The horse industry in Iowa is growing faster than ever before. From activities surrounding horse breeding, showing, racing, housing, training, riding and care, it employs more than 2,100 people and accounts for millions in revenue each year. The economic impact from horse breeding and owning is doing much to support our state’s ag-centric economy, and we need you to play an important part in making this message heard.
Most students at Iowa State walk by the beautiful horse barns to admire the animals. Only few get to experience a part of what it takes to run an equine facility. One of the many equine specific courses students are able to take in conjecture with our Domestic Animal Reproduction Course (An S 331) is an Equine Reproduction Lab, 332E, taught by the Horse Barn Manager, Nikki Ferwerda. This course provides incredible hands on experience unlike any other university. Topics discussed and demonstrated include every aspect of reproduction from breeding both thoroughbreds and quarter horses to foaling. In an average class, we might watch a few palpations, assist in a live cover, and collect a quarter horse stud to ship semen.
Equines in this country are commonly used for competitive show events or leisure recreational activities. It has been a long-time tradition for people to own horses and participate in various activities via horseback. Over the years, the number and variety of events offered for horses to compete in have expanded. The specific event an animal competes in determines the intensity of exercise and particular conditioning/training program the animal athlete needs to have put in place. Equine animals are very similar to human athletes as they must be conditioned and trained to participate and excel in their physical performance. Specifically, a very popular equine competition event that requires moderate intensity, medium duration exercise is western pleasure.