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VSPN CE Course TECH221-0313: Basics of Equine Nutrition


INSTRUCTOR(S): Shelley Shopsowitz, RVT, BA
COURSE OPEN: March 15-April 17, 2013
REAL TIME SESSIONS (RTS): Sundays, March 24, 31, and April 7, 2013; 9:00pm-10:30pm ET (USA)
Course RTS Times in Your Area: World Clock Converter

Practice Sessions: In order to prepare you for a successful experience in your CE course, we request you attend a Practice Session prior to the first Real Time Session. Please arrive promptly at the start time; each Practice Session is up to 1 hour in length. For more information, please visit the CE Practice Area.

Level and Prerequisites: This basic level course is for all levels of veterinary staff interested in the fundamentals of equine nutrition from both a veterinary and owner perspective.

VSPN CE Course: This course has been approved for veterinary technicians only.

Course Description:
A proper understanding of the equine digestive system and how to feed for optimum performance and health is an extremely important topic for owners, caretakers, and those who work in equine veterinary practices. This course will cover basic anatomy and physiology of the equine digestive tract, nutrients required as well as equine feeds available. We will discuss in detail how to assist clients and veterinarians in evaluating, formulating, and balancing an equine ration. We will also consider feed related pathologies such as colic, laminitis, and metabolic disease.

This course consists of three (3) ninety (90) minute Real Time Sessions, supplemental library materials, interactive message board discussions, a mandatory end-of-course test, and may include online multiple choice quizzes (after each Real Time Session). Successful completion (scoring 80% or better) on the end-of-course test is required to earn a certificate of completion for the course.

Upon completion of this course, the participant should be able to Course Materials: Course materials will be available in the course library prior to each Real Time Session.

Required Textbooks: There are no required textbooks for this course.
Recommended Textbook(s): Suggested references will be included within the course library.

About the Instructor:
In addition to being a longtime veterinary technician, Shelley Shopsowitz has had a special interest in horses for over 40 years. As well as being a horse owner and caretaker, Shelley has taken a wide variety of equine nutrition courses and completed the Equine Science Certificate at Equine Guelph, University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. She is also the owner/operator of an equine consulting service providing owners and caretakers with information on the care and feeding of horses.

Course Outline:
Week 1 (Real Time Session March 24) Proper Equine Diet Formulation
Content: In this first class we will cover anatomy and physiology of the digestive system, the classification of the horse as a monogastric, non-ruminant herbivore and what distinguishes horses from ruminants. We will look at all the nutrients required by horses including carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals and why they are important.

Week 2 (Real Time Session March 31) Anatomy and Physiology of the Equine Digestive System and a Discussion of Nutrients Required
Content: We will look at the various roughage sources available for horses. We will discuss the wide variety of concentrates and supplements available to feed as well. Once an understanding of the feeds available has been attained, we will go through the steps required to properly formulate and balance a ration. Students will be encouraged to formulate a ration for a specific horse and have it evaluated for accuracy and appropriateness.

Week 3: (Real Time Session April 7): Feeding Related Pathological Conditions
Content: We will discuss a number of conditions that are feeding related such as colic and laminitis, their causes and treatment options as well as how to minimize their occurrence through proper feeding practices. We will also look at metabolic disease as this is a significant problem for many modern horses. Finally, we will look at recurrent airway obstruction from the perspective of managing this condition with appropriate feeding techniques.


Tuition: $90 ($81 early bird special if enrolled March 1, 2013).
*Students currently enrolled in and taking at least 2 classes or 5 units at an AVMA accredited or CAAHT approved Veterinary Technician Program may be eligible to receive a 50% discount off the regular rate for this course (upon verification of student status).
NOTE: To ensure participants are ready and prepared for classes, enrollment will close when the maximum number of participants is reached or at 5pm ET the day of the first Real Time Session unless otherwise noted. If the first Real Time Session is on a weekend, course enrollment will close on the Friday before the first Real Time Session.

*For more information on how online CE works, see the Participant Resource Center.

  1. Enrollment qualifications: VIN CE courses are open to VIN member and non-member veterinarians. Veterinarians enrolling in a VSPN CE course must be a VIN member. Veterinary support staff must be a VSPN member to enroll in a VSPN CE or a VIN CE course open to VSPN member enrollment.
  2. Each enrollee must be able to receive emails from and addresses. Email is our major form of communication with participants; personal emails are highly recommended rather than clinic/hospital email addresses.
  3. Each person is individually responsible for his/her own registration. To ensure that all information received is secure and correct, please do not enroll for a course on behalf of another individual.
  4. For further assistance call 1-800-700-INFO (4636) or email (VIN CE) or (VSPN CE) Please include the course title, your full name, and contact information in your correspondence.
*Note: "This course has been approved for 4.5 continuing education credits in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB 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 of continuing education."Call VSPN/VIN CE at 1-800-700-4636 for further information. (Attendees are encouraged to check with their licensing jurisdiction(s) for information regarding recognition by their board).

Course withdrawal and refund policy: A complete refund of the paid course price will be issued when your withdrawal request is received prior to the listed start date of the course. If you wish to withdraw after the start date please contact the VIN/VSPN office 1-800-700-INFO (4636) to discuss eligibility for a pro-rated refund.
* Note: To ensure rapid handling of your request for withdrawal, we recommend that you call the VIN/VSPN office at 1-800-700-INFO (4636).

*For more information on VSPN's upcoming CE courses, check the VSPN Course Catalog.

Nanette R. Walker Smith, MEd, RVT, CVT, LVT
VSPN Content Director & CE Coordinator

VSPN CE Services:
1-800-846-0028 or 1-530-756-4881 or direct line to VIN/VSPN from the United Kingdom: 01452226154
Barb Burri (; ext. 764 (New Hampshire)
Charlotte Waack (; ext 193 (Illinois)
Chris Upchurch (; ext 197 (Florida)
Debbie Bess (; ext 178 (Nevada)
Nanette Walker Smith (; ext 187 (Colorado)

800.700.4636  |  |  530.756.4881  |  Fax: 530.756.6035
777 West Covell Blvd, Davis, CA 95616

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