Level 5 Certificate in Equine Sports Nutrition

Since the 1980s interest in equine nutrition has increased and there is now a considerable body of research upon which feed companies and horse owners can draw to improve the quality of performance horse diets, while minimising nutrition related metabolic disorders.

This short course examines the nutrient requirements for horses, feed evaluation, and diet composition for the performance horse. It covers research techniques currently used by equine nutritionists to investigate equid digestive physiology together with techniques both in vivo and in vitro that are used to develop new feeds and investigate feed interactions.

Students are introduced to the wide body of equine nutrition research and encouraged to evaluate this work in relation to its application to sports horse feeding.

Course Accreditation

Academic Level:

Higher Education Level 5

Number of Modules:


Study Hours per Unit:


Total Hours:


Course Duration:

6 to 12 months

Study Week Requirements:

Optional Higher Education Study Week (Additional fees apply. Please see Study Week page)

Upon enrolment you are provided with access onto TOCES’ online E-Learning Centre where you will find your study guide, study planner, Course Advisor and tutor information, course material, assignments and other helpful study resources.

The HE specialist short courses consist of:

  • Detailed illustrated text in pdf format which you can print or download and save.
  • Online learning resources including in-text questions and activities.
  • Pre-recorded webinars, online lectures and videos.
  • You will study and complete *one formative assignment and *one summative assignment for each short course. Referring to the course material, you will complete the assignments at your own pace, within the maximum study period, and submit online for marking and assessment. Your work is assessed by a qualified tutor, graded and returned to you with detailed feedback.
  • Upon completion of the course you will receive a graded TOCES certificate.

Some short courses offer optional or compulsory study week attendance at TOCES’ yard in Suffolk. This consolidates the theoretical studies with a mixture of taught classroom based lessons and practical sessions.

*HE SC 1 / 2 Equine Anatomy and Physiology has two formative and two summative assignments.

For all HE Specialist Short Courses students must be:

  • at least 16 years old
  • prepared to undertake independent study and hold a
  • level 3 or equivalent qualification in a similar subject area and/or
  • three GCSEs at Grade C (4) and above.

If you do not hold a level 3 qualification you may wish to consider an Intermediate Specialist Short Course.  Satisfactory completion of this will ensure you are suitably prepared for the HE Short Course.

Course Accreditation

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Module/Unit Details

  • Module 1

    Analyse the impact of research on feed analyses and nutrient requirements of horses.
    – Recent work on nutrient requirements in horses: basal metabolism, heat increment, muscular activity. INRA feed evaluation system, NRC nutrient requirements for work. Developments in the measurement of nutrient content of feeds. In vivo and in vitro research techniques for measuring digestibility of feeds.

    Investigate and appraise recent nutritional research techniques and developments.
    – Nutritional research techniques: in vivo techniques, total collection, markers, moble bags, in sacco gut partition studies. In vitro Tilley and Terry, Acid Cellulase, Gas production.

    Critically evaluate feeding regimes for a range of equestrian disciplines
    – Feeding systems: voluntary feed intake, feeding forages, physiological ageing, pathogenic challenge, hay, haylage, alfalfa, sugar beet. Concentrate feeds, processing, targeting small intestine digestion. Problems of heat increment. Fat, palatability, glucose sparing amount fed, young performance horses, requirements for additional nutrients, glycaemic response. Supplementing the performance horse diet, minerals, vitamins, electrolytes, probiotics, prebiotics, ergogenic aids. Summary diet for an endurance horse, summary diet for a racehorse/polo pony.


Full Payment


  • Online access to all course material and assignments
  • Tutor support
  • Enrolments are accepted at any time throughout the year
  • Additional fees apply for Optional Higher Education Study Week

Pay as You Learn

£41.68 Initial Fee

  • 4 Payments of £20.83
  • Online access to all course material and assignments
  • Tutor support
  • Enrolments are accepted at any time throughout the year
  • Additional fees apply for Optional Higher Education Study Week

Online prospectus

View our 2021 prospectus


  • Enrolment and Fees

    Enrolments are accepted for all courses anytime throughout the year

    Following enrolment you will be provided with access onto our online E-Learning Centre where you will find all of your course material, assignments and other helpful study resources.

Online prospectus

View our 2021 prospectus

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