Dr. Ralston Contact Information:

Phone: 848-932-9404

E-mail: Ralston@aesop.rutgers.edu

Office: Room 209, Bartlett Hall

Office hours: By arrangement.

Schedule of Lectures: NOTE: You are expected to have read the On-line notes BEFORE class and come prepared to ask questions. Class starts at 5:35PM and ends at 6:55PM Tuesday and Thursday.

Some demonstrations will be held at the "Round House" on College Farm Road (Across from the old dairy on "SheepFold Lane") or in the barns on Cook Campus. You can park in designated areas around the barns but space is limited-please walk or bike if on campus or carpool!

Optional field trips will be made to Camelot Auction (held every Wednesday at 7PM -I plan on going Nov 2 and Nov 9 and perhaps Rick's Saddle Shop and local Farms-Dates and locations to be announced and dependent on interest.

Students are strongly encouraged to volunteer at horse events (Watch for e-mails and Announcements). You get 2 pts added to your termpaper score for each day you spend HELPING (not just attending or competing) at a horse event.

Date Lecture # Topic Lecturer

4 Tuesday Introduction to course/Evolution Ralston
6 Thursday
Anatomy of the horse Ralston

11 Tuesday Horse Anatomy at ROUND HOUSE Ralston
13 Thursday Horse Behavior Ralston

18 Tuesday Horse Behavior Ralston

20 Thursday Restraint/handling Ralston
25 Tuesday Restraint/Handling at ROUND HOUSE Ralston

27 Thursday Routine Management Ralston
Quiz #1: LECTURES: Evolution, Anatomy, Behavior, Restraint


2 Tuesday Common Diseases Ralston

4 Thursday Common diseases (continued) Ralston

9 Tuesday Housing Ralston

11 Thursday Nutrition Ralston
Quiz #2: LECTURES: Routine Mgmt, Common diseases, housing
16 Tuesday Feed Management Ralston
18 Thursday Colic/Laminitis/Metabolic Syndrome Ralston
23 Tuesday Gaits/Lameness Ralston
25 Thursday Farriers at ROUND HOUSE Mike Heinrich/Chad Clayton
30 Tuesday MIDTERM EXAMINATION: LECTURES from Evolution through gaits and lameness


1 Thursday Horse breeds Ralston

6 Tuesday Buying horses Ralston
8 Thursday Exercise Physiology/Performance

13 Tuesday Broodmares and Stallions Ralston
Quiz #3 LECTURES: Breeds, Buying, Exercise Phys/performance
15 Thursday Stress and transport Ralston

20 Tuesday Catch up and Case studies!


27 Tuesday Old Horse Care Ralston

29 Thursday Careers in Equine Science-panel discussion: TBA


4 Tuesday Young Horse Ralston

Quiz #4 LECTURES: Exercise Physiology AND Performance horse management/ Broodmares/stallions/stress and transport

6 Thursday Emergency care/Responsible Horse Ownership/Termpaper discussion/Review

11 Tuesday Equine Science Center Research Update

Final exam: TBA
IF you have conflicts please let me know!


For students taking the course for college credit, final grades will be based on the following:

4 quizzes- average of 3 best grades


Midterm Exam


Final Exam




HOWEVER If Your AVERAGE grade (average of top three quizzes Plus the Midterm plus the Termpaper divided by 3) is an A (89 or higher) you do NOT have to take the final!

Letter Grades: If you have the following numeric grade on a test/paper you are guaranteed the associated letter grade. If no one gets a 100 on a given test/paper I "curve up" by adding the required number of points to bring the highest grade up to 100 to all others. For example if the highest grade on a quiz was a 96 everyone would get 4 points added to their grade.

A: 89-100

B+: 86-88.9

B: 79-85.9

C+: 76-78.9

C: 69.9-75.9

D+: 66-68.9

D: 60-65.9

F: <60

Note: Midterm and Final exams are cumulative. Quizzes will cover only the previous 3-5 lectures. There are learning goals/study guides listed for every lecture topic-USE THEM TO STUDY!

Term paper assignment will be graded as described on the termpaper description.

Regular attendance in class is expected of students taking the course on campus. Though tests and examination questions will be taken from the lecture notes, Dr. Ralston will emphasize and expand upon the topics/facts she considers to be most important.

Students are strongly encouraged to volunteer their services at horse events (not just attend to observe or compete!). Two points will be added to each termpaper grade for each day the student volunteered (documentation is necessary) at an equine event, though the total grade will not exceed 100 points. An "up-coming events" list will be distributed, however volunteer activities are not restricted to the events on the list. A maximum of 20 points can be added to the term paper grade from volunteering.

In addition to the regularly scheduled classes, there may also be several OPTIONAL field trips arranged: feed/tack store, horse auctions, horse farms, etc.


Termpaper Assignment

The Situation:

It is September, 2012. You have just received word that a distant relative died and in his/her will left you 15 acres of land in southern New Jersey, 7 horses and $150,000. There is a house on the land that is in good condition. Four acres of the property is cleared and fenced with barbed wire. There is a dilapidated run in shed in one corner of the cleared area, though the whole area is overgrown with weeds and the soil is almost pure sand. The rest of the property is heavily wooded (oak, maple, cedar, sassafras, sweet gum trees) . North of the fenced area there is a small natural pond fed by a stream that flows through the property. Water for the house is provided by a well. The property faces a busy 4 lane highway. There is a neighbor within shouting distance of the house who has three children, 2, 6 and 8 years old. The neighbor on the other side has two large bull mastiffs he likes to let run loose.

Your new horses are: 1 stallion who is 10 years old, 2 mares, 9, 10 and 12 years old, two of which have nursing foals (one colt, one filly) at their sides, and a yearling colt, the son of the 9 year old mare and the stallion. These animals are currently boarded at a farm across the road $850 per horse per month, since your relative had just purchased the land and had not had time to fix it up before his/her untimely demise. It is obviously in your best interest to get the horses moved onto your own property as soon as possible. In the will it states that you must keep the land and ALL of the horses.

Your Assignment: READ THE DESCRIPTION CAREFULLY!You may choose any breed/use of the horses BUT you must specify the breed and planned use of the horses in your discussion. Use your imagination! HOWEVER Do Not rely solely on the course notes: seek out references, contact actual vendors for what you are planning to do. Visit some farms to get an idea of what it might be like!
Hint: Internet sites also can be quite useful -check the webliography BUT evaluate your sources carefully! For example, using guidelines for Australian outback conditions is not appropriate!! !

In 5 pages (excluding drawings and reference lists):

1. Give a detailed description of what you will do to the property before moving the horses onto it, taking into consideration not only housing and fencing but also safety features included in the plans, pasture establishment, feeding/water systems, local legislation, your neighbors, etc. Drawings of the layout and structures are encouraged. (30 pts)

2. What you will do with the horses: (50 pts)

A. Immediately: detailing health concerns and care, nutrition, and what you will do with the horses before they can be moved onto your property. 25 pts

B. Long term plans: detailing daily routine, exercise, groupings when on pasture, waste management, health care. 25 pts

Grading: A checklist of bare minimum details will be used to determine the number of points you earn in each section. Points will be deducted for omissions, serious errors-be careful to fully address all of the above issues and that what you are saying is practical and realistic. If you are not sure, or totally lack horse experience-check with someone who is knowledgeable (ie: me!). The remaining 20 points will be assigned on the basis of extra details, practicality of the plan, clearness of the writing, etc.

Up to 10 bonus points will be added if finances are included (costs, potential sources of income). The final grade, however, will not exceed 100 pts.