Module: Equine Nutrition and Training

Module details

  • Module code

  • Module leader

    Jo Charles
  • Module Level

  • Module credits

  • Min study time

    150 hours
  • Contact hrs

    40 hours

Module content

Nutrition - digestive physiology relating form to function and comparing the equine gastrointestinal tract to that of other monogastrics and ruminants. Feedstuffs, and feeding management to optimise health and welfare. Overview of different systems to evaluate nutrient requirements, principles of diet formulation, evaluation of work levels.

Training - Review of conformation and anatomical features relating to athletic ability. Cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems of the horse. Energy metabolism and metabolic adaptations to training. Assessment of athletic potential and physical fitness. Avoidance and management of exercise intolerance and fatigue.

The topics covered will enable students to understand energy requirements and metabolic demands of exercise, and how to meet these demands through feeding management, to maximise performance.

Module outcomes

To achieve credit for this module, students must be able to:

  1. Evaluate the importance of equine gut physiology and feeding management practices to the health and welfare of equids.
  2. Apply knowledge and understanding of current scientific concepts to optimise the adaptation of tissue types for optimal fitness of the equine athlete.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to assess work levels for horses and appropriate dietary requirements.


Assessment Description Weighting
Coursework Literature review 50%
Examination In-class assessment 50%

Assessments may differ in 2020/21 due to adjustments for Covid-19. Please check Gateway for the latest regulations.

Key texts

Students should be familiar with the content of at least one of the following:

  • Frape, D. (2010). Equine Nutrition and Feeding. (4th edition). Wiley-Blackwell.
  • National Research Council (NRC) (2007). Nutrient Requirements of Horses. Bulletin No. 6 (revised). The National Academies Press, Washington, USA.
  • Geor, R.J., Harris, P.A. and Coenen, M. (eds.) (2013) Equine applied and clinical nutrition: health, welfare and performance. Saunders.
  • Hinchcliff, K.W., Kaneps, A.J. and Geor, R.J. (2007) Equine exercise physiology: the science of exercise in the athletic horse. Edinburgh: Saunders.
  • Marlin, D. and Nankervis, K. (2002) Equine exercise physiology. Blackwell Science.

Supporting texts

  • Cuddeford, D. (2003). Equine Nutrition. Crowood Press.
  • Ellis, A.D. and Hill, J. (2005). Nutritional Physiology of the Horse. Nottingham University Press.
  • Equine NUtrition and TRAining COnference and Lindner, A. (ed.) (2013) Applied equine nutrition and training; Equine NUtrition and TRAining COnference (ENUTRACO) 2013 [E-book]. Available here. Wageningen Academic. (Accessed: 11 July 2015).
  • Hinchcliff, K.W. (ed.) (2004) Equine sports medicine and surgery: basic and clinical sciences of the equine athlete. Saunders.
  • Lindner, A. (ed.) (2011). Applied Equine Nutrition and Training. Equine Nutrition and Training Conference 2011. Wageningen Academic.
  • Pagan, J.D. (ed.) (2009). Advances in Equine Nutrition IV. Nottingham University Press.
  • Waldron, L.A. (2013) Essential equine nutrition. Context Products


  • British Journal of Nutrition. (no date) [Journal - Academic]
  • Comparative Exercise Physiology The International Journal of Animal Exercise Physiology, Biomechanics and Nutrition. (no date) [Journal - Academic] Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Equine Veterinary Journal
  • Journal Equine Veterinary Science
  • Journal Equine Veterinary Education
  • Veterinary Clinics Of North America: Equine Practice