Module Identifier RD28220  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Mr Anthony O'Regan  
Semester Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)  
Other staff Mrs Jean A McCarthy  
Course delivery Lecture   1 x 1 hour lecture per week  
  Seminars / Tutorials   11 x 1 hour seminars over two semesters  
  Practical   3 x 3 hour practicals over two semesters  
  Other   1 x 4 hour visit/external talk  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Assignment Outcomes assessed: 2, 3  50%
Semester Exam2 Hours Outcomes assessed: 1, 4  50%
Supplementary Assessment Candidates will be required to re-take the elements that led to failure.100%

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
a. An understanding of the anatomy and function of the component parts of the equine digestive system is demonstrated.
b. The importance of water and its role in bodily functions is considered.
c. 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
a. The requirements of each individual horse are considered in relation to its activity.
b. The need for and use of feed supplements, including vitamins and minerals is evaluated.
c. The process of formulating a balanced ration is demonstrated
d. 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
a. The importance of a natural fibre-based diet for the maintenance of a healthy digestive system is considered.
b. The processes of nutritionally induced metabolic disorders are detailed and the pathological conditions subsequently developed are demonstrated.
c. 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
a. The patterns of growth from birth to maturity are detailed and the knowledge applied to the nutritional management of the horse.
b. 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.

Module Skills

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.  
Communication Through the tutorial/seminar sessions, skills in speaking, responding and listening will be developed.  
Team work Practical classes involve working in a group, and all seminar sessions are group discussions.  
Information Technology Developed in the ration formulation exercise, as it must be done on an Excel spreadsheet.  
Application of Number Calculations are required for the rationing exercise.  
Subject Specific Skills Ability to formulate a ration for any performance horse. Visit from a feed company to talk about career opportunities.  

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


This module is at CQFW Level 5