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Course Description

Learn more about the issues and topics that have impacted and continue to impact the equine industry now and into the future. This broader vision of the industry gives you the opportunity to grow beyond the silos of your discipline/industry sector and begin to consider the role of the industry and its larger context.

Investigate and discuss various aspects of the horse industry throughout the course. With a glance at the past, we’ll study the evolution of the horse, early domestication, and the various roles played by the horse throughout history—such as work and warfare. Looking around at the horse industry today, we’ll seek out information about the different sectors of the industry, and the principal challenges it's facing. We conclude with a look to the future and discuss the nature and type of industry we would like to see in the next 20 to 30 years, and methods by which we may forge a pathway to that vision.

Important concepts about the horse industry and its future are covered to help you understand how they relate to the welfare of horses.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Explain the evolution of the horse and the many branches of the equid species and the lasting lessons for domestic horses and their general management today
  • Describe the first domestication of the horse, which sets the stage for the further development and changing role of the horse in society and its role in work, warfare, sport, and companionship
  • Effectively research, describe and debate the many challenges facing the equine industry today in both the racing and non-racing industries with a global view
  • Identify current challenges and how they will influence the future of the industry through its “Social License to Operate” with a focus on a solution-oriented approach
  • Lead discussions with peers on topics of interest to the industry and reflect on your role in the industry today and tomorrow

Course Topics

  • The Equine Industry
  • Horse Evolution
  • Domestication of the Horse
  • Today's Industry - Racing
  • Today's Industry - Non-Racing
  • Special Topics for the Future

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 Management of the Equine Environment first, or very early in your course of studies. This course is offered every semester.


Assessment Item Weight
Online Quizzes 15%
Graded Assessment and Participation 60%
Letter to the Editor 25%
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.


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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