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Course Description

Horses running on green grass

The majestic movement of the horse never fails to thrill horse lovers the world over. The ability of the horse to move and achieve such a variety of athletic feats is fascinating to watch. How does the horse do this? This course examines the components of the systems that enable these athletic achievements. It is a study of the functions of those components, and the anatomical structures that fulfill those functions. Students will learn the important anatomical structures and their function, view anatomy from the form vs. function approach and understand how feeding, movement and health of the horse is dependent on its anatomy.

Designed For

Students interested in the structure and function of the horse, including riders, trainers, farriers, veterinary technicians, Equine massage therapists and other health care practitioners, coaches, photographers, artists and others.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:

  1. Identify the important anatomical structures and their functions in the horse;
  2. Investigate and discuss how management decisions impact on the health and well-being of the horse from a “use vs. function” approach;
  3. Recognize the feeding, movement and health of the horse as it is dependent on its anatomy; and
  4. Describe the terminology and concepts that will assist in discussing injuries and disease, should they occur, with a veterinarian.

Course Topics

  • The Gastrointestinal Track
  • The Respiratory System
  • The Cardiovascular System
  • The Musculo-Skeletal System
  • Understanding the Gait of the Horse
  • The Skin
  • The Hoof

Additional Requirements

This course is intended for adult learners. Students must either be 18 years of age or have completed Grade 12 or equivalent, in order to register.


Assessment Item Weight
Unit Quizzes (5 x 2%) 10%
Minor Written Assignments (1 x 10% + 2 x 15%) 40%
Final Written Assignment 50%
Total 100%


Equine Guelph
Open Learning and Educational Support


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 at least three to five times per week to keep up-to-date and on schedule with weekly readings, activities, and class discussion.

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 program website: Equine Studies Online

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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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