Equine Guelph offers free body condition course on World Horse Day

GUELPH – World Horse Day has been celebrated annually on March 1 since it was created in 2005 to raise awareness of equine welfare and protection. 

As a culmination of Equine Guelph’s 20th anniversary celebrations, the organization will be offering its new online course, Introduction to Body Condition Scoring, free for horse owners and caretakers who sign up on March 1 at TheHorsePortal.ca.

“Optimal horse health depends on ideal body weight,” says Gayle Ecker, director of Equine Guelph. “We are so pleased to offer our newest course, Introduction to Body Condition Scoring, to horse advocates around the globe on World Horse Day!”

Equine Guelph has been celebrating its 20th anniversary since the summer of 2023, with special offerings for students aged 16 to 80 from over 40 countries.

“On March 1, for World Horse Day, we want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to experience the wonderful learning community and evidence-based content that draws our students together,” said Dr. Nicole Weidner, PhD in animal nutrition who was involved in the course development.

“Optimizing your horse’s nutrition starts with evaluating the horse’s current condition,” she said. 

Utilizing the Henneke body condition scoring system, students will learn to visually assess and palpate the horse to determine the amount of fat present at six areas of the body. 

Students also learn equine assessment methods such as topline scoring and cresty neck scoring. 

The course will give caregivers the resources to help determine whether a body condition score is appropriate for their horse, understand what actions should be taken next, and create an action plan for their horse’s weight and health goals.

The on-demand, self-paced course is valued at $30 and requires 15 to 20 hours of time, with course access available for one year.