Horse Producers and Adult Information

Mare and foal

Several programs targeted towards Nebraska's horse producers have been developed. Certain annual programs such as Horsin' Around have become well established, various other seminars/workshops are conducted, and several publications have been produced.

Extension programming for Nebraska's horse producers has focused on improving horse care, management, training and profitability of horse owners through conferences, workshops, meetings and publications. Some activities have been conducted on an annual basis whereas others are developed based on need or as requested. Furthermore, the Extension Horse Program has been involved with initiating some programs and once established, letting the organization function on its own. One such example is the Nebraska Horse Council and the Nebraska Horse Expo. The following is a list of producer related extension items. Click on the name of the program for more information.

UNL Animal Science Department

The Companion Animals and Horse Newsletter
UNLHORSEINFO E-Mail List - You can receive email notices from UNL's equine teaching and extension faculty on events, updates, the Nebraska 4-H Horse program, and other equine-related items.

To join, send an email to You do not need to put anything in the subject line, however, in the message field you need to type: SUBSCRIBE UNLHORSEINFO (case insensitive). Do not include a signature block, as the Listserv will try to interpret each line as a command.

Husker Horse Info Blog

Horsin' Around

Horsin' Around 2015

Horsin' Around brochure and registration (PDF 487 kb)

Horsin' Around poster (PDF 220 kb)

-- Jeff Mellott Headlines Annual Horsin' Around Conference at UNL

Dec. 23, 2014
Jeff Mellott Headlines Annual Horsin' Around Conference at UNL

LINCOLN, Neb. — Jeff Mellott will headline the 23rd annual "Horsin' Around" conference Feb. 28-March 1, 2015 in the RB Warren Arena at the Animal Science Complex on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's East Campus.
Mellott is a professional All-Around-Horseman from Andover, Kan., and a AQHA & NSBA judge, past president KQHA, and KQHA Volunteer Award 2012. Mellott is a trainer of multiple World and Congress Champions and is one of the industry's best teachers. His goal is that each rider enjoys the journey to his or her own success in and out of the arena. For the first time in 17 years, Mellott is now taking outside customers and works with Youth, Amateur & Select riders. He specializes in All-Around horses & exhibitors, especially Horsemanship, Trail, and Western Riding. Mellott will focus on Western Horsemanship, English Equitation and Trail during the two day event.

Also speaking at the event will be equine veterinarian Amy Cook and Danielle Burn of Omaha.
Dr. Cook grew up in rural Nebraska where she was very involved with the 4-H horse program. She received her bachelor's degree from UNL and spent several years working in a variety of equine disciplines prior to returning to vet school. In 2013 she received her DVM from Iowa State University and went on to complete a one-year hospital internship at Kendall Road Equine Hospital in Elgin, Ill., before returning to Nebraska and establishing In Touch Equine Veterinary Services..

Danielle Burns of Omaha prides herself in an honest straightforward approach of working with youth and amateurs of all levels and ages. Burns' primary focus is performance events, and she specializes in Western Pleasure at AQHA and APHA shows. She is also an AQHA, NSBA and POA judges. Burns also enjoys pairing horses and riders together that make great teams.
The conference begins at 9 a.m. both days and is open to participants of all ages. Adult registration is $30 for both days or $20 for one day. For youth 18 and under, the cost is $20 for both days or $15 for one day. If the clinic doesn't sell out, registration will be available at the door for adults at $40 for both days and $25 for one day and for youth at $30 for both days and $20 for one day.

No phone-in registrations are accepted. For more information or a registration form, call 402-472-6411, email, or the UNL Horse Facebook Page at

Master Equine Manager Certification

ATTENTION all junior and senior high school students, and any adults with an interest in horses! The Master Equine Manager program combines focused learning opportunities with hands-on experience that teaches the science of horse management. Click on the links below for more information.

Master Equine Manager Certificate Flyer PDF (217 k)
Master Equine Manager Certificate Description
Master Equine Manager Press Release PDF (86 k)

Equine Business Conference

Equine Business Network PosterClick on picture to Register

Click here to access all webcasts, articles, Equine Business Network Facebook page, and Equine Biz Blog from the Equine Business Network.

Equine Business Conference Logo

Horse Liability Law and Safety

Liability Laws

Most of you probably know Nebraska's Liability Law as LB153. However, as this bill is now a law or a statute, it is known as Statute 25-21.

Legislative Bill 153 - For an act relating to equine activities; to provide standards and procedures for civil liability.

25-21,250. Equine Activities; terms defined
25-21,252. Equine Activities; applicability of other laws; liability enumerated
25-21,253. Equine Activities; signs and contracts; requirements
25-21,251. Equine Activities; liability and claims; limitations
25-21,249. Equine Activities; legislative intent

All contracts and signs must state:


Under Nebraska Law, an equine professional is not liable for an injury to or the death of a participant in equine activities resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities, pursuant to this act.

Horse Trailer Maintenance and Trailering Safety

Whether transporting your horse for pleasure or for evacuation purposes, the following sites can provide reminders for the proper maintenance of the horse trailer. Don't wait until the last minute and assume that everything is 'good to go' - especially if the trailer has not been used for a while. Also make sure to look it over to insure that no insects (wasps, for example); rodents, or snakes have decided to make a home in the trailer or in the area under or around it. A publication, Horse Trailer Maintenance and Trailering Safety, by Rutgers Cooperative Extension can be found on the national Ag. Safety Database.

A fact sheet, Common Sense Trailer Safety, that covers additional information about the selection of the towing vehicle, etc. by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

If traveling with horse(s) for several days, the following site includes a list of horse-friendly stop-over locations:

Unwanted Horse Information


  • The Unwanted Horse webcast recording by Dr. Tom Lenz–listen to a presentation that covers the plight of the unwanted horse in the U.S. It focuses on the types of horse that becomes unwanted, the reasons they become unwanted, and possible solutions to the problem.



Horse Feeding Help


  • Supplements for horses – Are you using money wisely?- There are a tremendous number of supplements on the market for horses, but the research supporting claims that many of these supplements make is unclear or just not available. This presentation will explore horse's vitamin and mineral, joint, calming, herbal and various other supplements, when supplements might be beneficial, and how to use science based information to determine if your horse needs a feed supplement. Presented by: Carey A. Williams, Ph.D, Equine Extension Specialist, Rutgers University. Webcast
  • Getting the most from your forages for your horses – Helping horse owners to make educated decisions on management and selection of forages that would enhance the nutritive value and reduce overall feed costs. Presented by Burce Anderson, PhD, University of Nebraska Extension Forage Specialist Webcast


eXtension Horses Learning lessons

  • "Horse Hay" Good quality hay can provide ample nutrients to meet the needs of most horses. There is no right or wrong hay to feed your horse. As a horse owner, you must evaluate your individual horse's needs and determine the type of hay and feeding strategies that fit your feeding program. This module is designed to give you the knowledge to make these decisions.
  • "Feeding a Horse" One of the basic responsibilities of horse ownership is care of the animal. Proper feeding and nutrition are vital elements of that care. Learn the basic principles of feeding a horse in this lesson.

Pasture For Horses


eXtension Horses Learning lessons

  • "Equine Pasture Management" Why is good pasture important to horses? Well, because horses should consume at least 1-2% of their body weight each day in forage (hay or pasture). A 1000 lb horse will need from 1 - 3 acres to provide enough pasture to meet its total nutrient requirements. Objectives of this lesson include: learn about the different types of grasses in pastures; understand pasture management procedures; learn about manure management; develop knowledge of nutritional issues; understand different types of grazing systems; learn about plants toxic to horses; develop understanding of facilities in pastures.

Horse Reproduction and Breeding


Horse Genetics

eXtension Horses Learning lessons

Management of Foals and Young Horses


Buying Horses


eXtension Horses Learning lessons

Horse Health Care and Diseases


  • Why vaccinate- the cost of a sick vs healthy horse – Some horse owners try to cut costs by minimizing what they vaccinate for. However, often the cost of vaccinating offsets the potential cost of a sick horse. Learn more what horses need to be vaccinated for, when they should be given to optimize protection, and how some could be given by owners. Presented by: Kathy Anderson, PhD, University of Nebraska Extension Horse Specialist Webcast


  • Vesicular Stomatitis in Horses, G1609 Vesicular stomatitis causes blister-like lesions that when broken, cause painful ulcers. People and other mammals can contract this contagious disease from horses.
  • US Rabies Cases 2008 PDF (11 kb)

General Horse Care and Management


eXtension Horses Learning lessons

Pest and Insect Control




Riding and Tack

eXtension Horses Learning lessons

  • "Understanding Bits for Horses"
    Understanding how a bit works in the horse's mouth will help you select the most appropriate bit for the job and appreciate the craftsmanship of well balanced and constructed bits. In Understanding Bits for Horses the following learning objectives are addressed; learn how to categorize bits; learn about variation in bit construction; how to introduce training principles related to bit use.
  • "Effective Horse Training and Rider Development"
    A horseman must understand the basic nature of the horse and the training principles involved in a progressive teaching system that develops the various maneuvers and activities desired from the horse. Training lessons need to be simplified as much as possible so the horse can quickly develop appropriate responses. In this learning lesson, efforts will be made to explain and simplify the process of communicating with the horse in a straightforward manner.

Biosecurity for Horses

Biosecurity during Horse Events

With the Outbreak of Equine Herpevirus-1 (EHV-1) myeloencephalopathy in May, biosecurity and showing horses have been front page news. Summer months are prime time for large, organized trail rides, horse shows, sales, parades, and other events where horses congregate. One show in Utah from which horses returned to multiple states illustrates very well how rapidly horses travel and can spread disease.

Following are biosecurity measures to implement when horses are congregated at events:

  • Minimize nose-to-nose contact between horses. Do not allow another horse to sniff your horse's nose "to get acquainted."
  • Do not share equipment for use with other people's horses. Alternatively, if any equipment is loaned, keep it away from your horses until it is cleaned with a detergent, rinsed, and properly disinfected.
  • Do not use common water troughs. Bring your own water and feed buckets.
  • Avoid common-use areas such as tack stalls used to groom and tack multiple horses. If these common areas must be used, use cross ties instead on tying horses to a post, wall, or other nose-to-nose contact area.
  • Halters, lead shanks, and face grooming towels should be used on one animal only and not shared between animals.
  • Wash your hands or use a 62% ethyl alcohol hand gel before and after handling or riding other people's horses.
  • Early detection of disease is paramount, especially contagious infectious diseases. Take horse's temperatures twice daily (morning and night) during the event and for two weeks after return to the stable.
  • Quarantine horses when they return to the barn or training facility after an event.
  • Clean and disinfect horse trailers before they're used by other horses.
  • These precautions do involve more work, more time, and more awareness. However, it will help reduce the risk of horses being exposed to multiple viral and bacterial diseases while on the road.
Biosecurity During Horse Events PDF (69 kb)


  • Equine Biosecurity Calculator
    Equine Guelph developed the interactive tool in collaboration with Colorado State University and this educational resource is sponsored by the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Foundation and Vétoquinol Canada Inc.
    The online resource helps horse owners calculate the biosecurity risk on their farms and also provides educational feedback on ways to decrease the risk of infectious disease. The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete and asks owners to answer 42 questions in 10 categories about their farms and management practices. The tool then rates individual biosecurity risks in each category. Possible scores include green for go (keep doing what you're doing), yellow for caution (consider improvements), and red for stop (reassess to reduce serious risk).
  • ANSC Extension Equine Biosecurity Principles ABVMA 2011 PDF (2.89 mb)
  • Biosecurity - The Key to Keeping Your Horses Healthy

Miscellaneous Horse Information and Resources

Reliable on-line resources for horse owners - The internet has become a hugely sought after resource for information. However, finding reliable, research based, factual information can be a challenge. This presentation will show a variety of internet resources that have reliable information such as eXtension Horses. Presented by: Kathy Anderson, PhD, University of Nebraska Extension Horse Specialist Webinar