Module: Soil and Grassland for Equestrian Use

Module details

  • Module code

  • Module leader

    Simon Daniels
  • Module Level

  • Module credits

  • Min study time

    150 hours
  • Contact hrs

    25 hours
  • Teaching Period

    Semester 1

Module content

Combining soil science principals and agricultural grassland production methods applied specifically to the horse. Within the equine industry grassland is used for grazing, forage production and as a sports surface.

When considering performance horses it is important to be able to evaluate a grass sward for nutritional merits and for sporting use. It is also important to understand the physical and mechanical properties of soil, soil as an engineering product, managing problem soils and the influence of weather conditions for both forage production and sporting use. 

Module outcomes

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

  1. Examine the properties of soil and its role in equine grassland.
  2. Appraise grasses, forage legumes and noxious weeds within equine grassland.
  3. Evaluate techniques for the establishment and management of pastures and equestrian sports surfaces.
  4. Analyse the processes for conserving forages.


Assessment Description Weighting
Coursework Written assignment 50%
Examination Unseen exam (2 hours) 50%

Key texts

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

  • Bax, J. and Lane, G. (2004). Equine Forages and Grassland Management. In Emerging Equine Science. p.133-143. Nottingham University Press.
  • Eash, N. S. Sauer, T.J. O’Dell, D and Odoi, E. (2016) Soil Science Simplified (6th edition). Wiley Blackwell.
  • Frape, D. (2010). Equine Nutrition and Feeding. (4th edition). Blackwell Publishing.
  • Moore-Colyer, M. and Longland, A. (2004). Exploiting Dietary Fibre in Equid Diets. In Emerging Equine Science. p.113-129. Nottingham University Press.
  • O’Beirne-Ranelagh, E. (2005). Managing Grass for Horses. J.A. Allen Ltd.