A number of coaching courses are running through the autumn aimed at helping vets, stallion and mare owners.
This autumn sees a series of equine courses and events that should pique the interest of both breeders and trainers.
Horse breeders will be interested in a new equine reproduction course that will be run in Co Monaghan in October.
Aimed at everyone from vets to stallion and mare owners, the three-day course is being offered by US-based Jos Mottershead and Kathy St Martin of Equine-Reproduction.com.
This is their second time in Ireland this year, having already run a similar course in February.
Irish vet Kate Murray is the chief organiser behind bringing the reproduction course to our shores.
"I actually completed the course myself when it was run in the UK," she explains. "I found it so comprehensive and interesting that I set about bringing it to Ireland.
"The course is suitable for both the layman and veterinarians. It gives such a good overview of the reproductive system that it would suit everyone from the equine vet down to the single mare owner."
Taking place in Co Monaghan, the three-day course includes lecture sessions in the Glencarn Hotel, Castleblayney, as well as practical sessions at Drumhowan Stud, owned by Gladys and Eamon McArdle.
The course will include studies of the anatomy and physiology of both the mare and the stallion reproductive systems and management of mare and stallion for optimal breeding.
The mare's reproductive cycle and hormonal relationships, fertility evaluation and manipulation of the oestrous cycle in the mare will be covered.
On the stallion side, the course will cover collection of semen from the stallion and the various methods, techniques, and products available for collection and evaluation of semen.
The vets will explain how best to prepare semen for freezing, transport or on-farm use, as well as identify stallion or semen handling problems and how to avoid them.
The course will also address the sexual behaviour of the stallion and how it can be modified.
The pregnant mare will be discussed in depth, including the hormonal activity present during pregnancy; care of the pregnant mare, and identifying and dealing with common pregnancy problems.
The course will also address the needs of the foaling mare and her newborn foal.
Included in this section will be a talk on determining IgG levels in neonates, as well as proper supplementation. Common foaling and neonatal problems will also be discussed in depth.
The three-day course will take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 19-21. The courses costs €450 per person if paid for before October 5 and €550 after that date.
The course is on track to be approved as a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) day by Veterinary Ireland but would be equally relevant for any stud owner or breeder.
For more information or to book a place on the course, go to www.equine-reproduction.co.uk/
equine-ai-technician-training-course or contact Kate Murray on 086 8169134.
Meanwhile, the last of Horse Sport Ireland's mare inspections will take place later this week in Danescroft Equestrian Centre, Lisburn, Co Antrim.
While entries for the inspections have now closed, spectators and breeders interested in sending their mare forward for inspection at a later date are welcome to watch proceedings.
The inspections are open to mares aged three years and over that are eligible for classification in the Irish Sport Horse Studbook.
All mares are expected to be presented at show standard and must be sufficiently trained and fit to take part in all aspects of the inspection. Each mare will be given the opportunity to loose jump in order to have her athleticism assessed.
The one-day inspection will include the following:
In-hand gait assessment in an indoor arena
Free gait assessment
Free athleticism/jumping assessment in a jumping pen (optional).
Irish Sport Horse mares that meet the veterinary requirements and the inspection requirements at inspection (minimum scores out of 100: 70 in conformation, 65 in movement) will be classified as 'Select' in the Irish Sport Horse Studbook.
Mares in the 'Select' class are eligible for star ratings based on their own, or their progeny's performance. 'Select' mares that participate in the loose jumping phase of the inspection and achieve a score of 80 or higher in athleticism will be awarded a 'One Star' rating in show jumping.
Mares that do not meet the veterinary or inspection requirements will retain their original classification in the Irish Sport Horse Studbook.
For more information on the mare inspections, contact Horse Sport Ireland's breeding department on 045 850800.
Finally, Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) is also running several training courses for coaches this September.
The Introduction to Coaching course will take place at Duffys Equestrian Centre on Tuesday, September 11. This one-day course costs €80 and is accredited by Coaching Ireland.
The course is the first step on the coaching ladder and gives participants the initial techniques and skills to coach effectively at training level.
All course participants will be awarded a certificate of attendance issued jointly by HSI and Coaching Ireland.
A HSI Level 1 Apprentice Coach course takes place over two days at Kernans Equestrian Centre, Crossmaglen, Co Armagh, on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 25 and 26.
The Level 1 course is a four- day course in all and the third and fourth days of the course will take place around three or four months after the first two days.
Costing €400, the aim is to provide participants with the skills and knowledge to work competently as an apprentice coach at novice level.
The emphasis at all times is on skill development, participation and enjoyment.
The period between days two and three is to allow coaches to work with the exercises at home and be comfortable with the modules before coming back to the second part of the course.
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