Level 5 Certificate in Equine Nutrition

Feeding horses for maintenance, breeding, growth, performance or health requires knowledge of equine nutrition and animal husbandry.  Equine nutrition is a growing discipline in which there have been many advances made recently.  However, despite the advancement of nutritional science, practical feeding also requires a degree of experience and horsemanship.

This short course aims to equip learners with the necessary background knowledge of equine nutrition and puts this information into context by reference to the horse’s normal biochemistry and physiology.  The course brings together theory and practice, with the aim of enabling you to make informed decisions concerning practical feeding situations.

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

    Discuss energy sources in the equine diet
    – Energy in feed, energy partitioning, energy stores, energy release from ATP, energy releasing pathways, energy generation, carbohydrates, fat, phosphocreatine, macronutrients, carbohydrates, hydrolysable carbohydrates, fibre analysis, the benefits of fermentable carbohydrate in the form of fibre, negatives to feeding fibre and forage, lipids, proteins, water.

    Analyse the digestive physiology of the horse
    – Digestive tract, digestive processes, mechanical digestion, chemical digestion. Dietary problems, laminitis, incidence, causative factors, disease mechanism, fructans, levels of water soluble carbohydrates in grass, feed and management. Equine rhabdomyolysis syndrome (ERS), equine polysaccharide storage myopathy, feeding guidelines for ERS, management issues. Recurrent airway obstruction, feed and management practices, alternative sources of forage, bedding. Gastric ulcers, feed and management factors in gastric ulceration, colic, starch and soluble carbohydrate overload, developmental orthopaedic disease, cartilage maturation, calcium and phosphorus balance, glycaemic nature of feeds, feed and management factors to reduce the likelihood of developmental orthopaedic disease, weight and condition, behaviour, stereotypic behaviour, management, antacids.

    Discuss the nutrient requirements of the horse
    – Calculating feed rations, energy balance, estimation of bodyweight, predicting dry matter intake, calculating daily energy requirement, life stage requirements, condition score, forage to concentrate ratios, protein levels, and contribution of forage to energy and protein requirements.

    Evaluate the nature and production of horse feeds
    – Purpose of feed legislation, legislative bodies, classification of feed stuffs, packaging legal requirements, declared analysis, feeding guidelines, marketing claims, types of feed processing and their impact on digestibility and feed quality.


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


  • 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.

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