Work with Equine Psychology

Pathway Summary
Pathway Details
Fees & How to Enrol

This pathway is designed to improve your understanding of the way horses behave, whether you’re a horse owner, or you work with horses in a yard or stables.

We have designed this career pathway to include courses that will help prepare you for working in this sector of the animal care industry. This pathway is made up of the following areas of study:

  • Introduction to Equine Psychology
  • Intermediate Equine Psychology
  • Advanced Equine Psychology

Level: QLS Level 3 Fees:

£895 £626.50
Pay 12 monthly payments of £76.25 £53.87

***Saving you compared with taking these courses individually***

Entry Requirements

There are no prerequisites for this course. As a general guide, we recommend students looking to take one of our pathways should have some experience in their chosen field. However, we strongly believe open study should be just that. If you want to challenge yourself, our tutors will be on hand to help.

Our Support Promise

You can phone or email your tutor at any point during your course – to ask questions, for advice, encouragement or to draw on their wealth of knowledge.

You can also contact the support team who are here to help you Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

What You’ll Learn

Introduction to Equine Psychology

Unit 1 

  • Introducing the horse: history, development of types and breeds, and the horse as product of evolution

Unit 2 

  • The horse in the wild: social environment of the herd
  • Environment and social structure, who is the boss?
  • Exploring issue of dominance and hierarchy, foal development, the function of play

Unit 3 

  • Horses in the human environment: the fall and rise of the horse
  • Changing attitudes – the role of the horse from industrial machine to leisure and sport, an artificial environment

Unit 4 

  • Getting in tune with our horse: being with horses
  • Reading horse language
  • Effects of human stress on horses
  • Concepts of reductionistic vs holistic approaches

You will also complete a Special Study on a topic of your choice, relevant to the course.

Intermediate Equine Psychology

Unit 1 

The horse sense:

  • Sight
  • Hearing
  • Smell
  • Touch
  • Taste

Unit 2 

How intelligent are horses?:

  • What is intelligence
  • The horse’s brain
  • Old and new ideas
  • Intelligence testing
  • Relativity of intelligence
  • Looking at human attitudes

Unit 3

How horses learn:

  • Classical vs operant conditioning
  • Positive and negative reinforcement
  • Negative reinforcement vs punishment

Unit 4

Common behavioural problems:

  • Biting, bolting, bucking, raring, napping, spooking
  • Difficulty catching
  • Trailer problems
  • Bad behaviour with vet, farrier or dentist

You will also complete a Special Study on a topic of your choice, relevant to the course.

Advanced Equine Psychology

Unit 1 

Horse/human relations and communication:

  • Bonding and friendship
  • Reading the signs, ‘speak’ horse, subtle communication, horse whisperers and animal communicators
  • How human problems affect horses

Unit 2 

Abnormal behaviour problems:

  • Dealing with depression
  • Stereotypes
  • Stable vices
  • Foal rejection
  • Chronic stress

Unit 3

Case taking and procedure:

  • Taking the case
  • Dealing with owners
  • Owner counselling
  • Veterinary involvement

Unit 4

The importance of our part in the alliance with the horse

  • Trust, choice, concentration, self- control, responsibility and reliability
  • The listening ear and seeing eye
  • The importance of low pulse rate and consistent body language
  • Taking responsibility for our actions
  • Positive and negative reinforcement


On successful completion of this course you’ll receive the Certificate of Achievement at QLS Level 3 from Quality Licence Scheme when you complete this course**.

Quality Licence Scheme endorsement involves robust and rigorous quality audits by external auditors to ensure quality is continually met. A review of courses is carried out as part of the endorsement process.

You will also receive the Animal Care College Certificate* in Work with Equine Psychology, graded to show the standard you have reached. There are no exams.

* The Animal Care College Certificate will be issued once you have successfully completed your course and finished your course payments.

** QLS registration fees included.

Study Length

There are no deadlines for this pathway. Simply study in the comfort of your own home, and in your own time.

Distance learning is designed to be flexible, but as a guide, students who can spend 4-6 hours a week studying tend to complete a single unit within a month.

What's Next

This pathway can help you progress in your career in the animal care sector.

Once it’s completed, you may wish to further your study. If that’s the case, we’d suggest:

You can get in touch with one of our tutors, or contact our support team from 9am - 5pm.

Course fee & how to enrol

This career pathway combines 3 of our individual courses, providing students with a clear and comprehensive path towards a career in animal care. What’s more, when you take this pathway, you’ll save, compared to taking each course on its own.

There are two ways you can enrol

Pay the total course fee of £895 £626.50 in one sum and receive a £50 voucher towards the cost of your next course


Pay 12 monthly payments of £76.25 £53.87 (£20 administration fee included)