so you love horses

So You Love Horses

Do you LOVE and want to know more about horses & horse care? This 12 week online course (with optional one-day hands-on lab at Olds College) provides you with an introduction to the horse, horse care, and horse handling. 

Upon completion of this course, you will understand the biology of the horse both as an evolving mammal, and as a domesticated partner for work and play. Basic equine identification, terminology, behaviours, anatomy and horse breeds are examined. Safe ground handling techniques, stable management, nutrition, reproduction, and grooming are covered. Solidify your understanding in an optional lab session at Olds College. This course is instructor led, so that you receive guidance and feedback throughout.

If you are considering a career that relates to horses, this course will provide you with an excellent fact-based knowledge base of both the horse and the horse industry. If you want to become a more competent horse owner, then this in-depth course will give you the knowledge and skills that you require! 

So You Love Horses - EQN 1100 course oultine

Course Details

Course Dates/Times

Dates TBD

Delivery Method 

Online with optional lab day at Olds College in Nov, 9:30am-4:30pm

Course length 

12 Weeks, 68 hours


3 credits (Audit option available)


No Pre-requisites

***Please note that if you enroll in this program as part of a dual-credit offering, you must meet the pre-requisites determined by your specific school district.


n/a - course is offered online
Optional Lab day is offered at the Olds College campus in Olds, AB



Other fees


Required Text & Materials 

All learning materials are provided in an online format. You must have access to high-speed internet and at minimum occasional access to a horse to practice handling skills. 

Registration Deadline


Other details

Please note that you will have the option to take this course for credit (you will receive a transcript upon completion), or you may choose the audit option (lab session and mid-term/final exams are optional & upon completion you will receive a certificate of participation)

If you are participating in the hands-on lab day at Olds College, please note that you must wear appropriate footwear (no running shoes), leather gloves & clothing suitable for working with horses and variable weather.

Mara Coote-Freeman Bio:

Horses have been, quite possibly, the most significant factor in Mara’s life. Her involvement in the horse world started in her youth when she instructed Pony Club, lead the first Alberta pony club team to compete at a national rally, and in the competition ring where she built a successful show record.

Mara then went on to university where she completed a degree in physical education and a diploma in education; this led to a career teaching high school for about a decade. Throughout this period of Mara’s life, she continued to show as an Amateur, mainly in the Arabian Show ring and the first Canadian Nationals.

In 1976, Mara formed a partnership with her sister to establish MJ Farms – an equine breeding operation producing ½ and Anglo Arabians for the junior and amateur market. Within a short time, this breeding facility was considered one of the largest Anglo breeders in North America. Within a couple of years MJ Farms developed into a full service operation including horse board, riding lessons and a large nursery for a race horse syndicate. At the height of the operation, they foaled 30 foals a year cared for up to 150 horses and 5 stallions standing at stud.  They also trained 25 to 30 horses for the race industry. Anglo show horses sporting the MJ prefix were very successful, winning many national championships and finding homes throughout Canada and the USA. During the 1990’s, the operation shifted focus to warm blood breeding after gaining the opportunity to acquire an imported warm blood stallion and ½ brother to Big Ben. This stallion was syndicated and had great success with over 150 registered offspring and at the time of his death. MJ horses are still being purchased throughout North America and finding great success in the competition ring.

Some of the other significant contributions that Mara has made to the horse world include:

  • Appointment to the International Arabian Horse Association ½ and Anglo Arabian Registry Board – creating registration rules, regulations and advocating for the registry
  • Helped the Canadian Arabian Horse Association to develop a Canadian ½ and Anglo Arabian registry, acting as committee head and then registrar
  • Arabian representative for the National Canadian Equestrian Federation now known as Equine Canada
  • Six years spent as the Vice-President of Breeds and Horse Industry for the Canadian Equestrian Federation, influencing committee development and working with the government bodies that affected the horse industry at the national level
  • Became a Canadian Equestrian Federation judge, judging just about every type of show over a period of 20 years, and becoming a senior inspector for CWHBA inspections
  • Instrumental in starting the Canadian Warmblood Breeders Association after recognizing the need for a Canadian based registry
  • Served on the Olds College Equine advisory committee for 10 years
  • At Olds College managed Continuing Education for the school of animal science, implemented the Exercise Rider/Jockey program, and the award winning program called So You Love Horses, which is offered to high school students as part of a dual-credit program

Mara continues to be involved in the horse world through her breeding facility, involvement with Olds College in both the Exercise Rider/Jockey program and So You Love Horses

Continuing Education

Olds College leads real-life, hands-on education in Canada. We help you explore your passion.