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Work with Equine Psychology
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Course Summary:

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

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 £190*, compared to taking each course on its own.

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 will 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

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

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

* compared to taking each course on its own