AUDITORS    
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Anyone may audit an individual online course without enrolling in the Academy.  There will be no exam given, and the Academy will not track or document auditors.  You will have access to course materials, but will not be able to participate in discussion groups and class activities, however we do recommend that you do the exercises for your own benefit.   Please do not use this option if you are signing up for a class as an enrolled student. 
 
If at some later date, you wish to enroll in the program you may “ACE” any courses you have taken (with the exception of Critical Thinking - all students must take the class) and will receive credit with a passing grade, provided you have completed all the prerequisites.   
 
Audit classes are for information purposes only.  They are not to be considered training as all information needs to be applied in context in the field. Auditors may not claim any training, affiliation or certification from the Academy.  Pathology courses are not available for audit.   
 
To audit a class, click on the class number below.   
 
Fees for each audit class are $160 
 
 
 
Foundations of Natural Hoof Care 
 
This course provides a history of the "Natural Hoof and Horse Care" movement and a solid, basic understanding of all the main schools of thought and practices currently used in natural hoofcare - comparing and contrasting their similarities and differences.  It is also where students learn the fundamentals of trimming and work at the hoof. 
 
Understanding Farrier Science and Practices 
 
The purpose of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the methods and practices of shoeing farriers so they can understand why farriers believe and do what they do. Students will explore what and how farriers are taught, learn about various commonly used types of horseshoes and their purpose and explore the debate between advocates of shoe versus advocates of barefoot. 
 
Equine Anatomy -  Distal Limb 
 
The purpose of this course is to provide the student with a working knowledge of the structures and function of the equine distal limb. Students will also learn the nomenclature associated with equine anatomy that will enable them to communicate effectively with other equine professionals. 
 
Equine Behavior 
 
The purpose for this course within the context of the overall curriculum is to provide insight into natural equine behavior. Most of us have developed what we believe is an understanding of equine behavior that is entirely limited to horses born and raised in the domestic environment, and generally managed by conventional methods that are not based on an understanding of the natural horse.  By exploring in-depth studies of wild horse behavior this course aims to foster a deeper understanding of the true nature of horses, allowing us to alter or abandon common management practices that stress and debilitate horses by keeping them in environments and managing their lives in ways that do not allow for natural equine behavior. 
 
Critical Thinking 
 
Perhaps most importantly in today's information age, thinking skillsare viewed as crucial for educated persons to cope with a rapidlychanging world. Many educators believe that specific knowledge will notbe as important to tomorrow's workers and citizens as the ability tolearn and make sense of new information. –D. Gough, 1991  
One of the most important assets you can have in equine management, andin life, is the ability to think critically and creatively. CriticalThinking is reflective and reasonable thinking that is focused ondeciding what to believe or do....the process of determining theauthenticity, accuracy and worth of information or knowledge claims. For most of us our thinking is so innate that we don’t question it or “think” about it. We know that we think things through, but don’trealize how flawed that process can be. Flawed thinking can lead us tomake bad decisions even with good information. Many also do not realize that there are actual thinking skills and processes that you can learn that will help you identify and improve your skills. This course will give to the resources you need to challenge, evaluate and improve your thinking skills so that you are able to critically evaluate any situation you face, and also distill information from avariety of resources to help you address that situation. As many of you know, there is a lot of conflicting information out there. These skills will help you sort through that information. The Academy is not here to tell you what to think, but to help you learn how to think. 
 
Equine Anatomy - Digestive / Internal Organs 
 
The purpose of this course is to provide the student with a working knowledge of the structures and functions of the equine digestive system.  This plays a vital role in the horse's health and soundness.  Knowing how the horse's digestive system is designed, the way it works, and the problems associated with many current horse keeping practices and traditions helps shed light on many health, behavioral and other issues that are all too common with domesticated equines. 
 
Fundamentals of Equine Nutrition 
 
The purpose of this course is to examine what is currently known about equine diets.  There is still much research that needs to be done, but a thorough understanding of diffferent food sources and how they affect the horse in every facet of his life is a key component to health.  There are many common feeding protocols that work against the horse.  This course is obviously tied closely to the Digestive Anatomy course in explaining the cause and effects of diet. 
 
Fundamentals of Equine Dentistry 
 
This course explains the reasons why dentistry is necessary and the effect the teeth have on the entire horse.  Their importance cannot be overstated.  It also explores the different practices and philosophies and the inherent implications of each.  Once again, many conventional practices have been found to have harmful effects - this course explains what those are and why. 
 
Understanding Vet Science and Practices 
 
In the field, hoof care professionals inevitably work with vets, or work on horses under vet care.  This course explains some of the more common vet practices, the thought process behind them and how they affect the horse and his feet.  The course also teaches about various diagnostic tools and their value in the field.  This and an understanding of vet terminology is essential in developing a good working relationship with the vet community. 
 
Complementary Equine Health Care - Part 1 
 
This course is gives a comprehensive overview of herbology, essential oils, homeopathy and other complementary therapies.  There are many alternatives to allopathic medicine in dealing with equine problems, or just as part of a healthy lifestyle.  Understanding how these work and when they may be indicated provides another avenue in dealing with health issues. 
 
 
Equine Anatomy - Musculoskeletal  
 
The purpose of this course is to provide the student with a working knowledge of the structures and functions of the equine muscles, nerves and skeleton.  This is the foundation of the horse.  A fundamental understanding of how all the parts work together of course plays a vital role in the horse's health and soundness.  Knowing how the horse's skeletal system is designed, how muscles, bonesthe way it works and why is integral in assessing the horse's overall condition and the source of many common helps shed light on many health, behavioral and other issues that are all too common with domesticated equines. 
 
Complementary Equine Health Care - Part 2 
 
This course gives an overview of chiropractic, massage, accupressure and accupuncture and other complementary therapies.  There are many alternatives to allopathic medicine in dealing with equine problems, or just as part of a healthy lifestyle.  Understanding how these work and when they may be indicated provides another avenue in dealing with health issues. 
 
Equine Bio-mechanics 
 
This course studies movement of the horse and how riding, equipment and other factors influence and change movement and the consequences of those adaptations.  Many lameness, behavioral and other issues are the direct result of compensation by the horse in the way he moves.  Understanding this process will help in finding the root cause of a problem and the ability to recommend the appropriate remedy and or equine professional rather than just treating the symptoms. 
 
The Effects of Environment on Equine Health 
 
Environment, along with diet, is probably one of the biggest differences between “traditional” vs. “natural” horse keeping.  Everything in the horse’s environment affects him mentally, physically and emotionally.  It is a critical part of his life.  Much of this class will be comparing and contrasting the different approaches and the consequences of each. 
 
Business Basics 
 
This class gives a basic understanding of how to run a small business, how to avoid common pitfalls and the tools to keep your business on track.  There are many options available, and it does not need to be overly complicated but many small business owners do not have a good understanding of even the most basic concepts.  Flying blind and by the seat of your pants is not a good business strategy.  It includes both basic business tools and those specific to the horse business. 
 
 
 
 
"The horse, with beauty unsurpassed, strength immeasurable and grace unlike any other, still remains humble enough to carry a man upon his back." 
 
...  Amber Senti