Equine Guelph Offers Course On Forage

Horses grazing in a field
Published: February 23, 2022 04:01 pm EST

With forage recommended as approximately 80 per cent of your equine’s diet, a caretaker with straight A's in selection and management of hay and pasture is a horse’s best friend. Equine Guelph's inaugural offering of the "Introduction to Forage" short online course with field expert Dr. Paul Sharpe will run from March 21 – April 1.

Whether your equine runs on regular or high-octane fuel, the role of forage as the main staple of the diet cannot be understated for a digestive system that functions optimally. In line with the University of Guelph's mantra ‘Improve Life,’ the study of forage and pasture management improves life for horses.

Sharpe will provide practical advice and answer questions on selecting, feeding and managing forage as well as strategies for growing healthy pasture. The discussion forum promises to be lively!

Co-author of textbook Horse Pasture Management, Dr. Paul Sharpe is an animal scientist with bachelor’s degrees in Zoology, Botany and Agriculture. His research topics, conducted at several agricultural colleges in Ontario, include forage management, pasture management and alternative forages. Sharpe is a popular guest lecturer and has taught more than 22 different courses to students in equine and agriculture programs.

For participants of the "Introduction to Forage" course, Sharpe will be your guide exploring the main forms of forage and describing features and nutritional differences between the two types of plants commonly used in forages for horses: grasses and legumes. Sharpe will explain what factors affect hay and pasture quality and how to evaluate each to supply your horse with the best forage available. Participants will learn about new research and how to address common problems.

“We need to learn to be flexible and anticipate adversity,” said Sharpe. “Many of the conditions affecting the production of forages are changeable, so it is important to be flexible in response to changes in weather, forage quality and yield, populations of weeds and pests and fluctuations of prices.”

Your horse will gladly spend 18 or so hours a day grazing. Spend five to 10 hours learning best practices for delivering optimal forage for your equine companion in this important two-week course. Introduction to Forage begins on March 21 on TheHorsePortal.ca and is open for registration now.

(With files from Equine Guelph)