National Orientation Level Course in Basic Horse Care and Management Skills is a course by Majlis Ekuin Malaysia O Level.
The National Orientation (O-Level) Course syllabus was initially designed by Equestrian Australia Queensland Branch Coaching committee in 1993. Majlis Ekuin Malaysia (MEM) adopted the course in January 1995 and has localized the teaching materials to suit Malaysia conditions and needs.
As the course name suggests, it aims to provide an understanding in the care and handling of horses. The course is suitable for first time rider, horse owners and operators of riding facilities.
The objective of the course is to provide participants with practical knowledge in the requirements of horse care. More importantly, to educate the participants on how to work around a horse in a safe environment, for both the person and for the horse.
To break it into details, the outline of Majlis Ekuin Malaysia O Level is as follows:
- General Horsemastership A – Safe handling method, knowledge of correct paddock handling procedures, yard management and care of bedding.
- General Horsemastership B – Identification and measuring.
- Grooming – Identify grooming equipment needed for grooming and correct application of various equipment.
- Saddlery – Identification, fitting and care of horse equipment used on a horse for exercise.
- Boots and Rug – Identification, application and fitting.
- Feeding – Understand rules of good feeding, types of feed and methods of feeding
- Foot Care – Identify correct shoeing and foot care
- Horse Health – Identify signs of good health, ill health, minor wounds, ailments and lameness. Identify the need for worm control and vaccinations
- Traveling – Understand preparation for and understand safe procedures
As a weekend leisure rider, I always enjoy exploring a little more than my typical trail ride and riding school routine. This course is perfect to put myself slightly beyond my comfort zone.
With a little bit of good timing, good friends coming together and the moon and stars are aligned, I managed to attend the course from 18th – 21st Oct 2021.
On the first day, the course started at 8.30 AM. We arrived at 8.00 AM for registration.
Each participant gets a bag of study material consists of 2 books, 1 folder with informative booklets, an empty notebook and a pen.
The primary instructor for the course is Husref Malek Jeremiah, a Level-1 General Coach (SSTA).
Husref is one of the best coaches we can ask for in Malaysia. Extremely experienced, knowledgable, yet humble and delivered the course in a friendly and enjoyable manner.
After an initial round of introduction and walking through the course outline, we dived right into the course.
This course is primarily practical at approximately 70% practical and 30% theoretical.
Wasted no time, we were sent to the big paddock to bring a few horses back into the stables. The horses are pretty calm and relax. It was relatively easy to put the head collar on them.
Back to the stable, Husref gave us a briefing on the bedding and Rahizza showed us how to prepare one.
Everything that was shown to us in the morning will be the activities we will need to do over the next few days.
Back to the classroom, we were assigned with horses to take care for the remaining of the course.
I raised my hand for Nazir, a Grey horse (instead of a pony) because I wanted to give myself a bit of challenge. Oh boy, Nazir totally didn’t let me down.
I paired up with Ziyad, my reliable partner who shown a lot of love for Nazir throughout our times together.
We started second day at 7.30 AM.
Ziyad took care of the grooming for Nazir while I did the bedding. It was certainly one of the most exhausting activities in the course for me.
Ziyad and myself posed in front of our first attempt to our stable boy job. Good job, Ziyad!
Also look at the happy boy, Nazir with a fresh bed!
As we still had some time before the classroom session begins, we took some time to roam around to pose with other lovely horses.
Back to the classroom, Husref gave us a lecture on different types of saddle for riding. Jac was asked to be the model sit on the saddle for explanation.
Next, we headed out to paddock for feeding!
The view of horses running over to get their food is totally amazing. Feeding in such a big paddock is new and totally refreshing.
Then, we went back to stables to finish up our feeding work.
After lunch, Dr. Edward Samuel, senior veterinary surgeon for MEM delivered a lecture on foot care and teeth care.
It was a rather interactive session. Apart from the lecture slides, Dr. Edward also showed us videos and discussed the diagnostic.
Again, we repeated our morning routine by grooming Nazir, making the bed and brought Nazir out for grazing and a walk.
Husref also brought us into the feeding room to explain the feeding chart, different type of food, the rules of feeding and considerations when feeding.
In the evening, Husref showed us the usage of rug although it is not commonly used in Malaysia. Well, it never hurt to learn a little extra.
The highlight of the 3rd day will certainly be loading the human (participants) into the float.
In order to get a sense how it is like to be traveling in a float, we travel for a short distance in the float around MAEPS.
We had a taste of what is it like to have a good ride and also a bad ride.
Guess what? It’s the assessment day!
Ziyad and I did our usual grooming and bedding. Then Husref popped over to start asking questions.
We also had to demonstrate how did we put on the bridle in front of him. Putting on the bridle is probably the trickiest part of the entire assessment that some people struggle.
After the assessment, Husref gave a debrief on what we covered in Majlis Ekuin Malaysia O Level for the last 4 days. He also explained a little more on what the next levels are after the completion of National Orientation Level Course in Basic Horse Care and Management Skills.
The Intro course and Level 1 are definitely something very appealing for people who have an interest in advancing their horsemanship or maybe go professional in the industry.
Next, certificate ceremony. We received our certificates and then headed out for a group photo.
Final Thoughts on O Level Majlis Ekuin Malaysia:
1. The syllabus covered in the course totally exceeded my expectation for the cost of RM350. The materials and duration covered can easily cost RM3000-RM5000 if such programs are by the private sector. I’m really happy to see MEM making this course affordable for the community.
2. Everyone in MEM is extremely helpful, friendly and cheerful. The entire crew could address me by my name throughout the course. The hospitality offered by MEM is beyond many private corporate training.
3. The practical part of the program is slightly overwhelming for me because stable work is not something that I do often but I’m super proud that I completed it.
4. This course is very suitable for a) stable workers who want to learn the safe and efficient ways of handling horses, b) the passionate riders who wants to know everything about horses, c) horse owners to understand what it takes to take care of horses.
5. In MEM, I saw genuine care and love for horses from the entire crew. On the first day, Husref talked about sometimes they worried if the horses slept well last night. I thought that was silly. On the forth day, the first thing when I woke up, I wonder if Nazir slept well the night before.
6. Throughout the years, I have seen stables that are managed in different conditions. The facilities in MEM is simply fantastic. Clean, organized and spacious. It definitely set a good standard to the rest of community. If I were to do my Intro course, I will come back to MEM.
For more information, please contact Pn. Mimie at +60166911059 or check out Majlis Ekuin Malaysia website.