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This online course led by Dr. Gail Ecker introduces many of the important aspects of conditioning the equine athlete for various disciplines, including topics such as base conditioning, aerobic and anaerobic exercise and recovery, monitoring of conditioning gains and prevention of health and performance problems and more. This course provides practical and updated information needed to ensure a safe and effective training program through applied scientific knowledge of exercise physiology. The course will also enable participants improve the results of performance horses  involved in racing, endurance, roping, eventing as well as show horses


This course is entirely online, so no travel to the University of Guelph is required. This course fulfills the requirement for the Equinology EQ1800: Equine Sports Medicine (Equine Exercise Physiology). Once the student completes the course, they will apply for Equinology credit and externship by clicking here. The externship involves cases studies and extra learning activities that are completed at home after successfully completing the course.


Grading Scheme

Online Participation 20%

Quizzes 30%

Learning Activities - The Training Journal 50%

Total 100%


Assessment Method

Online quizzes, participation in online discussions and written assignments submitted online.

Course Topics


Course Outline:

Unit 1: Introduction to Learning in an Online Environment and to the Equine Exercise Physiology Course

Unit 2: How Does Movement Happen? Learning About Muscle

Unit 3: Where Does the Energy Come From?

Unit 4: How Does the Energy Get to the Muscle?

Unit 5: How Does the Muscle Get Oxygen? The Cardiorespiratory System

Unit 6: Thermoregulation: Preventing Heat Stress in the Horse

Unit 7: Whether \\\'Tis Better to Excrete or Recycle: That Is the Question!

Unit 8: How Does My Horse Keep Going and Going? And How Do I Know When He\\\'s Tired?

Unit 9: What Happens with Regular Exercise? Training Adaptations

Unit 10: How Do I Monitor the Changes?

Unit 11: What Else Is There? Nutritional Guidelines and Other Assorted Topics

Unit 12: Course Summary


Course Prerequisites: Completion of Grade 12 or equivalent,

or at least 18 years of age. For those students who have little or no former studies involving the systems of the horse, it is recommended that students complete Functional Anatomy before Equine Exercise Physiology is attempted.


Materials: Tuition includes the course manual and supporting materials.


Required Text:  This text is not provided and needs to be purchased by the student:

Conditioning Sport Horses   by Dr. Hilary M. Clayton


For more information, Contact the University of Guelph Info Line :


Email: info(at)


For information on the Equinology credit and externship click here or contact the Equinology office at: equinologyoffice(at)gmail(dot)com 


If dates and rates are not showing at the bottom of this description please contact the University of Guelph who will have the most up to date information. You can go straight to the course information page by clicking here.