Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 1 x 1 hour lecture per week
Practical 2/4 x 2 hour dissections; 1 x 2 hour live horse practical


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Assignment  Outcomes assessed: 1, 2, 3, 5  30%
Semester Exam 3 Hours   Written and Oral Examination (Oral exam contributes 10%)  Outcomes assessed: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  70%
Supplementary Exam 3 Hours   Supplementary examination  Suplementary examination, to cover all outcomes 100%  100%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the module students should be able to:

1. Describe the major anatomical structures that comprise the head, the locomotory, cardiovascular and respiratory systems of the horse in gross and histological detail

2. Appreciate 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

3. Understand how the horse's anatomy adapts to various physical stresses and the time courses involved in repair

4. Appreciate the specific anatomical limitations and weaknesses applying this knowledge to the selection of animals for different activities and the design of training regimes

5. Understand how the process of natural evolution and human selection has shaped the modern-day horse.

Brief description

This module will be presented as a lecture course with two four-hour dissections (dependent on material), one live horse practical, a 3-day conference on exercise physiology at Gregynog. Content: Classification and evolution of the equid. Examination of the evolution of the skeletal structure of the head, locomotory, cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Skeletal anatomy, muscle structure, and function specifically related to movement.


This module aims to provide the student with a detailed understanding of the structures and functions of the head, the locomotory, cardiovascular and respiratory systems of the horse. This will be developed into an awareness of how the anatomy of the horse withstands physical strain, and the structural limitations to performance. An introduction to gait analysis techniques will be presented and put in context of the selection of suitable animals for different activities. A basic coverage of equine evolution will be included. The knowledge gained in this module will form the basis of understanding for the presentations on exercise physiology at Gregynog and much of the veterinary science module delivered later in the scheme.

Transferable skills

.1 Independent project work
This will be developed by the assignment

.2 IT and information handling
To complete the written assignment students will have to obtain information from a variety of sources including books and web sites. This will involve the use of IT to compile the finished report as well as retrieve relevant information (e.g. Voyager).

.4 Writing in an academic context
Students will be required to present information precisely and concisely in a clear and informative manner. The assignment will require all source material to be fully referenced.

.7 Self-management
Students will have to manage their own time in developing their assignment.

.8 Group activity
Students will have to manage themselves individually and as a group to collate various pieces of information during the dissection practicals.

Reading List

Ashdown, R D (1987) Colour Alas of Veterinary Medicine Vol 2 The Horse Primo search Burkitt H G, Young B and Heath J W (1993) Wheater's functional histology 3rd Churchill Livingston Primo search Dyce, K M, Sack, W O and Wensing, C J G (1996) Textbook of veterinary anatomy 2nd W B Saunders Primo search Eisemann, V; Alberdi, M T; De Guili, C; and Stesche, U (1981) Frandson, R D (1981) Anatomy and Physiology of Farm Animals Lea & Febiger Primo search Goody, P C (1983) Horse Anatomy. A Pictorial Approach to Equine Structure J A Allen Primo search Marr, C M (1999) Cardiology of the horse W B Saunders Primo search Pollitt C C (1995) Colour atlas of the horse's foot Mosby-Wolfe Primo search Pratt & O'Connor (1983) Remarks on Gait Analysis Eq Ex Phys. Ed Snow Persson & Rose Primo search Smyth, R H and Goody, P C (1975) The Horse Structure and Movement J A Allen & Co Ltd Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 7