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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
Develop your horse care knowledge further with this second horse care course
  • An in depth horse care course.
  • Improve your knowledge of horse care.
  • Learn to care for horses in a stable and improve your knowledge of bedding systems, stables, mucking out, foot care and shoeing, tack, exercise and fitness and conditioning.
  • Analyse and determine feeding requirements and techniques available, and develop equine stable management programs.



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Learn about caring for horses in stables

This course follows on from Horse Care I, but this is a stand-alone course and can be taken without Horse Care I.

  • Learn feeding requirements and types of feed.
  • Understand the different stabling options and issues with stabling.
  • Understand the needs of a horse – including the importance of bedding, shoeing, exercise.
  • Course Duration: 100 hours of self-paced study.  Start at any time.

The course comprises 7 lessons, as follows:

1. Feeds

  • Roughage.
  • Concentrates.
  • Roots.
  • Green feeds and succulents.
  • Tempters and tonics.
  • Salts.
  • Feeding for special purposes.

2. Stabling

  • Three ways to keep horses.
  • Combined systems.
  • Stalls.
  • Stables/loose boxes.
  • Barns.
  • Stable layout.
  • Feed rooms.
  • Tack rooms.
  • The medicine chest.
  • Stable routine.
  • Stable tricks and vices.

3. Bedding and Mucking Out

  • Reasons for bedding.
  • Bedding qualities.
  • Bedding types.
  • Choosing a system.
  • Tools needed for mucking out.
  • Mucking out.
  • Bedding down.
  • Managing the bed
  • Conserving bedding.
  • Comparing bedding.
  • The muckheap.

4. The Foot and Shoeing

  • Foot structure.
  • Trimming.
  • Advantages and disadvantages of shoeing.
  • Signs that shoeing is required.
  • The farrier's tools.
  • How the horse is shod.
  • What to look for in a newly shod hoof.
  • Basic shoes.
  • Surgical shoeing.
  • Studs.

5. Exercise and Conditioning

  • The difference between exercise and conditioning.
  • Soft and hard condition.
  • Exercising a horse.
  • The fittening schedule.
  • Principles of fattening.
  • Maintaining fitness.

6. Tack and Tack Fitting

  • Principles of bitting.
  • The mouth.
  • Types of bits.
  • Where the bit acts.
  • Fitting the saddle.
  • Causes of sore backs.
  • Care of the back when unsaddling.
  • Saddle types.
  • Linings.
  • Girths.
  • Saddle cloths and numnahs.
  • Tack cleaning.

7. Horse Facility Design

  • Farm layout.


  • Analyse the feeding requirements and feeding techniques available for equine husbandry.
  • Develop a stable management program for horses.
  • Explain the management procedures necessary to fulfil the bedding requirements of horses.
  • Explain the management and care of horses’ feet.
  • Implement management procedures for the conditioning of equines.
  • Describe the procedures used for managing the tack requirements of horses.
  • Explain the management, including design and applications, of facilities used in the horse industry.

Here are just some of the things you will be doing:

  • Evaluate different types of horse feeds.
  • Explain the use of food supplements/additives including:
    - tonics, tempters, salts.
  • Describe the feeding programs of horses, for different purposes, including:
    - horses living outside, horses with different workloads, ponies, mares in foal, old horses, sick horses.
  • Compare the effect of three different diets on the same breed of horse, studied over a two month period.
  • Compare different ways to keep horses, including:
    - barns, stalls, stables/loose boxes, combined systems.
  • Explain the purpose of different parts of a specified stable complex.
  • Describe three routine stable tasks, including mucking out.
  • Develop a checklist for assessing the design of a stable.
  • Evaluate a specific stable against the checklist you developed.
  • Plan a stable routine for a horse in a stable.
  • Explain why bedding is necessary for domesticated horses.
  • Compare alternative bedding systems, including different drainage and absorbent systems.
  • Describe the bedding chores carried out in a specified horse care situation.
  • Recommend an appropriate bedding system for different situations.
  • Collect four examples of bedding material suitable for use by a racing horse in a stable.
  • Observe and describe the structure of a healthy horse’s foot.
  • Describe problems that can occur with a horse’s foot.
  • Compare the advantages and disadvantages of shoeing horses.
  • Select appropriate horse shoes for different specified situations
  • Describe the process of shoeing a horse, including:
    - removing an old shoe, preparing the hoof, fitting the new shoe, nailing on, finishing off.
  • Distinguish between soft and hard condition of a horse.
  • Explain the principles of fittening for a horse coming off grass and being prepared for racing.
  • Develop exercise routines for horses in three different specified situations, including:
    - racing stables, a child's pony, mare with foal.
  • Analyse a fittening schedule applied to a specific horse.
  • List different items of tack equipment, that would be required by different horse enterprises.
  • Identify the features of different items of tack.
  • Describe the use of different specified items of tack.
  • Develop procedures for the management of tack in a specified horse enterprise, including:
    - storage, use, repair/replacement, cleaning.
  • Compare the different types of fencing used for horses, including:
    - barbed wire, timber post, rail, electric.
  • Determine the facilities required for different types of horse enterprises, including:
    - riding schools, stud farms, racing stables.
  • Describe the facilities for showing horses at different locations, including:
    - an agricultural showground, a horse sales facility.
  • Visit and evaluate the design of a horse farm.
  • Prepare a design for a stable for a specified application.

How Horses Hear and Smell
For hearing, the mobility of the pinna (external structure of the ear) allows for good detection of the direction of sound, without the horse having to move their head or body. Each of the horse’s ears are able to rotate to about 180° and act as rotary antennas, rotating to the source of the sound that interests them. The position of the ears can indicate where the horse’s interest is.
Horses will respond to the tone and forcefulness of a trainer’s voice. They obviously do not understand the words but will learn to recognise ones that are repeated often enough. This is why the same command should be used to get a certain response and why clicking and whistling work well.
The horse has a very well developed sense of smell and will use this sense almost as much as sight when identifying another horse, person or object. This is why the horse should always be allowed to smell anything that is strange to it.
Generally, smell does not cause a major reaction and the horse will move on once satisfied. If the horse dislikes a smell it may snort or blow hard through the nostrils. This is thought to clear the sensory area for detecting the next smell. A horse will often snort before it shies from an unacceptable smelling object.
Sniffing increases the intake of the smell. If it is an interesting or important smell, such as when a stallion detects that a mare is in season, the horse will show the flehmen lip curl. This involves curling the upper lip and raising the head to allow the smell to be filtered through a special organ in the roof of the mouth.
Smell is very important in horse communication. Stallions mark their territory boundaries with their faeces and urine and use smell to detect when their mares are most fertile. New members to the herd are greeted by blowing into each other’s nostrils and mares and foals use smell as an important part of the bonding process.
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.


  • You can start the course at any time and study at your own pace.
  • Fit your studies around your own busy lifestyle - we provide full tutor support for all the time you are studying.
  • Study where you want to - online studies offer the flexibility for you to determine where and when you study.


"I went from negligible knowledge of horses to a new level of basic knowledge. Now, I am truly useful around the stable and farm. I would like to make this my retirement career, following my 30-years as a professional mechanical engineer"
H. Davidson





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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.
Marius Erasmus Subsequent to completing a BSc (Agric) degree in animal science, Marius completed an honours degree in wildlife management, and a masters degree in production animal physiology. Following the Masters degree, he has worked for 9 years in the UK, and South Africa in wildlife management, dairy, beef and poultry farming.

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.
PoultryPoultry are entertaining as pets and life sustaining as a commercial product! Whether you are seeking a book as a beginner poultry keeper or if you are embarking on a new career in poultry production or management, this book is for you. Easy to read, easy to understand and packed with easy to implement practical advice. Know how to care for the health and wellbeing of poultry and make production a commercially viable enterprise.
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.
Caring for DogsA book for both students and dog owners. This book has been designed to complement our dog care and pet care courses; but also to provide a sound foundation for choosing the right breed, and caring for a dog whether as a pet, or a working animal. Contents cover Breeds, Creating a healthy home for dogs, legal issues, dog biology, recognising poor health, parasites, illnesses, nutrition, reproduction, dog psychology, behavioural development, training tips, behaviour problems, grooming, working in the dog industry, and more.