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Applied Management (Horses) 600 Hours Diploma
This course is designed to equip students with business management skills develop horse care knowledge ·build networking (contact) with the equine industry ·lay a foundation for better understanding individual horses and more broadly, the business of horses This knowledge presented in this course is fundamental for owning or successfully managing an equine enterprise. Students undertake core studies in marketing and business operations, combined with three stream units in horse care and two general elective units of study.
To gain this qualification you must successfully complete any six (6) modules from the list below plus 200 hours Workplace Project.
Workplace Project (200 hours) - this can be satisfied in a number of different ways including: undertaking approved work experience in the horse industry, attending conferences or approved practical courses with another organisation. Alternatively you can opt to undertake Research Project 1 and Research Project II
Lesson Structure: Diploma in Applied Management (Horses) VBS001
- Management VBS105
- Office Practices VBS102
- Operational Business Management BHT326
- Marketing Foundations VBS109
- Horse Care I BAG102
- Horse Care II BAG204
- Horse Care III BAG 302
Note: that each module in this Diploma is a certificate in its own right, and may be studied separately.
FACTORS INFLUENCING CONFORMATION
Conformation describes the shape of the horse. The things that influence conformation are:
The shape of the skeleton
Figure 3.1 shows the skeleton of the horse. Although the horse has a very different shape from humans, we have many parts in common as you can see from Figure 3.2. It is not necessary to learn these two diagrams ‑ they are included for interest and reference only.
The Shape and Development of Muscles
The skeleton forms the framework for the muscles. If the skeleton is inadequate there is a limit to how much the muscles can be developed by exercise.
This describes the way the different parts of the body fit together to make a whole. The parts of the horse's body that do not fit well will be prone to weakness and injury. The horse has to carry both his and his rider's weight so it is important that his body is strong and well proportioned. A horse with bad proportions may move poorly and give an uncomfortable ride.
Conformation, therefore, is very important in the study of horses. It in turn effects:
- The action (movement) of the horse
- The ride the horse gives
- The soundness of the horse (whether the horse is prone to lameness)
- The type of work the horse can perform
- The weight the horse can carry
Figure 3.3 shows how one can compare the length of various parts of the horse to help in judging a horse's conformation. Some parts of the horse's body should be of the same length. This can help us to judge proportions. Conformation cannot be judged by this method alone. It merely gives us a useful tool to show up possible problems in the horse's shape.
Below are details of ideal conformation for each of the body parts. Several new terms that are used to describe a horse's conformation will be introduced. Use Figure 3.4 to help you find the parts of the horse mentioned. Try to learn the parts of the horse as they are often used in describing horses, their conformation, and the seats of their illness.
The horse’s head should be in proportion to the rest of the body and refined with a broad forehead and eyes set wide apart. The eyes should be large, clear, friendly and alert. The ears should be medium size, well shaped, mobile, and alert. The nostrils should be large, for adequate air intake, but thin and delicate. Lips should be well defined and meet evenly.
The head should join the neck cleanly at the throat. It should be muscular, fairly long, and wide in the gullet and slightly curved or arched along the top line.
The neck should be crested to give poise and balance, and should be well set into powerful sloping shoulders.
A ‘ewe neck’ means that the arch referred to above is absent from the crest (the neck appears to be concave rather than convex). A ewe neck indicates a bad carriage of the head and loss of control to the rider. See figure 3.5. A swan necked horse is one that has a neck like a fowl. The set-on of the head may be good and the commencement of the curve of the neck correct, but towards the lower part it becomes ewe necked.
The shoulders should be long, sloping, muscular, and extend well into the back. The slope should have approximately a 45° slope to give maximum mobility and length of stride for a smooth comfortable ride. See figure 3.5
Withers should be reasonably high, not too narrow, and extend well back. The withers need to be capable of holding a saddle in place. Low thick withers are undesirable in a riding horse.
Ribs and Depth of Girth
The first ribs (nearest the shoulder) should be flat to give what is called "A GOOD DEPTH OF GIRTH". This means that there is ample room for the heart and lungs. From the top of the withers to the lowest point of the girth should measure the same as from the latter to the ground. See figure 3.3. Horses that appear to have long legs are often, in reality, short in the body.
The second and other ribs should be WELL SPRUNG to help the saddle stay on the horse. There should only be 5 cm between the last rib and where the point of the hip begins for the horse to be called WELL RIBBED UP. If this space is larger the horse is described as SLACK OF A RIB and will be difficult to keep in good condition.
The back should be straight, short, strong and muscular. The length of the back is important. A short back is strong. However, in the hunter, show-jumper and the three-way event horse, where length of jump is important, a rather longer back is an advantage. Mares are often slightly longer in the back than geldings.
The loins must be short, strong and well muscled, broad and deep, indicating a good foundation for those muscles that take part in galloping and jumping. The loins provide protection for the kidneys.
A powerful and muscular rump is desirable and the croup should be long, uniform in width, muscular, rounded and reasonably level in length. The horse’s breed and intended use determines the ideal slope.
The tail should be carried so that it appears to flow smoothly from the end of the croup.
The appearance of the hindquarters should illustrate speed, power, and endurance. The legs should be well aligned, muscular, move in parallel lines and be ‘clean’ – i.e. free from lumps and swelling (see figure 3.5). The hips should be even, smooth, and well defined.
The stifle should be sufficiently muscled so that it is the widest part of the hindquarter, be prominent and the same hight as the elbow. The thigh should be long, deep, well muscled. Well let down, without much concavity at the back when viewed from the side. The gaskin should be broad and deep. The hocks should be clean, well defined, deep, strong, wide, and flat across.
When viewed from behind the hocks should not point inwards (‘cow hocks’), or be too far apart (‘bandy-legged’). When viewed from the side the point of the hock should be placed directly below the point of the buttock. ‘Sickle hocks’ are those that are too bent, while ‘straight hocks’ are the reverse, and are often seen in hard-mouthed horses (see figure 3.5).
The legs take enormous strain from the weight of the horse and rider and from jarring. Well aligned (lined up or straight) legs are able to absorb these shocks. See figure 3.5. Legs should be CLEAN i.e. free from lumps or swelling.
Forearms should be long (knees close to the ground) and muscular, broad at the elbow, which should stand away from the chest to allow freedom of movement.
The knee, like all joints, should be big. It should be broad and flat from the front, deep from front to back with a prominent accessory carpal bone. The knee should be truly placed when viewed from the front or from the side.
‘Back at the knee’ or ‘calf knee’ indicates a concave profile of the knee and is a serious fault as it puts strain on the leg tendon. ‘Over at the knee’ means the opposite and is not a fault as it poses no threat to the tendons. It may be due to hard work or old age (see figure 3.5). If a horse shows scars on the front of the knees, it is called ‘broken kneed’. This could indicate the horse is prone to stumbling and falls.
The fetlock joints should be broad enough to provide a good area of articulation, clean and free from swelling. The inside surfaces of the fetlocks should be free from scars which would indicate BRUSHING. This is when the horse knocks one leg with the opposite leg due to faulty conformation and movement.
Cannon bones should be relatively short when compared with the forearms. The flatter and more dense the bone, the greater the chance the horse will remain sound. The AMOUNT OF BONE is determined by measuring the circumference of the cannon bone immediately below the knee. This gives us an idea of how much weight the horse can carry.
Amount of Bone Can Carry
8 inches/20 cm 75kgs
9 ‑ 10 inches/23 cm 85kgs
10 ‑ 11 inches/26 cm 95kgs
The tendons and the suspensory ligament which run down the back of the cannon should be well defined and free from thickening and puffiness. The hind cannons are often longer than the cannon bones of the foreleg.
The pasterns should be strong, of medium length and slope (45°). Short upright pasterns give a very jarring and uncomfortable ride while long sloping pasterns are weak but give a comfortable ride. See figure 3.5. The rear pasterns may be shorter and less sloping than the fore pasterns.
Hooves should be round and even in shape and be in proportion to the size and weight of the horse. The sole should be concave and the heels well separated by the frog. The wall should be hard and free from cracks ridges and grooves. The hooves of the forelegs should point squarely to the front – if the toes are turned out (‘lady footed’) brushing is likely to occur, especially when the horse is fatigued. Slightly turned in toes (‘pigeon toes’) is the lesser of two evils. The angle at the front of the hoof from the ground to the coronet, should match that of the pastern – about 45°-50° for front feet and 55°-60° for the hind.
The foot of the working and riding horse is of supreme importance and is as great as any other feature - people have a saying: 'No foot, no horse' to show the importance of a well formed, strong set of hooves. The coronet should be free of injuries.
It takes a lot of practise to be able to judge a good horse. Use every opportunity you have to look critically at the horses around you. Few horses have 'perfect' conformation but many perform well. The horse should present a pleasing overall picture in its shape and movement. Some horses possess a hidden quality that cannot be pinned down to proportions alone. Their conformation, character and presence make them truly outstanding horses.
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Applied Management (Horses) 600 Hours Diploma
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