EQ1850: Equine Exercise Physiology Distance Learning University of Guelph Program

Date: 1/15/2018 to 04/08/2018
Location: Online
Instructor: Amanda Waller
Price: USD 549.00
Register: Register at University of Guelph Website



This online recommended affiliate course is led by Dr. Gail Ecker and Dr. Amanda Waller. It introduces many of the important aspects of conditioning the equine athlete for various disciplines, including topics such as base conditioning, aerobic and anaerobic exercise and recovery, monitoring of conditioning gains and prevention of health and performance problems and more. This course provides practical and updated information needed to ensure a safe and effective training program through applied scientific knowledge of exercise physiology. The course will also enable participants to improve the results of performance horses involved in racing, endurance, roping, eventing as well as show horses.

This course is entirely online, so no travel to the University of Guelph is required. This course has been reviewed by Debranne Pattillo, Equinology CEO and fulfills the requirement for the Equinology REQ1850: Equine Exercise Physiology.


This course is designed for individuals who work professionally in the equine health industry to enhance their understanding of equine exercise physiology.

The objectives for this course are as follows:

  • list and identify the equine movement terminology and the physiology of muscle function
  • identify the symptoms of heat stress in the horse
  • understand the energy requirements required to drive the muscular system,
  • discuss the cardiovascular system,
  • utilize the nutritional requirements required for various equine activities,
  • develop an appropriate exercise program to suit the particular horse’s needs.

Methods and Modes of Instruction:

Students register directly with Open Learning of Guelph University for this course. This is an online course that does not require the student to sit at the computer at a specified time and is 12 weeks in length. The course is available at any time during the duration of the 12 weeks.

Students must have access to a computer and internet service of at least 56K modem or DSL or Cable modem for this course.

Students must be able to read English equivalent to the high school level.

Written course materials are couriered to the student.

The students are provided with a complete handbook guideline for accessing course material: http://www.equinestudiesdiploma.com/pdf/Equine_Handbook_W12.pdf

All students registered the course begin the course at the same time and finish at the same time. Generally, each course comes with student learning materials that may be accompanied by CDs, DVDs, and industry resources depending on the nature of the course. Registered students are provided with a login and password to a secure learning management system which is web-based and accessible through the internet. The learning management system houses the content of the course and is the hub of the course instruction. Students interact with the instructor and other students in the class through the learning management system. The instructor guide students through the course and they will participate in various learning activities, access discussion boards, interact with the course content through readings, videos, and other materials.  Students demonstrate their learning by completing online quizzes, submitting assignments and papers. Every course has an assessment which results in grade which is recorded on a University of Guelph transcript

Resource Materials:

A computer and internet access is required to access the online course. The internet connection should be 56K modem, and although slower speeds will work, high speed is preferable (cable, LAN, DS, etc.) The student is given a passcode to view the online course and participate. 

  • Conditioning Sports Horses by Dr. Hilary M. Clayton #ISBN: 0-9695720-0-X; this course is required for the course and is not part of the student tuition
  • Equine Exercise Physiology Course Manual by Dr. Gayle Ecker, 2009


The course evaluation will include:

  • Quizzes 30%: There will be five online quizzes. Each quiz consists of a number of true or false statements and multiple-choice questions which cover the weekly unit material.
  • Leaning Question Assignments 20%
  • The Training Journal 50% submitted in four parts: Each week you will work on questions that encourage you to apply the physiology you are learning to the training of a horse.

Assignment of course grades is according to the following standards:

  • 80-100 (A) Excellent
  • 70-79 (B) Good
  • 60-69 (C) Acceptable
  • 50-59 (D) Minimally Acceptable
  • 0-49 (F) Fail

A passing score of 50% is required to pass.

Please note that you do not need access to a horse, or own your own horse to participate and be successful in this course.

The assignments (Learning Questions and Training Journal, and quizzes are scored, Dr. Ecker or Dr. Waller. 

Course Content:

Anatomy and physiology of muscle, v muscle, energy requirements, cardiorespiratory system, thermoregulation, training adaptation, monitoring the training program, training vs. conditioning, functional anatomy and systems, terminology, cardiovascular system, energy requirement of various gaits, taking vital signs including gut sound check, anal tone, jugular refill and examining mucous membranes tissue recovery and energy production.

Learning Outcomes:

After completing the course the student will be able to:

  • perform a horse health check
  • safely carry out a daily conditioning workout using the knowledge gained from this course to prevent over-work
  • design and monitor a year-round training program for a horse (using training principles, structuring the workout, monthly and yearly plans)
  • identify problems specific to the various disciplines and suggest appropriate prevention or actions
  • explain the scientific rationale for suggested practices based on an understanding of horse exercise physiology (the structure and function of the systems) and
  • assess the advantages and disadvantages of new technology and alternate training venues or programs for the athletic horse.


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