Module: Equine Performance Nutrition

Module details

  • Module code

  • Module leader

    Jo Charles
  • Module Level

  • Module credits

  • Min study time

    150 hours
  • Contact hrs

    35 hours

Module content

Study the recent advances in equine nutrition, e.g. in vivo and in vitro studies, that enhance our understanding of digestive physiology and particularly microbial activity in the fore and hindgut of the horse. Assess recent findings on nutrient absorption and evaluate how this knowledge can be applied to growth and development of young horses and to mature performance horses. Review recent findings on nutrition related metabolic disorders in horses and apply this knowledge to ration formulation for performance horses. Detailed study of energy production for different athletic disciplines in relation to feeding systems, dietary supplements and additives.

Module outcomes

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

  1. Apply the principles of ration formulation using different feeding systems.
  2. Critically appraise the methods of assessing dietary requirements for different types of work.
  3. Critically evaluate scientific literature relating to performance nutrition to be able to understand the metabolic and biochemical principles that underpin the various feeding management practices.
  4. Formulate a ration for a performance horse and underpin recommendations with scientific findings.


Assessment Description Weighting
Coursework Literary review 60%
Coursework Practical exercise 40%

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:

  • Ellis, A.D., Longland, A.C., Coenen, M. and Miraglia, N. (Ed.) (2010). The Impact of Nutrition on the Health and Welfare of Horses. EAAP Scientific Series no. 128. Wageningen Academic Publishers.
  • Frape, D. (2010). Equine Nutrition and Feeding. (4th edition). Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Lindner, A. (Ed.) (no date). Applied Equine Nutrition and Training: Equine Nutrition and Training Conference 2011. Wageningen Academic.
  • National Research Council (NRC) (2007). Nutrient Requirements of Horses. Bulletin No. 6 (revised). The National Academies Press.
  • Pagan, J.D. (ed.) (2009). Advances in Equine Nutrition IV. Kentucky Equine Research Inc. Nottingham University Press.
  • Saastamoinen, M.T. and Martin-Rosset, W. (2008). Nutrition of the Exercising Horse. (EAAP Publication; 125). Wageningen Academic Publishers.

Supporting texts

  • Ellis, A.D. and Hill, J. (2005). Nutritional Physiology of the Horse. Nottingham University Press.
  • Equine Health and Nutrition Association. (2006). Horse Health Nutrition: Proceedings: 3rd European Equine Health and Nutrition Congress 17-18 March 2006.
  • Lindner, A. (ed.) (2005). Applied Equine Nutrition: Applied Equine Nutrition Conference (ENUCO). Wageningen Press.
  • Lindner, A. (2007). Applied Equine Nutrition and Training: Equine NUtrition COnference (ENUCO). Wageningen Academic Publishers.
  • Saastamoinen, M., Fradinho, M.J., Santos, A.S. and Miraglia, N. (ed.) (2012). Forages and Grazing in Horse Nutrition. Wageningen Academic. (EAAP Publication, 132).


  • Animal Science
  • Equine Veterinary Journal
  • Journal of Equine Veterinary Science
  • Equine and Comparative Exercise Physiology: The International Journal of Animal Exercise Physiology, Biomechanics and Nutrition