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University of Edinburgh

Equine Nutrition

University of Edinburgh via Coursera

This course may be unavailable.


This course is designed to provide knowledge of equine digestion and nutrition for those with an interest in this area. The anatomy and physiology of the equine alimentary canal will be studied to provide students with an understanding of the equine digestive system.  Nutrient sources for horses will be discussed, with emphasis placed on the health and welfare issues surrounding the inclusion of various types of feedstuffs in equine diets.  Students will also discuss recommendations on rations for horses and ponies performing various activities and should feel better equipped to make judgements on rations for horses and ponies, in health and disease.


Week 1: Anatomy and physiology of the equine gastrointestinal tract
The expectation is that the course participants will come from varied backgrounds in relation to their previous experience of gastrointestinal tract anatomy and physiology.  Consequently, this course begins with consideration of digestive anatomy and physiology in equids and will consider nutrient digestion in the various segments of the equine gastrointestinal tract.

Week 2: Feed Composition
The learning materials during this period will focus on the composition of feedstuffs for horses and the factors that affect the composition of feedstuffs.  There will also be information on how feedstuffs are evaluated.  Discussion should focus on how the composition of feedstuffs affects their digestibility. 

Week 3: Equine nutrient sources
This part of the course will consider various nutrient sources for equids. Various feedstuffs that are used in equine diets will be discussed, with emphasis placed on the health and welfare issues surrounding the inclusion of these in equine diets.

Week 4: Equine dietary management
This week of the course will explore the dietary management of equids.  Discussions should focus around considering how modern feeding practices do not always consider the anatomy and physiology of the equine digestive tract.

Week 5: Equine clinical nutrition
This part of the course will focus on feeding strategies for the management and prevention of some nutrition-related diseases/disorders in equids; for example, obesity, laminitis, older horses with dental issues etc. Discussions should focus on the dietary management of individuals affected with nutrition-related problems.

Taught by

Jo-Anne Murray


4.9 rating, based on 7 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Equine Nutrition

  • A good basic intro into the complex science that is Equine Nutrition. Aimed at novice horse owners wanting to improve their knowledge. I would love to see a follow up session on the role of minerals and vitamins in nutrition and feed balancing:)
  • Anonymous
    This course is somewhat short, it begins by providing general information about nutrients, anatomy of the horse. But it progresses (to the best part) by giving more practical and useful information about horse nutritional requirements.

    At the last lecture there is a sneak peek insight into clinical nutrition.

    (disclaimer I am a vet student and I totally loved it)
  • Carol Palazzo
    This was an excellent course. I learned a great deal about how to manage my horse's diet. I would recommend this to every horse owner.
  • Suella
    I wasn't able to finish so would like to take it again. I found it extremely helpful.

    How do I repeat this?

  • Anonymous
    Amazing course wish I could find an advanced on on here with same provider I would sign up straight away
  • A Colagreco

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