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Duration (approx) 600 hours
Qualification Certificate

Study Equine Husbandry by Distance Learning. 

Students of this certificate will learn in detail about the many facets of keeping a horse at grass or in the stabled environment. Core modules ensure students have a firm understanding of the key elements of caring for their horse. Elective modules are chosen to allow them to undertake more in depth studies in areas such as: animal anatomy and physiology, feed and nutrition, animal health or animal breeding. While the elective modules have a more general large animal focus, the knowledge is easily translated to a horse management situation through the focus of lesson assignments and set tasks.

Once completed this Certificate can be used as credit toward an Advanced Certificate in Applied Management (Horses) or Associate Diploma in Equine Studies.


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the CERTIFICATE IN EQUINE HUSBANDRY VAG011
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 2 of the following 4 modules.

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  • Learn to Work with Horses
  • Excellent foundation course; able to be completed in 6 to 12 months
  • Start here, and build with further studies for a diploma; or seek employment after finishing this course


Student Comment:"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)

Through studying this course you will, depending on the electives chosen, be able to describe the procedures for the buying and selling of horses, differentiate between the different procedures used for the handling of horses, evaluate conformation, and understand the digestive system, including structure and function. Develop appropriate procedures to manage a horse at grass, explain the methods used to prepare horses for specific uses, including their grooming for different tasks, and explain commercial opportunities available in the horse industry. Understand feeds and feed content of grazing animals. Discuss equine behaviour and general animal breeding concepts.

Feeding and Watering the Grass Kept Horse

Feeding a grass kept horse appropriately will depend on the quality of the grass available, the time of year, the type of horse and the amount of work that the horse is expected to do.
During the spring, grass is generally very lush and although not always a problem, it can cause obesity, laminitis and other health problems; restricting access to grazing may need to be considered. This can be achieved by putting a grazing muzzle on the horse or fencing off a portion of the field to provide a starvation area.
If the horse is a ‘good-doer’, the grass quality is sufficiently good and only very light work is expected, then a diet of grass alone may be enough to supply the energy and nutrients required.
A horse kept at grass all year round will most likely need some type of supplementary feeding in the winter months when grass is in short supply and its nutrient value is negligible. Additional feeding may be in the form of hay or haylage and/or a concentrate feed. Hay can be easily fed by placing a number of piles in the field to encourage the horse to move around and pick from. Concentrates are easily delivered in a bucket or trough in the field. It is better if possible to feed the grass kept horse more than once a day, particularly in the winter months.
If the summer months are particularly dry then grass growth will be affected and the little that grows may become parched and lose much of its nutrient value. Supplementation with hay may also be required at this time of year as well as in the winter.
The following general rules of feeding should be remembered:
  • Feed by weight not volume of feed. To ensure you are feeding the correct quantities you need to weigh one scoop of each different type of feed you use.
  • Concentrates must be fed ‘little and often’
  • Always use high quality feeds.
  • Feed according to body weight and temperament
  • Make any changes to the diet gradually to reduce the risk of digestive upsets
  • Don't exercise directly after feeding
  • Feed at the same time each day
  • Increase feed quantity and energy content according to the level of work your horse is doing
  • Feed plenty of good quality roughage
Although the horse is able to survive a fair length of time without food, it is unable to live long without water; without an adequate supply the horse’s body will cease to function properly. Ensuring that the grass kept horse has an adequate supply of clean, fresh water is of particular importance.
Water can be supplied to the grass kept horse in a number of different ways. These include:
  • Automatic Water Trough. This may be the best method as it provides a constant supply of fresh water. The ball cock may freeze or block up. Ice may need breaking in winter; put an inflatable football or similar in the trough to prevent freezing over. It must be thoroughly cleaned regularly.
  • Bath or Trough. This has the advantage of ensuring plenty of water is available. It may however need to be manually refilled daily. Water can quickly become stagnant. There is a danger from injury on sides of bath unless boxed in. Taps must be removed to prevent injury.
  • Natural Running Streams. Running water is good if there is a gravel bottom and good approach for the horse. This can be a constant supply of fresh water, but pollution from upstream can contaminate the water. It may flood or dry up in extreme weather conditions. If it has a sandy bottom and the horse ingests any of the sand, it can cause colic. If excessively muddy it can cause mud fever or the horse may not go down to drink and become dehydrated.
  • Springs can supply a constant source of fresh, clean water; but the spring channel must be kept clear for excess water to drain away freely.
  • Ponds are sometimes used but can be stagnant water for most of the time. An alternative water supply will be necessary if it is stagnant; and ideally the pond should then be fenced off.
  • Buckets -Easy to monitor the amount of water that the horse is drinking. This is a time consuming method needing to be filled at least twice a day. Can easily get knocked over, split or broken and the horse will be without water.

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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.
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.
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

Animal PsychologyExplore how animals think and comare how this differs between different animals (and humans)
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.