Donate now!



PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!

 Click Here to become a Herd member.


Join The herd

Sponsor a horse


13 Week Draft Horse Certification I

13 week Draft Horse Certification CourseThis certificate program will train participants in sustainable horsemanship with draft horses.  Sustainable horsemanship is more than just buying eco-friendly products for the barn or composting manure (though these are great).  Sustainable horsemanship means working with horses in a sustainable way, taking into consideration the horse population as a whole (for instance, seeking to address issues of “unwanted horses”) and seeking to use the “green” alternative energy of real horsepower whenever possible.  This program teaches students the basics of draft horse husbandry before moving on to teach them skills in working with horses in harness, both on the road and on the farm, working with rescued horses, draft horse training, practical problem solving, and farming with horses.  At all levels, safety for horse and handler and the overall well-being of the horse are stressed above all else.

Level I certification will prepare the student to care for draft horses, properly fit harness and hitch a horse or a team to a vehicle, and safely drive the horse or horses both on the road and on the farm.  Students completing Level I certification will be prepared, with adequate apprenticeship hours, to be licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a Carriage Operator.  Level I certification prepares the student for owning a draft horse, driving for a commercial carriage company, giving hay rides in a hay wagon, or being able to skillfully handle experienced farm horses.

This course will meet once a week for 3 hours in the fall 2011 semester with a limited enrollment of 8 students per section.  There will be three sections, taught Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 3-6 PM. It will also require additional practice at the Blue Star Equiculture farm or on campus (Massachusetts Carriage Operator’s Licensing requires 80 hours of hands-on time).  Those who successfully complete the course will be awarded a Certificate in Draft Horsemanship from Blue Star Equiculture. Students may wish to take the exam for a Carriage Operator’s License (optional).

COURSE TOPICS: Horses in harness

(Guest teamsters TBA, will cover topics such as Operating a Carriage Business, The Importance of Small Horse-powered Farms, Working with Older Horses)

Draft Horse Care

  • Feeding requirements of the draft horse
  • Grooming
  • Farrier care – the importance of hoof care and teaching your horse to pick his feet up
  • Dental care
  • Diseases more likely to affect draft horses
    • EPSM
    • Stringhalt / shivers
    • Chronic Recurrent Lymphedema
    • Scratches (caring for feathers)
  • First aid – taking vital signs, wound care, colic, when to call a vet

Harness parts and harness care

  • Work Harness vs. Pleasure Harness
  • Harnessing a Single Horse
  • Harnessing Teams
  • Cleaning and maintenance

Proper harnessing of the draft horse

  • Fitting harness to a single horse or a pair
  • Safety check of harness for worn spots or dangerous spots


  • Vehicle / implement selection
  • Vehicle safety check and safety considerations
  • Safe hitching and unhitching methods
  • Adjusting the harness to the fit of the horse on the vehicle
  • Adjusting the harness or lines to account for differences between the team


  • Safety considerations on or off road
  • Negotiating hills, turns and terrain
  • Navigating obstacles
  • Backing up

Classes begin on September 9, 2011 at 3pm - 6pm and will continue for 13 weeks on every Friday through December 9, 2011. Due to Veterans Day the November 11, 2001 classes will be held on Wednesday November 16, 2011 at 3pm.




September 9


September 16


September 23


September 30


October 7


October 14


October 21


October 28


November 4


November 16 Wednesday (Due to Veterans Day, no class on Nov. 11)


November 18


December 2


December 9

Instructor Justin Morace
Justin morace

Cost: $1500/person - Pay for your Working Horse Certification 1 Course via PayPal

Work Horse Certification Registration Form

Use the contact form below if you have any questions.

Work Horse Certification Contact Form

Site Map | Printable View | © 2008 - 2016 Blue Star Equiculture