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Duration (approx) 1500 hours
Qualification Associate Diploma

Jump start your management career in the Equine industry.

A foundation qualification for a career at management or technician level in the equine industry.

  • Graduates may find employment opportunities in any horse industry establishment including stables, stud farms, riding schools, veterinary practices, equine supply and service organisations and companies, event management or race courses.
  • Provides advance standing (credits) in higher qualifications (including Advanced Diplomas and Degrees) with A.C.S. Distance Education, Warnborough College (UK & Ireland), and an international network of A.C.S. affiliated colleges.

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Learn about the running an equine facility, service or farm.

Many equine businesses are run in conjunction with other farming or animal based enterprises.

This comprehensive course allows students to study horses in conjunction with other farm animals, to assist in developing both business integration and business diversity.

You will learn how to care for horses and other farm animals, manage events, and develop marketing plans.  All of which are necessary in order to run a successful equine farm, combined farm, or equine event facility.  Particular emphasis is given to learning event management principles and developing the skills to plan, initiate, host and evaluate a successful event in the equine industry.

Course Duration:  1,500 hours of self-paced study.


This comprehensive course is made up of the following 15 modules (13 Core – compulsory – modules, plus a further 2 Elective modules), totalling around 1,500 hours of study.

Each of the modules is summarised below.  You can find more information on each module by following the link in the module title.


Horse Care I BAG102
Learn to manage the daily requirements of a horse at grass and horse care.  This 7 lesson module provides a foundation in equine studies.  Students will learn about buying and selling horses, their physiology (conformation) and biology.  The module includes lessons which look at the nutritional requirements of horses, the advantages and disadvantages of working off grass, housing, and grooming.  It is concluded with a lesson on industry applications – competition, farming, financial and business planning.

Horse Care II BAG204
The 6 lesson module follows on from Horse Care I, but focuses more on the care of a stabled performance horse.  The Horse Care II module covers feeds, nutrition, stabling, foot care, bedding, tack, conditioning, and other areas relevant to caring for horses in a stable.  The module is concluded with a lesson on the management of facilities used in the horse industry, including their design and applications.

Horse Care III BAG302
Horse Care III builds upon the knowledge gained in Horse Care I and II.  With this 6 lesson module, students will learn to better manage the health and condition of horses in different situations. Learn to identify signs of poor condition, and address those problems appropriately.

Equine Behaviour BAG216
A 7 lesson module which looks at horse psychology and behaviour.  Develop your understanding of equine behaviour – the influences on behaviour, and genetics and behaviour.  The Equine Behaviour module includes lessons on communication and social behaviour, and sexual and reproductive behaviour.  Students will learn about the elements to training a horse as well as being able to identify abnormal behaviour and how this may be prevented.

Horse Breeding BAG307
Students will learn about why to breed and how to manage the breeding process.  The module consists of 8 lessons which look at why horses are bred and how the male, mare and newborn should be cared for – the environments required, nutrition and different issues (health) that may be encountered. 

Pasture Management BAG212
This is an intensive 8 lesson module which looks at the variety of different pasture types – the structure, growth, and development of grasses, the identification of different grass types, how to establish new pastures, the importance of legumes in pastures, selection of pasture types, seed mix, management of existing pastures, native grasslands, weed control, limiting factors, managing stock on pasture, management works.  Students will learn to determine the criteria for the selection of different plant varieties, and evaluate the potential of sites for pasture development.

Animal Husbandry I (Animal Anatomy And Physiology) BAG101
This 11 lesson module will teach students about the structure and function of different animals.  It provides a solid foundation of knowledge for the understanding, care, and management of animals.  The course looks at all types of animals, but is principally geared towards horses, cattle, sheep, dogs, goats, and pigs.

Animal Health Care VAG100
Learn to identify and describe common signs of ill health and diseases in animals, and the appropriate types of treatment for these.  This 12 lesson module looks at the broader aspects of animal welfare and control as well as codes of practices and the services provided by veterinarians.  The module includes preventative health care, as well as considering routine health treatments (such as de-sexing and castration).  It is concluded with a lesson on animal rehabilitation and recovery.

Animal Husbandry III (Feed And Nutrition) BAG202
Learn about the composition of a range of feeds, including pasture, fodder crops, grasses, cereals, seed, and other edible plants.  This 10 lesson module also explains the role of proteins, vitamins and minerals in animal diets.

Farm Management BAG104
Improve your capacity to more effectively manage a farm or agricultural enterprise which services farms.  Learn about effectively using resources through planning and assessment with this 8 lesson module.

Research Project I BGN102
Students will learn to plan and conduct research into the current status of an aspect of the equine industry relating to their area of study, and complete a descriptive report based on that research.

Workshop I BGN103
Develop your capacity to identify, select and apply knowledge and skills to appropriate perform workplace tasks in the equine industry through a problem-based learning project.  The 3 lesson module identifies 3 areas of study, covering workplace tools and equipment, workplace skills, and workplace safety.  The approach of problem-based learning (PBL) enables students to consider and resolve hypothetical problems which mimic those that may occur in real world situations.  This helps to equip students with the skills and confidence to approach and resolve problems that they may encounter through their work.  It provides added benefits in areas such as planning and assessment by equipping students with the ability to effectively plan, view, and outline their intended outcomes in areas of work and projects that they may be engaged in.


Students are to select 2 modules from the following:-

Sustainable Agriculture BAG215
This module presents many different techniques and general measures which may be adopted in part or full to move a farm toward greater sustainability.  The 8 lesson module looks at ways to encourage the adoption of techniques that help to preserve, maintain and work with natural resources in order to maintain the balance of ecosystems.  The module covers a number of different areas of sustainability, from looking at different ways of farming (natural, organic), detailing specific areas of consideration such as soils and water, to wider aspects such as the financial and social elements.

Soil Management (Agriculture) BAG103
Learn about soil properties and requirements in agriculture, and how to apply that knowledge at a management level in an equine business.  This 8 lesson module looks at different ways to maintaining soil health, how to ensure that soil is optimised for the production of relevant crops and how to deal with issues such as land degradation and acidity.  Although soil cultivation was in the past considered essential practice, there are other ways to managing soil which are discussed in this module.

Genetics BSC207
This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to understand the fundamentals of genetics.  Through 10 lessons, the module aims to develop in students a greater understanding of genetics for better horse breeding skills.  Areas covered include cellular function, traits, characteristics, and heritability.

Event Management BRE209
Learn to plan, create, manage, and evaluate a successful equine-related event in sport, recreation, tourism, agriculture, or other area.  This 9 lesson module takes you through the processes involved with planning, organising, and managing an event.  Students will understand the primary elements to holding an event – why hold an event, what type of event, where it should be held, and who the event will be supported by.  An event, for example, can be held to showcase someone’s business, or to bring like- minded businesses and customers together, but if it is not arranged or staged appropriately the desired outcome will not be achieved.


The horse industry is a huge employer; and anyone with the extent of knowledge and experience that comes from this course will be a prime candidate for a career in this industry.  The degree of success you might have though, will be determined by more than just your knowledge.  This industry like most others values a good work ethic, experience, and generic skills such as communication, IT and management; just as much as it does, knowledge of the discipline.

Our course works on helping you to develop all of these attributes with a particular relevance to all things equine.

Opportunities may arise across a wide range of enterprises, from horse breeding and training, to equine supplies and services.  The racing industry and recreational riding are also significant employers in this industry.

Horse Breeder

A horse breeder may be involved the buying, selling breeding and studding of stallions, mares and foals.  A horse breeder is someone who has to have a great deal of skill in handling horses and a knowledge of horse breeding and genetics.  It can be a high responsibility job and they may have to plan and carry out the successful breeding of expensive racehorses.

Horse Riding Instructor

A horse riding instructor is someone who teaches people with varying levels of horse riding experience to ride horses, conducts trail rides and other equine recreational activities and events i.e. pony club.  To get started in this type of employment you would have to gain some sort of equine knowledge perhaps by taking an equine foundation course and gain a solid level of experience either through paid or volunteer work experience.  Some people volunteer as stable hands, at horse riding academies, horse studs and for charities such as riding for the disabled.


A stable hand is someone in charge of the caring for the husbandry needs of horses.  They perform tasks such as feeding, watering and exercising horses, mucking the stables, grooming the horses and getting them ready for riding and other events.  A stablehand is required to be experienced in handling and caring for horses of varying types and temperaments, they would also have to possess a genuine interest in horses and their care.


You can start the course at any time.

It is studied by distance learning, so you can study in the comfort of your own home. But this doesn't mean you are all alone in your studies.  Our highly qualified and friendly tutors are there to help you every step of the way.  If you have any questions at all, they are always happy to help.

Each lesson includes set tasks, and is completed with an assignment which the student submits to their course tutor.  The tutor will mark the assignment and return this to the student with comments and suggestions for further reading.


The Associate Diploma In Equine Studies requires approximately 1,500 hours of study. It is made up of fourteen 100-hour modules, a research project and 100 hours of industry experience/work experience. 

To pass the course –

  1. Pass all assignments on the 100-hour modules. There will be an assignment at the end of each lesson to submit to your tutor for marking and feedback.
  2. Pass 14 examinations – one on each module. These are usually taken at the end of the module and can be arranged at a time and location to suit you.
  3. Complete Research Project I.
  4. Complete a Workplace Project. The project should last around 100 hours. There are four options available to you to satisfy this requirement. Don’t worry if you are not sure at this stage, your tutor will be there to help you every step of the way.



At ACS we provide you with more than just a set of course notes.

Your 'learning package' includes:

  • Course notes.
  • Self-assessment quizzes.
  • Assignment feedback.
  • You can interact one on one with a professional tutor with decades of experience - just email, phone or log on to chat to connect with them.
  • Depending upon your course, your studies may involve independent research, interviews, practical exercises, assessments, Problem Based Learning projects, and more.


"Yes [the course was a valuable learning experience]. It is providing me with new insights and development beyond my former knowledge of this subject. It also provides me with a proper basic knowledge to pursue my dreams in this career path."
Arnold Taen, Netherlands - Diploma in Animal Management

"My time with ACS has been extremely beneficial... and I would recommend the school to anyone seeking to study by Distance Education"
Victor, studying Adv. Certificate in Applied Management (Horses)  


 If you want to work in the equine industry, this course is an excellent option. The Associate Diploma In Equine Studies will provide you with a broad and detailed knowledge of horse care.

  • Understand how to care for horses, and learn about the important aspects of farm management.
  • Specialise in areas of your own particular interest – sustainability, soil management, genetics or event management – which area of the business do you want to develop more specialised knowledge in?  Do you want to work in a management capacity within the industry, or are you looking to expand into your own business?
  • Job opportunities in the equine industry are varied – this course empowers you determine and shape your career path.
  • The course will provide you not only with knowledge about horses and animal care, but it will give you the tools with which to plan and approach problems with the confidence to resolve them.


Learn with industry experts and improve your knowledge, skills, job and career prospects.

Why delay? Enrol today.

Register to Study today - Go to the panel towards the top right hand-side of this page - "It's Easy to Enrol"


Ask our specialist Equine tutors questions about studying this or any of our Equine courses - our tutors will be pleased to hear from you.

Learn from our experience.



Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

Towergate Insurance welcomes Professional Liability insurance applications from ACS graduates across all disciplines. Click here for more details.

Meet some of our academics

Alison Pearce (animal)B.Sc.(Hons) in Animal Science. Masters Degree in Ecotourism. P.G.Cert. Ed. (Science). Alison's first job was in 1982 as a stockwoman, working with pigs in Yorkshire. Within a few years she of that she was working for the University of Western Australia as a Research Technician and instructor with their school of Agricultural Science.In 1989 she moved to Melbourne University as Unit Manager and Instructor in Animal Husbandry. By the mid 1990's she moved back to England to work in Animal Care and Veterinary Nursing at Cambridgeshire College of Agriculture. Throughout her career, Alison has developed and delivered courses in veterinary nursing and animal sciences for vocational colleges and universities in Australia, New Zealand and Australia. She has built a high level of expertise and an outstanding international reputation as an expert in animal sciences.
Dr. Gareth PearceGraduated from the University of Nottingham in 1982 with a B.Sc.(Hons) in Animal Science. Between 82 and 85 worked as Research Assistant and Demonstator in Animal Science at the University of Leeds. Over more than 30 years he has furthered his studies, obtaining eight significant university qualifications including degrees in Veterinary Science, Wildlife Conservation and Animal Behaviour. Gareth has significant teaching experience around the world as a faculty member at eight different universities including Associate Professor at Murdoch University and Director of Studies in Veterinary Science at Cambridge University. He has over 100 prestigious research papers published, and enjoys an outstanding international reputation in the fields of animal and veterinary science.
Cheryl McLardyA scientist, teacher, writer and animal scientist, with more than 20 years experience including: Sports Horse Stud Groom, Stable Manager, Yard Manager, Equine industrial Training Manager, FE Distance Learning Manager. Cheryl has travelled widely, working in England, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand; and is now based in Scotland. She holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons), Higher National Diploma in Horse Management, and a City and Guilds Teaching Certificate.
Peter Douglas Over 50 years experience in Agriculture and wildlife management. Former university lecturer, Wildlife park manager, Animal breeder, Equestrian. Peter has both wide ranging experience in animal science, farming and tourism management, and continues to apply that knowledge both through his work with ACS, and beyond.

Check out our eBooks

Horse CareThis book is an accumulation of information from biology, agricultural science and veterinary medicine. It looks to explore and explain the fundamentals of appropriate horse care aims and techniques. In doing so it will consider horsemanship as a combination of art and science.
Animal HealthUnderstand animal health issues, diseases and how identify and manage illnesses and injuries. Animals can become sick for many different reasons -diseases caused by infections, injuries, poisoning, genetic disorders, poor nutrition and other things.
Event ManagementThe Event Management ebook can be used as a reference for students or as a foundation text for professionals who need to know the finer details for organising an event. This book takes the reader through the all of the considerations that need to be looked at prior to, during and after an event is organised. The topics covered in the Event Management ebook are 1/ Scope and Nature of Event Management, 2/ Developing a Concept and Planning, 3/ Organising the Resources Required, 4/ Catering: Food and Drink, 5/ Promoting an Event, 6/ Managing the Clientele, 7/ Risk Management, Legalities and Contingency Planning, 8/ Delivering the Event, 9/ Organising Celebrations and Parties, 10/ Organising Exhibitions, 11/ Organising Conferences and Seminars and 12/ Working in the Event Industry.
Farm ManagementThe Farm Management ebook is a valuable piece of equipment for any farming student or current farmer. Improve your farm management skills or learn new skills and techniques. The topics covered within this Farm Management ebook include 1/ Scope and nature of the farm industry, 2/ The farm site, 3/ Production systems, 4/ Managing livestock, 5/ Managing pasture, 6/ Managing crops, 7/ Managing equipment and materials, 8/ Computer applications, 9/ Farm structures and buildings, 10/ Financial management, 11/ Marketing, 12/ Farm planning, 13/ Staff management, 14/ Water management and 15/ Diversification.