Horse Care II

Learn equine feed and nutrition, stable management and conditioning and more from highly qualified equine professionals in Australia and the UK.

Course CodeBAG204
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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Learn about Caring for Horses in a Stable


This course follows on from Horse Care I.

While this course is relevant to horses at grass, it does focus heavily upon care of the stabled horse.
The course covers feeding, stabling, food care, bedding, tack and conditioning of the horse.

This is a stand alone course and may be taken without Horse Care I as a pre-requisite.

Lesson Structure

There are 7 lessons in this course:

  1. Feeds
    • Roughage
    • concentrates
    • roots
    • green feeds and succulents
    • tempters and tonics
    • salts
    • feeding for special purposes
  2. Stabling
    • Three ways to keep horses
    • combined systems
    • stalls
    • stables/looseboxes
    • barns
    • stable layout
    • feed rooms
    • tack rooms
    • the medicine chest
    • stable routine
    • stable tricks and vices
  3. Bedding and Mucking Out
    • Reasons for bedding
    • bedding qualities
    • bedding types
    • choosing a system
    • tools needed for mucking out
    • mucking out
    • bedding down
    • managing the bed
    • conserving bedding
    • comparing bedding
    • the muckheap
  4. The Foot and Shoeing
    • Foot structure
    • trimming
    • advantages and disadvantages of shoeing
    • signs that shoeing is required
    • the farrier's tools
    • how the horse is shod
    • what to look for in a newly shod hoof
    • basic shoes
    • surgical shoeing
    • studs.
  5. Exercise and Conditioning
    • The difference between exercise and conditioning
    • soft and hard condition
    • exercising a horse
    • the fittening schedule
    • principles of fittening
    • maintaining fitness
  6. Tack and Tack Fitting
    • Principles of bitting
    • the mouth
    • types of bits
    • where the bit acts
    • fitting the saddle
    • causes of sore backs
    • care of the back when unsaddling
    • saddle types
    • linings
    • girths
    • saddle cloths and numnahs,
    • tack cleaning
  7. Horse Facility Design
    • Farm layout

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Analyse the feeding requirements and feeding techniques available for horse husbandry.
  • Develop a stable management program for horses.
  • Explain the management procedures necessary to fulfil the bedding requirements of horses.
  • Explain the management and care of horses feet.
  • Implement management procedures for the conditioning of horses.
  • Describe the procedures used for managing the tack requirements of horses.
  • Explain the management, including design and applications, of facilities used in the horse industry.

What You Will Do

  • Evaluate different types of horse feeds.
  • Explain the use of food supplements/additives including:
    • tonics; tempters and salts.
  • Describe the feeding programs of horses, for different purposes, including:
    • horses living outside; horses with different workloads; ponies; mares in foal; old horses and sick horses.
  • Compare the effect of three different diets on the same breed of horse, studied over a two month period.
  • Compare the different ways to keep horses, including:
    • barns; stalls; stables/loose boxes and combined systems.
  • Explain the purpose of the different parts of a specified stable complex.
  • Describe three routine stable tasks, including mucking out.
  • Develop a checklist for assessing the design of a stable.
  • Evaluate a specific stable against the assessment checklist you developed.
  • Plan a stable routine for a specified horse, in a specified stable.
  • Explain why bedding is necessary for domesticated horses.
  • Compare alternative bedding systems, including different drainage and absorbent systems.
  • Describe the bedding chores carried out in a specified horse care situation.
  • Recommend an appropriate bedding system for two different specified situations.
  • Collect four examples of bedding material suitable for use by a racing horse in a stable.
  • Describe the structure of a healthy horses foot, as observed by you.
  • Describe three potential problems with the horses foot.
  • Compare the advantages and disadvantages of shoeing horses.
  • Select appropriate horse shoes for six different specified situations, from a series of labelled drawings or photographs of different types of shoes.
  • Describe the process of shoeing a horse, including:
    • removing an old shoe; preparing the hoof; fitting the new shoe; nailing on and finishing off.
  • Distinguish between soft and hard condition of a horse.
  • Explain the principles of fittening for a horse coming off grass and being prepared for racing.
  • Develop exercise routines for horses in three different specified situations, including: racing stables; a child's pony and mare with foal.
  • Implement a fittening schedule for a specified type of horse over a period of at least two months.
  • Analyse the results of a fittening schedule applied to a specific horse.
  • List the different items of tack equipment, that would be required by two different specified horse enterprises.
  • Label the features of three different items of tack on unlabelled diagrams.
  • Describe the use of two different specified items of tack.
  • Develop procedures for the management of tack in a specified horse enterprise, including: storage; use; repair/replacement and cleaning.
  • Compare the different types of fencing used for horses, including:
    • barbed wire; timber post and rail and electric.
  • Determine the facilities required for different types of horse enterprises, including: riding schools; stud farms and racing stables.
  • Describe the facilities for showing horses at two specific locations, including:
    • an agricultural showground and a sales facility.
  • Evaluate the design of a horse farm visited by you, for a specified application.
    • Prepare a design, including one or more sketch plans, of a stable for a specified application.


When considering appropriate food for horses, we really need to understand factors which affect a horse’s individual requirements. These include, age and health, body weight and general condition, amount of work the horse is in and whether or not the horse’s living environment enables it to source feed naturally and is plentiful or if food is rationed and controlled by the owner or trainer, for example. 

Nutrients are obtained from carbohydrates, fat and protein. Horses also require vitamins, minerals and a plentiful source of fresh, clean water. There are simple calculations which can and should be used to establish the correct amount of feed based on each horses own individual requirements.

The total amount of food a horse needs on a daily basis depends on its body weight and condition.  The easiest way to measure a horse’s body weight, if appropriate scales are not available, is to use a commercial weigh tape.  These can be bought from specialist horse feed suppliers.  The weigh tape is placed around the horse’s barrel, just behind the elbow.  It will give a fairly accurate body weight reading which you can then use to base the amount of food on.  

Horses generally need to be fed between 1.5%-3% of their body weight in food daily.  A native pony who is a ‘good doer’ may only need 1.5% of its body weight in feed while a rangier, naturally lighter thoroughbred for example may need closer to 3% of its body weight.
As an example, a 500kg horse will need between 7.5kg and 15kg of feed a day.

Once an appropriate total amount of feed has been calculated, the amount needs to be split into a roughage ration and a concentrate ration.  This calculation depends very much on the type of work the horse does.


Grass is the most common forage food and will provide the horse with essential nutrients including carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins.  Minerals are also available to horses from grass; however the quantity and sort vary depending on soil quality and location. Grass quality also changes throughout the seasons. So for example after long growing period throughout spring and summer, grass will contain more fibre and fewer nutrients.

Hay or dried grass (dried to 5-15% moisture) is also commonly fed as forage. This is normally lucerne or grass (it can be greener depending on the length of drying time).  The quality of hay fed is extremely important and hay should never be mouldy or dusty, which can lead to digestive upsets and respiratory problems. The hay quality can be affected by the way it is stored, what species is used and when in the harvesting season it was originally cut.

This course will help you to understand properly, and in depth, what a horse needs to be fed.


Horses are complex animals, if you want to get the most from your horse and also develop a great relationship you also need a sound understanding of their physical needs and how horses tick.
This is a great follow-on from Horse Care 1 - if you are serious about horse care, this and the following Horse Care 111, would be perfect for you. It would also give you a great insight into this field and the possibility of work. Three courses would give you a proficiency award which you could then also use towards further study if you wish.

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