Course Overview

Throughout history, the horse has played an important part in the progress of mankind. Transportation, a work partner, and, unfortunately, a war resource, we have relied heavily on the horse to help us achieve our goals. Today the horse has been replaced by the car as primary transportation, by motorized equipment on the farm and they are seldom used now in warfare. Yet mankind's fascination with, and love for, the horse is still strong.

Veterinary technicians and veterinary assistants play an important role in the delivery of quality medical services in both mixed and equine practices. Yet many team members have limited equine related training. Without a strong foundation in basic medical and husbandry factors, team members cannot begin to reach their full potential.

Equine: The Trail to Core Nursing Skills provides foundational training in core areas of equine medicine. Ranging from basic anatomy to wellness to nutrition, along with other topics, this 6-week course provides participants with a wide range of instruction in factors basic to equine medicine. For team members seeking to strengthen their knowledge of the horse, this course will provide an excellent beginning. It is recommended, although not required, that participants work in a practice to complete this course. 

This course was formally titled Basic Principles of Equine Nursing.


Continuing Education Credits

Course meets the requirements for 15 RACE hours of continuing education credit for veterinary technicians in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB's RACE approval. However, participants should be aware that some boards have limitations on the number of hours accepted in certain categories and/or restrictions on certain methods of delivery.

This course is an interactive online course that meets RACE requirements; program number 57-10696.


Veterinary Technician Specialty Academy Acceptance

Academy of Equine Veterinary Nursing Technicians (AEVNT)

Equine: The Trail To Core Nursing Skills
is accepted by the academy towards continuing education requirements.


Course Focus and Learning Objectives

This course is designed for veterinary assistants and technicians who wish to develop a strong foundation in equine medicine.  It is appropriate for any member of the practice team who is interested in this subject and the topics covered.

Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Develop an efficient stable management plan for horses
  • Compare and contrast chemical and physical restraint devices available
  • Describe safe methods used for trailering horses
  • Recognize equine behavior as it pertains to handling patients in a hospital environment
  • Identify anatomical systems of the horse
  • Evaluate the components of an Equine Wellness Program
  • Describe vaccine protocols used to prevent fatal diseases and identify vaccinations used on occasional basis
  • Identify common parasites seen in the equine patient and compare and contrast available anthelmintics
  • Utilize the Body Condition Scoring System in horses
  • Discuss digestive physiology in the horse, evaluate nutrient requirements and determine appropriate nutrients for the equine patient based on life stage
  • Discuss nutrient requirements for gastrointestinal disorders, laminitis and other special needs
  • Assess the equine patient with a complete physical, laminitis and ophthalmic exam
  • Evaluate site location for blood collection and catheter placement
  • Consider appropriate methods to administer medication
  • Calculate fluid requirements and choose appropriate fluid therapy
  • Assess critically ill patients and implement proper monitoring protocols


Course Content

This 6-week course will help participants develop stable management plans that incorporate excellent husbandry skills, along with restraint, hoof care and proper procedures used to trailer a horse safely. Understanding equine behavior is critical to the nurse, and both normal and abnormal behaviors are discussed.

Basic equine anatomy is covered, providing a background for understanding basic nursing procedures, relating to physical, lameness, ophthalmic and neurological exams. Catheter placement, blood collection and medication and fluid administration techniques are covered extensively. Understanding the digestive physiology of horses is critical, and students will be able to determine the nutritional requirements for various life stages, as well as those patients with special nutritional needs that can aid in the treatment of various diseases.


Participation Access Parameters

The design of this course allows participants to enroll at any time. 

After enrolling, please allow up to 48 hours for course activation. Each participant will have a personal start and end date that begins upon activation.


Participant Feedback

...I enjoyed the anatomy portion of the course.

...It gave the outline and required the discipline to acquire the depth of understanding that I sought to work with horses.

... I really liked the case studies because it was an application in a real clinic setting and got your mind thinking. You were able to apply the knowledge to a real live case.

...Relevant material, helpful and encouraging feedback by instructor, and very easy online use (uploading of assignments, assignment submissions, exams). Very good review of equine medicine and husbandry as relevant to a Veterinary Technologist!

...It was great to take a course the fully interested me! I'm looking forward to reading more of the material in the required text. The instructor was very efficient and knowledgeable. I enjoy the nutritional aspect the best as I am struggling with understanding all that!

...I really enjoyed the book.

...The review of physiology and learning more about immunology was most beneficial to me.


Required Materials

AAEVT's Equine Manual for Veterinary Technicians, 2009 (or 2012 eBook) Wiley-Blackwell Editors: Deborah Reeder, Sheri Miller, DeeAnn Wilfong, Midge Leitch, Dana Zimmel

Important Text Information:
This course utilizes a textbook. It is up to each participant to determine the best way to acquire the text. Some will already have the text in their library and therefore will not need to purchase another copy. Where to purchase and in what format is totally up to the participant. The text is available as a print publication and as an eBook through Wiley-Blackwell. The following link to their website is provided as a courtesy. Scroll down to the bottom of the Wiley-Blackwell page to view all book delivery options.

Purchase Text From Wiley-Blackwell

Important: Regardless of what option the participant chooses, access to a copy of the textbook is mandatory. Without the text the student will not be able to complete the assignments, case studies and examinations as the material is not reprinted within the course. If enrolling close to or beyond the course start date, it is recommended that the text be purchased as an eBook to prevent text acquisition related delays.


Courses Using Required Text

The textbook used in this course is also used in the Equine: Nursing Skills For The Advanced Technician: Part One course and in the Equine: Nursing Skills for the Advanced Technician: Part Two course. Click on either course title to view details regarding that course.


Course Completion Requirements

Completed students are awarded a certificate of completion. Completion requirements include:

  • Instructor Graded Interactive Module Assignments: Designed to help the participant reinforce newly learned material

  • Examinations: All examinations must be submitted with a score of 80% or better

  • Course survey


Course Instructor

Jessie Loberg BA, AAS, CVT, VTS-EVNJessie Loberg BA, AAS, CVT, VTS-EVN

Jessie attended Ripon College where she received a bachelor of arts (BA) in Biology. After college, she moved to San Juan Island, WA where she took part in an Orca (Orcinus orca) research project on the Southern Resident Pods of the Puget Sound. During this time, she also volunteered at Wolf Hollow Rehabilitation Center where she participated in the rehabilitation of wild species native to the San Juan Islands.

After completing her internship at Littleton Equine Medical Center (LEqMC) she graduated from Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology. Jessie then completed a 6-month internship with LEqMC, and was hired full-time as a radiology/anesthesia technician and head of the anesthesia department. In practice, her interests have always been with equine anesthesia where she focused the majority of her continuing education.

Jessie is currently a faculty instructor at Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology where she teaches Large Animal class, Large Animal Pre-Clinical, and a variety of small animal nursing classes. She is the President-Elect for the AAEVT and the President for the AEVNT (Academy of Equine Veterinary Nursing Technicians), which was recognized by NAVTA as a veterinary technician specialist academy in 2010. Jessie served as an organizing committee member during our petition for the AEVNT.

In her free time, she enjoys hiking, snowshoeing, skiing and camping.


Course Fee

Price: $179.00



VetMedTeam 2014