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Equine Exercise Physiology

Date(s) - January 14, 2019 - April 7, 2019
This is an online course


Exercise PhysiologyThis course introduces many of the important aspects of conditioning the equine athlete for various disciplines, including topics such as base conditioning, aerobic and anaerobic exercise and recovery, monitoring of conditioning gains and prevention of health and performance problems and more. This course provides practical and up to date information needed to ensure a safe and effective training program through applied scientific knowledge of exercise physiology.

Learning ObjectivesEvaluationInstructorRegistration
By the end of the course you should be able to:

  • Perform a horse health check
  • Design and monitor a year-round training program for a horse (using training principles, structuring the workout, monthly and yearly plans)
  • Identify problems specific to the various disciplines and suggest appropriate prevention or actions
  • Explain the scientific rationale for suggested practices based on an understanding of horse exercise physiology (the structure and function of the systems)
  • Assess the advantages and disadvantages of new technology and alternate training venues or programs for the athletic horse

Course Topics

  • Unit 01: Learning About Equine Exercise Physiology
  • Unit 02: Movement and Muscle
  • Unit 03: Where Does the Energy Come From?
  • Unit 04: How Does the Energy Get to the Muscle?
  • Unit 05: How Does the Muscle Get Oxygen? The Cardiorespiratory System
  • Unit 06: Thermoregulation: Preventing Heat Stress in the Horse
  • Unit 07: Whether it is better to excrete or recycle: That is the Question!
  • Unit 08: How does my horse keep going and going? And how do I know when he’s tired?
  • Unit 09: What Happens with Regular Exercise? Training Adaptations
  • Unit 10: How do I Monitor the Changes?
  • Unit 11: What Else is There? Nutritional guidelines and other assorted topics.
  • Unit 12: Summary and Conclusion of the Course.

The course evaluation will include:

  • Quizzes (30%): There will be five online quizzes. Each quiz consists of some true or false statements and multiple-choice questions which cover the weekly unit material.
  • Participation Assignment 20%: Participate in class discussions in response to class learning questions and your reflections on the information provided by other student postings.
  • Major Assignment (50%) The Training Journal submitted in four parts: Each week you will work on questions that encourage you to apply the physiology you are learning to the training of a horse OR In-depth independent research project on equine exercise physiology.

Please note that you do not need access to a horse, or own your a horse to participate and be successful in this course.

Dr. Amanda Waller

After begging my parents for years, I was lucky enough to get my first pony at age 9, and they’ve been my passion (and members of the family) ever since. My sport of choice was always jumping, and I competed for years on the hunter/jumper circuit, but these days I mainly ride for fun.

A lifelong rider and horse lover, Dr. Amanda Waller completed a Ph.D. in Equine Exercise Physiology in 2008 at the University of Guelph.  Her graduate research focused on skeletal muscle substrate utilization and glycogen resynthesis, and fluid, electrolyte and acid-base balance during exercise and recovery. Based on her experience in exercise physiology, she wanted to expand her research in the field of muscle and whole-body glucose utilization while applying it to human and equine health.  Therefore in 2009, she began her post-doctoral research at Ohio State University, where she is conducting translational research on glucose transport during insulin resistance and diabetes, using both equine and rodent models.

Gayle Ecker

At Work: Gayle has been the Senior Manager of Equine Guelph since its inception in 2003 and played an instrumental role in its birth. She has dedicated her energies to advancing the equine industry through education and communications. Gayle created the ‘pyramid of education’ model – an educational approach that provides learning pathways for career development at all levels (youth education > industry skills > Equine Science Certificate > higher education) in the equine industry. In collaboration with the Office of Open learning, Gayle developed the Equine Science Certificate program – an online program targeted to the equine industry. She also acts as an instructor in the program.

At Horseplay: Gayle started riding before she could walk! A dappled grey Shetland pony named Pogo was her first mount. Known as the ‘show junkie’, Gayle spent her youth competing at Arabian shows. A former researcher, Gayle’s expertise is in the area of exercise physiology. She has been the Assistant Chef d’Equippe for the Canadian Endurance Team, traveling around the globe with the team to international events like the Pan-Am and World Endurance Championships. These days, Gayle takes pleasure in riding her two Quarter horses through the wooded trails of her country home.

Register at our new OpenEd Student Portal – register for the Equine Exercise Physiology course.

Equine Exercise Physiology can be taken as a single course and is considered an elective course in the Diploma in Equine Studies and Equine Science Certificate.

Ready to Register?

You will find the registration page at our new OpenEd Student Portal – register for the Equine Exercise Physiology course.

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