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Course Description

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

You will be introduced to many of the important aspects of conditioning the equine athlete in various disciplines. You will investigate topics which include 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.

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

By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:
  1. Perform a horse health check;
  2. Safely carry out a daily conditioning workout using the knowledge gained from this course to prevent over-work;
  3. Design and monitor a year-round training program for a horse (using training principles, structuring the workout, monthly and yearly plans);
  4. Identify problems specific to the various disciplines and suggest appropriate prevention or actions;
  5. Explain the scientific rationale for suggested practices based on an understanding of horse exercise physiology (the structure and function of the systems); and
  6. 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

People interested in improving the results of performance horses including racing, endurance, roping, eventing and show horses.This course is also relevant to equine wellness practitioners such as Equine Massage Therapists.

Additional Requirements

This course is intended for adult learners, at least 18 years of age.

It is recommended Equine Science Certificate and Diploma in Equine Studies students complete Equine Functional Anatomy before the Equine Exercise Physiology course.


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


Equine Guelph
Open Learning and Educational Support


We recommend you complete in Equine Functional Anatomy before this course.

You can expect to spend 6 - 10 hours per week to complete the course material, discussions and assignments.Plan to be on the course website three to five days per week to keep up-to-date and on schedule with weekly readings, activities, and class discussions.

You do not need to own a horse or have access to an equine facility to participate and be successful in this course.

Do you have more questions? Visit our program page Frequently Asked Questions or send us your questions by completing the Request Information contact form.

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

*Course details are subject to change.


View the upcoming course schedule at our Equine Studies Online program website.

Thank you for your interest in this course. Unfortunately, the course you have selected is currently not open for enrolment. Please complete a Course Inquiry so that we may promptly notify you when enrolment opens.

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