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Racing-Exclusive Online Courses a Win!June 2020

Story by: Jackie Bellamy Zions


Ontario racing industry provides feedback on Equine Guelph’s Pilot Project


100% positive feedback has been received for the new TheHorsePortal.ca online courses, developed exclusively for Ontario Racing industry members! Respiratory health, lameness prevention and gut health prove to be a priority.


Racing photos


In 2016, Equine Guelph conducted a major Ontario Horse Racing Industry Survey and learned that the top three health issues of concern were: #1 – respiratory issues, #2 – injuries, #3 – gut issues. As a result, Equine Guelph developed three new free racing-exclusive online courses on TheHorsePortal.ca/RacingPilot as part of the AGCO-funded “Ontario Training Pilot Project for the Ontario Horse Racing Industry” in 2019-20. To date, a total of 716 AGCO licence holders have registered for racing-exclusive and general course offerings.


The following are examples of some of the rave reviews from students in the Ontario racing industry – mainly trainers, grooms and owners – who completed the end-of-course survey for the three new racing-exclusive courses: Racehorse Respiratory Health, Lameness/Injury Prevention and Care and Gut Health & Colic Prevention.


General Comments:

100% of the students said the courses met or exceeded their expectations and many of these students had never participated in an online course before.


“I have never taken an on-line course before. I thought it was well set-up and easy to follow. I liked that you could work at your own pace and it was OK to get behind or go ahead. I also liked that you could delve more deeply into topics that interested you. It was great to have access to experts to ask personal questions, or about something in the course work that brought up a question. “


“I found the Course Facilitators, Guest Experts and Industry Ambassadors to be very knowledgeable and easy to understand. Everything was well organized and easy to follow along. The videos chosen were very helpful.”


“I was so excited to discuss questions with the guest expert and get great feedback. The course facilitators were very attentive and responded quickly to questions.”


“Everyone was beyond excellent. The communication and responses were wonderful and provided additional learning resources”


Comments from the Racehorse Respiratory Health Course:

“I learned so much in this course. As a racehorse owner, you not only need to have knowledge about how to help your horses’ respiration and avoid respiratory issues, but more importantly, you also need the correct, and factual information and knowledge. This course provided that.”


“I enjoyed the entire course!! I found it very interesting….as I believe any horse person interested in helping their horse breathe better, feel better and all around stay healthy, would find this course a must. I have downloaded it all to have at my fingertips for future reference.”


I have learned “in depth” of the way a horse breathes and eats…. how the soft palate and epiglottis works. The practical advice, really things one should know and do already, like keeping the dust down and keeping the windows open….reading all of this makes me more inclined to put my foot down in my barn to make sure the dust is at a minimum.”


“I enjoyed every aspect of this course. From the written material, to the videos, and resources and even the discussions. This course was one of the best courses I have enrolled in and completed. I enjoyed every aspect of this course. From the written material, to the videos, and resources and even the discussions. This course was one of the best courses I have enrolled in and completed.”


“I thought the inflating of the lungs on the dissected horse was amazing. I have been around horses all my adult life and never did comprehend the size of the equine lung until having that visual. Our racehorses are really nothing short of a miracle!”


Racing photos


Comments from the Lameness/Injury Prevention and Care Course:

“I think everyone at the Racetrack should take this exact course with these same people orchestrating the course.” “How to notice the small, subtle changes which signify there is something going on before they become a large, noticeable lameness, at which point irreparable damage could have already occurred. “


“It is better to put work load on horses starting at a young age than leaving them and starting them at an older age. There are more break downs in babies when given joint injections than when given to an older horse.”


“This was by far the best short course I have taken. I registered for the course along with my employees who all felt it was exceptional. Everyone learned and retained a lot of knowledge from this course. There were so many readings and extra material provided. My only suggestion would be to extend the length of this course with the amount of material provided. Given the extension I felt comfortable to finish it, but having that extra time was a definite benefit given all of the extra resources, I didn’t want to miss one thing!”


anatomy fine organs“This was an excellent course! I believe all horse people in all disciplines should take it. The amount of excellent, scientific resources exceeded my expectations. I especially commend you for the amount of scientific resources and experts used. As a member of the veterinary medicine community I gravitate towards facts substantiated by science and wish more people in the horse industry would also. The video resources portray an abundant amount of useful information for everyone. By far my most favourite course yet! I will highly recommend this course to everyone.”


Comments from the Gut Health & Colic Prevention Course:

“This course was very informative and truly interesting. There was a lot of information covered on the subject and it was broken down in sections each day. Was very enjoyable to take.”


“I have learned a lot by taking this course. I am grateful and appreciate The Horse Portal and Equine Guelph in developing, and offering this course. I now have a better understanding of what to look for and ways to prevent colic in my horse. I would highly recommend this course to anyone who owns or cares for horses!”


FANTASTIC COURSE!!! I’ve already shared my sentiments with a few Woodbine staff members and others in the backstretch. Highly recommended! Thank you so much for offering it!”


In conclusion of the Pilot Project, three more general courses will be offered free to AGCO licence holders, including:


Fire & Emergency Preparedness: Oct 5 – 13

Horse Care & Welfare: Oct 19 – 30

Sickness Prevention in Horses: Nov 16 – 27


For further information and to register, go to TheHorsePortal.ca/RacingPilot


Equine Guelph thanks the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) for providing education, training and awareness project funding in support of AGCO licensees.