Module Identifier RD28220  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Meriel J S Moore-Colyer  
Semester Semester 1  
Course delivery Lecture   22 Hours 22 x 1 hour lectures  
  Seminars / Tutorials   11 Hours 11 x 1 hour  
  Practical   9 Hours 3 x 3 hours  
  Other   4 Hours 1 x 4 hour visit/external talk  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours Outcomes assessed: 1, 4  50%
Semester Assessment Assignment Outcomes assessed: 2, 3  50%
Supplementary Assessment Candidates will be required to re-take the elements that led to failure. 

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
Outcome 1. Demonstrate a clear understanding of equid digestive physiology.

Performance criteria
1. An understanding of the anatomy and function of the component parts of the equine digestive system is demonstrated.
2. The importance of water and its role in bodily functions is considered.
3. An understanding of the endocrinology and action of digestive enzymes is demonstrated.
Oesophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, liver.
Proteins, fats, structural and soluble carbohydrates.

Outcome 2. Formulate a ration for any category of performance horse.
Performance criteria
1. The requirements of each individual horse are considered in relation to its activity.
2. The need for and use of feed supplements, including vitamins and minerals is evaluated.
3. The process of formulating a balanced ration is demonstrated
4. The importance of feed hygiene on the health and welfare of stabled horses is appreciated.
Concentrates, compounds.
Intensive, extensive.
All breeds of horses
Performance, maintenance, growth and reproduction.

Outcome 3. Identify the major causes of nutritional metabolic disorders
Performance criteria.
1. The importance of a natural fibre-based diet for the maintenance of a healthy digestive system is considered.
2. The processes of nutritionally induced metabolic disorders are detailed and the pathological conditions subsequently developed are demonstrated.
3. Feeding regimes to maximize energy consumption while maintaining gut health are assessed.
Fresh and conserved forages.
Stomach, large intestine, liver, feet, blood
Endurance and high intensity work.

Outcome 4. Evaluate the patterns of growth and development of the major tissues and organs.
Performance criteria.
1. The patterns of growth from birth to maturity are detailed and the knowledge applied to the nutritional management of the horse.
2. The factors affecting growth and development are assessed.
Post-natal, young stock.
Mare, stallion, gelding.
All breeds of horse.
Performance, growth, maintenance.


The aim is to put some sound scientific knowledge behind the practical aspects of feeding horses and to extend and develop the information provided by the previous 10-credit equine nutrition module. This module will build upon the knowledge gained in the Horsemastership modules and any practical experience the student may have gained during their industrial placement. The module will cover the digestive physiology of the horse; its energy, protein and micronutrient requirements, and will integrate aspects of plant nutrient content with daily nutrient supply. Considerable emphasis will be placed on ration formulation for performance horses engaged in a wide variety of activities and on the incidence of metabolic disorders.

Transferable skills

.1 Independent project work
The ration formulation is base on an `in house? compiled Excel spreadsheet, which the students have access to on the IRS student network. This sheet must be copied and worked on independently in order to compile a suitable ration for a given category of horse. The exercise requires considerable patience and diligence, but it is designed to develop an in-depth knowledge of the nutrient content of a wide variety of foodstuffs.

.2 IT and information handling
IT skills, particularly spreadsheet skills learned in Business modules are developed and assessed in the ration formulation exercise as the assignment must be done on an Excel spreadsheet.

.3 Use and analysis of numerical information
Daily dietary requirements, based on a range of formulae, must be calculated before the ration formulation is tackled. The rationing exercise itself requires continual application of numerical skills and the accuracy of these skills are assessed when marking the assignment.

.4 Writing in an academic context
Critical evaluation of published information will be encouraged during seminar sessions, while the students own writing will be assessed in the unseen examination.

.5 Oral discussion and presentation
Discussion will be encouraged during seminar sessions.

.6 Careers need awareness
Where possible, a visit from a feed company will be arranged, during which information on careers in the equine nutrition industry will be discussed.

.7 Self-management
Considerable time management skills will be developed during the ration formulation exercise.

.8 Group activity
Seminar sessions will involve group discussion, while practical classes will require working as a group when determining condition score and body weight.

Reading Lists

Frape, D (1986) Equine Nutrition and Feeding Longman Scientific and Technical, Harlow
Lewis, L D (1995) Equine clinical nutrition - feeding and care Williams & Wilkins

Proceedings of the Equine Nutrition and Physiology Society
Proceedings of the Dodson and Horrell International Conference on feeding horses (bi-annual)


This module is at CQFW Level 5