Level 4 Certificate in Equine Husbandry

This short course is designed to develop your understanding of equine husbandry and introduces the principles that underpin the study of equine nutrition.  You will investigate why good management is needed to prevent disease and maintain horses’ well-being and will understand all aspects of the routine care of horses in a variety of situations.  You will be taught to identify the signs of good and ill-health and develop an understanding of the importance of observation and timely veterinary consultation.


Whilst studying equine nutrition you will investigate the range of horse feeds available in terms of forage and concentrates, analysing the nutritional value of each.  This course introduces ration formulation and enables you to develop feed rations for a variety of horses and ponies.  The knowledge gained will allow you to appraise the success of feed rations and suggest amendments as necessary.

Course Accreditation

Academic Level:

Higher Education Level 4

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

Need Help?

Can’t find the course you want?
Got a few more questions?

Module/Unit Details

  • Module 1 Equine Husbandry - Learning Outcomes

    Routine care of the horse
    – Undertake safely and/or be able to explain the process of undertaking daily management of the stable, different types of bedding: shavings, matting, straw, paper, need for dust-free environment. Grooming: methods, kit. Management of stabled, grass-kept, fit and unfit horses. Clipping and plaiting. Rugging – select appropriate rug, putting on, removing.

    Routine health care
    – Appraise and criticise different modes of routine health care including the importance of observation. Recognition of normal and abnormal conditions and behaviour. Normal parameters for temperature, pulse and respiration. When to call the vet. Handle young, nervous, aggressive and difficult horses, handle the cast horse. Evaluate the use of restraints including twitch, Chifney, sedation and skin pinch. Trot horse up: safety, equipment, method for veterinary inspection.

    Structure and functions of the nutrients and the way in which they are metabolised
    – Major dietary components including carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, vitamins, minerals and water. The importance of roughage. Structure of the digestive tract, processes of digestion and metabolism of major dietary components. Nutritional values of concentrates and forage including: straights – oats, barley, maize, wheat, linseed, peas, and beans: compounds – coarse mixes, cubes: forage – hay, haylage, chaff.

    Feed rations for specific horses/workloads
    – Weight of horse, type of work, factors to consider. Calculate feed rations for a range of types of horse and pony. Budget for feeding group of horses/ponies. Condition scoring as a means of evaluating the suitability of rations and assessing condition. Budgeting and planning feed rations for yards managing a variety of horses.


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

£50 Initial Fee

  • 2 Payments of £25
  • 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