It's a horse of course, but now what?

Horse owners and prospective horse owners will have the chance to enroll in two courses on care of the animals at Western Nevada Community College this month.

Everything from selecting and buying a horse to its care and feeding is covered in the WNCC course: "Horse Management" (AG 209B D01, #32020) offered Tuesdays, 7-9 p.m., starting Aug. 28.

The cost of the two-credit course is $96.

Veterinarian Alan White will explain his blended approach of western and eastern medicine at WNCC Carson City's "Holistic Veterinary Horse Care,"

(AH 103B, C01, Call # 30087), a two-credit course that will meet Mondays, 6-8 p.m., starting Aug. 27. Cost is $96.

Horse Management instructor Laura Bell has 26 years experience as a horse trainer and riding instructor. She takes horse owners and those who plan to own horses from asking the right questions in buying a

horse, to pre-purchase exams, training and transporting the animals safely.

Field trips will include visits to an equine veterinarian to see how a pre-purchase exam is performed, and the Bureau of Land Management's Palomino Valley Wild Horse and Burro Placement Center, where horses can be adopted. Another field trip will be to Bell's training facility "I provide lots of handouts during the classes," Bell says. "By the end of the class, students have a big book of information that covers almost everything you need to know, including feeding, tack and equipment, veterinary care and health insurance. I try to cover everything on owning and maintaining a horse.

"Horse owners who are armed with knowledge are better able to care for horses the way they should be cared for," Bell said.

In "Holistic Veterinary Horse Care," Dr. White will explain how he blends eastern and western techniques. "I use x-rays and ultrasound for diagnostics, but I may use acupuncture and chiropractic medicine for

treatment. When there is a lameness, I don't just look at their lower limb, I also look at their spine. I've taken several courses in chiropractic," Dr. White says.

His course includes practical demonstrations of whole mouth dentistry, lameness and chiropractic, and conformation for performance. For those who may think acupuncture only works because people think it

should, Dr. White's success with horses shows that it is "not just in the mind."

"Horses are honest. When they improve from a persistent lameness because of acupuncture, it's hard to argue with that. But I wouldn't say one treatment is a panacea. I'll combine therapies to do what's

best for the horse," Dr. White says.

Dr. White says the anti-inflammatory drug bute is the most often prescribed medicine for horses. But he says over time the drug damages kidneys, intestines and bone marrow. "That's why I use alternative therapies to help get horses off drugs and allow their bodies to heal themselves."

Dr. White says his course covers nutrition, a mare and foal seminar, homeopathy, acupuncture, and biomechanics. "I try to teach things that people can do at home therapeutically and diagnostically to determine when they need to call a vet."

To enroll in these or other classes at WNCC, log onto the Internet at

Registering as a student, enrolling in specific classes, and paying fees by credit card can all be done online. For help with registration, call 445-3277.


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