Horse Care I: Equine Husbandry Basics Online Course

Duration 100 hrs (12 months)
Exam Optional
Qualification Certificate
Tutor Support Yes unlimited by email

About this course

This course is intended to establish general, foundational knowledge related to the care and management of horses. Primary topics include the domestication and development of the horse, type and breed classifications, basic anatomy and conformation, colors and markings, gaits and defects in gait, teeth and age determination, and proper hoof care as well as diseases of the hoof. Additional topics discussed include principles of horsemanship, styles of equitation, riding tack and training aids, and basic handling of horses.

This is a stand-alone course or can be taken alongside Horse Care II and III.

Course Aims:

  • To explain the sequence of events involved in the domestication of the horse
  • To discuss how selective breeding helped to develop different horse types
  • To define conformation and components contributing to conformation
  • To analyze the practical application of the term “form-to-function”
  • To correctly identify different parts of the horse
  • To explain how gait defects impact the horse’s serviceability
  • To analyze how leg set affects the horse’s way of going and soundness
  • To explain the importance of proper care of the horse’s teeth
  • To correlate eruption of incisors and wear of the cups with age in horses
  • To list indicators of pain or problems with the teeth
  • To discuss proper care and management of the horse’s teeth
  • To define common malocclusions in the horse
  • To characterize the physiology of the horse’s foot to absorb concussion
  • To analyze the impact of abnormal foot/hoof conditions on the horse’s performance
  • To discuss basic hoof trimming recommendations
  • To discuss the progression of horsemanship from ancient up through modern times
  • To analyze the mechanics of using bits/bridles for controlling horses
  • To understand the horse’s basic flight response and behavior
  • To develop a list of basic safety rules for handling horses
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Detailed Course Outline

This course is made up of a number of lessons or units.  Each of these has self assessment questions, a set task (practical homework) and an assignment which you can upload online.  Click below to read about each of the lessons and what you will learn.

There are 7 lessons in this course:

1. Domestication/Development of the Horse

  • Uses of the Horse by Men
  • Early Interaction and Domestication
  • The Development of Different Horse Types
  • Utilization of the Horse by Advancing Societies
  • Types and Classification of Horses
  • Breeds of Horses

2. Form to Function

  • Descriptive Terms
  • Basic Conformation
  • Form to Function
  • Colors and Markings
  • Basic Principles of Coat
  • Color Genetics
  • Markings and Other Identification Markers

3. Definitions of Movement

  • Gaits of the Horse
  • Characterizing Common Gaits
  • Factors Affecting Speed
  • Gait Defects
  • Effect of Leg Set on Action and Unsoundness

4. Teeth and Age Determination

  • Type and Position of Teeth
  • Impact of Wear and Tear on Teeth
  • Age Determination in Horses
  • Technique for Determining Age in Horses
  • Secondary Factors of Age Determination
  • Proper Care of the Teeth

5. Feet & Hoof Care

  • Importance of Foot Care
  • Basic Foot and Hoof Anatomy
  • Physiology of the Horse’s Foot
  • Abnormal Foot Conformation
  • Proper Foot/Hoof Care
  • Hoof Trimming Principles
  • Principles of Shoeing
  • Common Foot/Hoof Diseases

6. Horsemanship and Equitation

  • History of Riding
  • Masters of Horsemanship
  • Principles of Equitation
  • Styles of Riding
  • Proper Riding Position
  • Types of Bridles
  • Types of Bits
  • Riding Aids

7. Basic Handling of Horses

  • Understanding the Horse’s Flight Response
  • Interpreting Body Language
  • Catching and Haltering
  • Leading
  • Basic Grooming
  • Saddling
  • Bridling
  • Safety Rules

When you have completed the lessons of your Certificate course, you will be given the option of taking the optional exam. It's okay if you don't want the exam, we still issue your Careerline Certificate. For Advanced Certificates however, the exam is compulsory (per module) and are included in the course fee.

Course Tutor(s)

Meg Anema

M.Sc. Clinical Sciences (Equine Reproductive Physiology)  B.Sc.  Animal Science (Option: Equine Science) B.Sc.Agricultural Economics

Meg grew up training and showing horses in youth and 4-H programs, and then went on to earn Bachelor of Science degrees in Animal Science and Agricultural Economics, as well as a Master of Science degree in Equine Reproductive Physiology. In addition to several years of industry experience as a Quarter Horse breeding farm manager and custom A.I. technician, Meg developed and taught for 10 years in a comprehensive, secondary Equine Science Studies Certificate program covering all areas of Equine Science.  Meg considers the horse to be an absolutely incredible athlete and amazing study! Aside from tutoring Careerline's Equine courses Meg has also taught various courses in equine studies including: Equine Nutrition, Equine Herd Health, Equine Sports Medicine, Equine Reproduction, Equine Industry, Principles of Horse Evaluation, Horsemanship, Applied Genetics, Introduction to Veterinary Science, Animal Anatomy & Physiology, Introduction to Animal Science and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I pay in installments?

Yes! We offer great payment plans, however full payment up front is the cheapest. You can choose the best payment plan for you from the course page, or call us on 07 55368782 to talk to one of our course consultants for a custom plan.

Can I study from anywhere in the world?

We have many international students. Careerline's range of courses are suitable for any one, anywhere in the world.

Do I get a discount if I enroll in a second course?

Yes. You may claim a 5% fee discount when you enroll in a second course, and a further 10% off a three-course package.


Do I have to sit an Exam?

No. If you are enrolled in a Certificate course (100hrs), the exam is optional. You will be issued with a certificate which proves that you are competent in all units, if you choose not to sit the exam.

Do you have set start dates?

There are no set start dates, you may start at any time. Our courses are all self-paced. As our home page says, ‘Courses for Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime’. ‘Anytime’ includes the start time of your choice. However, we do encourage our students to submit assignments on a regular basis. Wherever possible, we suggest developing a study routine.