There's no question that the most critical times for getting
everything right are during pregnancy and growth. The minute the egg is
fertilized, it begins dividing at a dazzling pace, going from 1 single cell to
the approximately 100 trillion cells present in a newborn foal, each with a
special purpose. Over the next few years, the horse must grow to 10 times the
size at birth. It's almost incomprehensible when you think about it.
All the raw materials for producing these cells and the organs and
structures they form has to come from the diet.
There is a lot you can get away with without actually causing death.
Survival is not the goal though – optimum health and development is.
Diet will be a huge part of this course, but we will also cover
exercise, vaccinations, deworming and other aspects of management of the
pregnant mare and growing horse.
The material for each section of the course will be posted on the
internet weekly as a pdf file. It will include the material I want to cover,
links for further reading, and a series of review questions that will emphasize
the most important points. When you receive the next week's material, the answers
to the questions from the week before will be at the front.
This is a no pressure learning situation. There is no “mandatory attendance” at
any time, no grades. The review questions are for your use only. I assume that
anyone taking the course is doing so because they want to learn more about
equine nutrition. You can read when it is convenient for you to do so.
However, if you wish to receive credit for this course an exam will be given
towards the end of the course. You will need a 70% to pass. You may take the
test more than once.
I'll open a Yahoo Groups discussion group in advance of the course starting.
This will be a group exclusively for course enrollees. When you join, I'd like
you to post a brief introduction about yourself. Use this group to ask
questions about any part of the course material at any time. If you fall behind
(life happens), you will have the opportunity to join the Yahoo group for the
next run of the course if you think that would be beneficial to you (no fee
second time around).