after thought and a lot of new ideas of how we can incorporate stewardship even better in our future plans.
After these first two classes, I am really looking forward to taking more, and I hope to blog more in detail about some of the things I have learned here on the blog in the future. I think the next two courses I want to take are Equine Functional Anatomy and Equine Exercise Physiology. I just need to find the money….