Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Understanding Equine Action: from Anatomy to Behaviour
Academic Year
Distance Learning
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
BRM6220 On campus version of the same module
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Interactive task  1500 Words  40%
Semester Assessment Essay  2500 Words  60%
Supplementary Assessment Supplementary interactive task  1500 Words  40%
Supplementary Assessment Supplementary essay  2500 Words  60%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Demonstrate knowledge of the major anatomical structures that comprise the head, the locomotory, cardiovascular and respiratory systems of the horse.

Discuss the functional aspects of the gross and histological anatomy associated with each of the systems and how they interact and complement each other's performance.

Critically assess the ontogeny of equine behaviour, the motivation of behaviour, the role of the senses, particularly in relation to learning and abnormal behaviour.

Critically evaluate the link between animal welfare and behaviour with particular reference to the horse.

Critically evaluate current research developments in equine behaviour studies.

Brief description

This module will combine equine anatomy and behaviour. The anatomy component will be presented as a lecture course with two virtual dissections and one virtual horse practical, and will be supported by presentations on exercise physiology. It will consider classification and evolution of the equid, the skeletal structure of the head, locomotory, cardiovascular and respiratory systems along with muscle structure, and function specifically related to movement. The second part of this module focuses on the ontogeny of equine behaviour, behavioural motivation, the role of the senses, learning and abnormal behaviour. This will develop on to the recognition of the major behavioural abnormalities in the domestic horse. Animal welfare issues including bioethics, behavioural needs, suffering, cruelty, stress and legislation will also be discussed.


The aims of this module will be two-fold: To provide a detailed understanding of the structures and functions of the major body structures and how anatomy limits and allows advanced equine performance. To provide an understanding of equine behavior and learning and so allow the student to recognize equine major behavioural abnormalities and have an awareness of animal welfare issues including bioethics, behavioural needs, suffering, cruelty, stress and relevant aspects of animal welfare legislation.


The module will be broken down into 10 weekly units, e: Learning material in each unit is made up of: an interactive study guide, videoed lectures and discussions, downloadable podcasts (for listening to in the car), guided reading, interactive quizzes, and an online discussion forum. Local students are invited to participate in an optional dissection practical session. A virtual version of this will be available to all students.

Lectures will cover the following topics :

  • Evolution of the horse; anatomy and behaviour - 1 lecture
  • Introduction to anatomy; terminology - 1 lecture
  • Appendicular attachment - 1 lecture
  • Musculo-skeletal anatomy: Head - 1 lecture
  • Musculo-skeletal anatomy: neck and back - 1 lecture
  • Musculo-skeletal anatomy: Forelimb and Equine hoof - 1 lecture
  • Musculo-skeletal anatomy: Hindlimb - 1 lecture
  • Muscle and movement - 1 lecture
  • Introduction including measuring behaviour - 1 lecture
  • Neurophysiology of behaviour - 1 lecture
  • Stereotypy: causes, prevention and alleviation - 1 lecture
  • Learning Theory and its application to horse management - 1 lecture
  • Equine temperament - 1 lecture
  • Equine welfare - 1 lecture
  • Virtual Practicals will cover the following topics:
  • Whole horse dissection
  • Head anatomy
  • Forelimb anatomy
  • Hindlimb anatomy
  • Hoof anatomy
  • Learning behaviour - 1
  • Learning behaviour - 2

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Students will be required to write an essay which presents information precisely and concisely in a clear and informative manner. They will need to communicate succinctly and clearly in the forums. The assignments will require all source material to be fully referenced and a full bibliography will be expected. As such, their written skills will be directly assessed.
Improving own Learning and Performance Detailed feedback will be given for assignments (including an opportunity to submit a formative assignment early in the module) providing students with detailed guidance on how to improve their work and learning.
Information Technology Students will be required to source information from a variety of scientific publication databases and to use Blackboard for all aspects of the module. Usual Office software will be needed to complete assignments.
Personal Development and Career planning N/A
Problem solving The essay will promote investigative and problem solving skills.
Research skills Students will be required to include critical analysis and evaluation of current research in their essay and forum discussions, as such their research skills will be developed.
Subject Specific Skills A detailed understanding of equine anatomy and behaviour and its fundamental importance in equine welfare.
Team work Some students may get to work in small groups if they can attend the dissection practicals (not assessed). There will be an assessed forum where students will need to communicate effectively with each other.


This module is at CQFW Level 7