Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
RS11310 or RD16710
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 1 x 2 hour lecture per week
Seminars / Tutorials 1 x 1 hour seminar per week
Practical 3 x 3 hour practicals to be arranged during semester


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Ration formulation assignment  Outcomes assessed: 2, 3, 4  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Written examination  Outcomes assessed: 1, 2, 4  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Written examination  Outcomes assessed: 1, 2, 3, 4  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate a clear understanding of equid digestive physiology

2. Formulate a ration for any category of performance horse.

3 Identify the major causes of nutritional metabolic disorders

4. Match the patterns of growth and development of young performance horses with specific nutrient supply.


It is essential for students studying animal and human exercise physiology to have an understanding of the nutritional requirements of both species. This module will furnish students with knowledge in equine nutrition and allow them to make judgments and recommendations on feeding regimes for performance horses involved in a wide range of disciplines. Students will learn to use both basic IT skills and specifically designed computer packages to formulate rations for horses. They will also gain substantial knowledge of the nutritional content of the proprietary feeds currently sold by equine feed manufacturers.


This module will put some sound scientific knowledge behind the practical aspects of feeding horses. The lectures and practicals cover the digestive physiology of the horse; energy, protein and micronutrient requirements, and will integrate aspects of plant nutrient content with daily nutrient supply to the animal. Considerable emphasis will be placed on ration formulation for performance horses engaged in a wide range of activities and on the causes of metabolic disorders frequently encountered by hard-working equids.

Topics covered in lectures and practicals:
Digestive anatomy
Physiology of digestion and absorption
Energy and protein requirements for work
The use of fat in performance horse diets
Feeding dietary fibre
Feeding concentrates
Micronutrient requirements
Feeding for growth and development
Metabolic disorders.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Calculations required for the rationing exercise
Communication Through the tutorial/seminar sessions, skills in speaking, responding and listening will be developed.
Information Technology Developed in the ration formulation exercise, as it must be done on an Excel spreadsheet
Personal Development and Career planning Ability to formulate a ration for any performance horse. Visit from a feed company to talk about career opportunities.
Problem solving In the ration formulation exercise students will problem solve through matching nutrient requirements to nutrient supply for a horse engaged in a given activity.
Research skills Investigate and evaluate the nutritional content of new feeds on the market for use in the rationing exercise.
Team work Practical classes involve working in a group, and all seminar sessions are group discussions.

Reading List

Frandson, R.D. (1981) Anatomy and Physiology of Farm Animals Lea and Febiger Primo search Frape, D. (1983) Equine Nutrition and Feeding Longman Scientific Primo search Lewis, L.D. (1995) Equine Clinical Nutrition ? Feeding and Care. Williams and Wilkins Primo search McDonald, P., Edwards, R.A. and Greenhalgh, J.F.D. (1981) Animal Nutrition Longman Primo search NRC (1989) Nutrient Requirements of Horses Bulletin 5. National Academy Press. Washington DC Primo search Pilliner, S. (1989) Equine Nutrition BSP Professional Books Primo search (BI-ANNUAL) Proceedings of the Dodson and Horrell International Conference on Feeding Horses Primo search Proceedings of the Equine Nutrition and Physiology Society. Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 5