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Course Description

A collage of athletic horse images including eventing, dressage, barrel racing, thoroughbred racing and harness racing

Examine many of the important aspects of conditioning the equine athlete in various disciplines. Investigate topics including base conditioning, aerobic and anaerobic exercise and recovery, monitoring of conditioning gains, and prevention of health and performance problems. Gain the practical and updated information needed to ensure a safe and effective training program through applied scientific knowledge of exercise physiology.

Currently, I am utilizing what I learned through the Equine Guelph Classes every single day. The Exercise Physiology course has allowed me to better understand and care for the racehorses I work with because of my knowledge about muscles and tissues from the class.

Cameron Lago

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Perform a horse health check
  • Safely carry out a daily conditioning workout 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)
  • Assess the advantages and disadvantages of new technology and alternate training venues or programs for the athletic horse

Course Topics

  • Learning About Equine Exercise Physiology
  • Movement and Muscle
  • Where Does the Energy Come from?
  • How Does the Energy Get to the Muscle?
  • How Does the Muscle Get Oxygen? The Cardiorespiratory System
  • Thermoregulation: Preventing Heat Stress in the Horse
  • Whether it is Better to Excrete or Recycle: That is the Question!
  • How Does My Horse Keep Going and Going? And How Do I Know When He’s Tired?
  • What Happens with Regular Exercise? Training Adaptations
  • How Do I Monitor the Changes?
  • What Else is There? Nutritional Guidelines and Other Assorted Topics

Sample Careers

  • Those interested in improving the results of performance horses—including racing, endurance, roping, eventing and show horses
  • Equine wellness practitioners such as equine massage therapists

Additional Requirements

  • This course is intended for adult learners who are at least 18 years of age.
  • There are no prerequisites for this course.
  • You may take this as an individual course or choose to complete one of our equine certificates or the diploma.*
  • You do not need access to a horse to participate and be successful in this course.
  • You can expect to spend 6-10 hours per week to complete the course material, activities, discussions and assignments.

*If you are a certificate or diploma program student, we recommend that you complete Equine Functional Anatomy before the Equine Exercise Physiology course.


Assessment Item Weight
Quizzes 30%
Participation Assignment 20%
Major Assignment 50%
Total 100%

Please note that the course assessment is subject to change.

Sponsoring Partner

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Technical Requirements

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*Course details are subject to change.


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Section Title
Equine Exercise Physiology
May 04, 2020 to July 26, 2020
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Potential Discount(s)
Section Notes

Students are responsible for purchasing the required textbook(s) for this course. Textbooks can be purchased from the University Bookstore, the Co-op Bookstore, or a bookseller of your choice.

Please review our  Withdrawal and Refund Policy.

If you require assistance, contact our main office.

Section Materials
  • Textbook (Mandatory) Conditioning Sport Horses by Hilary M. Clayton © 1991 Sport Horse Publications ISBN 0-9695720-0-X
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