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November 2, 2021

Thoughts on a Horse Safety Course for Youth

Horse Safety is of utmost importance. When we're around horses for a lifetime you learn to read the signs your horse is trying to communicate. If we can channel our youth to learning safety before they start handling and being around horses on their own, it's a win for them and the horse. We should never take advantage of the fact a horse may appear to be safe without knowing something about the horse. Starting out with a qualified instructor is a great way to connect with horses. Consider finding a CHA (Certified Horsemanship Association) instructor in your area. These trainers go through extensive courses and hands on training to learn their craft and help others learn about horses and horsemanship. I highly recommend checking out their website for a trainer in your area. Even so, University of Guelph has some great resources for learning about horses and horsemanship. Check out this information below. ~ Karen Pickering, Publisher: The Northwest Horse Source and Horse Safety Tips.

Free Online Youth Course on Horse Behaviour and Safety Returns!

Equine Guelph, the horse center at the University of Guelph in Canada, has announced it is once again opening the doors to a free virtual classroom for youth around the world. Horse-crazy teenagers (ages 13-17) will have the opportunity to take an online Horse Behavior & Safety course with on-demand access from November 1, 2021 until January 31, 2022.  

Last November, thanks to our generous safety partners, over 850 youth, from all over the globe joined in to take advantage of this popular online offering, teaching young equestrians how to ‘speak horse.’  There is approximately two-weeks worth of material and activities, but with this special free offering, kids can keep coming back as often as they like during the three-month period.   

Course topics include: 

  1. The Horse in the Wild – A Herd and Flight Animal 
  2. The Modern Day Horse 
  3. How Horses See and Hear 
  4. Herd Behavior – How Horses Interact with Each Other 
  5. Horse Handling/Approaching a Horse 
  6. Rider/Helmet Safety 
  7. Trailer Loading Safety Basics 
  8. Safety around the Barn and Paddocks 
  9. Fire Safety 
  10. Returning from an Injury 

That is not all!   Students will be able to watch a multitude of videos from industry professionals, including guest expert: Dr. Rebecca Husted-Gimenez from the United States.  As a world-renowned instructor on technical large animal emergency rescue, Gimenez has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to horse behavior and safe handling.  

“The Horse Portal brings together our youth in a safe, online community where they will learn how to ‘speak horse’ – and, ultimately, stay safe around horses and on the farm!” says Equine Guelph director, Gayle Ecker. "It is a perfect way for youth to fuel their passion and learn more about their favorite animal." 

Equine Guelph thanks its generous sponsors for making this international youth initiative possible: ESSO, Kubota Canada, Ontario Equestrian, SSG Gloves, System Fencing and Workplace Safety & Prevention Services. 

“Thank you for doing the youth horse behavior and safety course,” says Lillian (a past student of the Horse Behavior and Safety Youth Course).  “I really enjoyed the course and learned a lot. The course was really fun, and I wish it was longer.” 

Learn at your own pace with the ability to log on 24/7 to the course and enjoy access until January 31, 2022.   

Get all your barn buddies together and sign up today for this awesome opportunity to stay safe and pursue your passion for horses online! Go to for more info. 

Equine Guelph is the horse owners' and care givers' Centre at the University of Guelph in Canada. It is a unique partnership dedicated to the health and well-being of horses, supported and overseen by equine industry groups. Equine Guelph is the epicenter for academia, industry and government - for the good of the equine industry as a whole. For further information, visit

Story by: Jackie Bellamy-Zions 

Photos available on request:  Youth with bay horse 

Photo Credit: istock 

Photo Caption: Youth can pursue their passion for horses online with a free course 

Web Link(s):  Story link:

Other web links: 

Equine Guelph Online Short Courses: 

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