Credit points: 15

Subject outline

This subject consolidates safe horse husbandry practices together with the recognition of equine behavior and body language. Students will be acquainted with the ethology of equids and the practical use of equine equipment from a management and welfare prospective. Recognising signs of pain and distress will form the basis of analyzing simple behavioural problems from which training approaches can be developed to overcome the problem.

SchoolSchool of Life Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorDimuthu Wijesinghe

Available to Study Abroad StudentsNo

Subject year levelYear Level 2 - UG

Exchange StudentsNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Must be admitted into SBATE or requires Subject Coordinator approval.


Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditions This subject is taught at the Epping campus of Melbourne Polytechnic. The student is expected to work with live animals. All use of animals is regulated through the Scientific Procedures Licence and The Australian Code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes.


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsHorse sense: The guide to horse care in Australia and New ZealandRecommendedHuntington, P, Myers, J & Owens, E 2004CSIRO, COLLINGWOOD, VIC
ReadingsSaunders comprehensive veterinary dictionaryRecommendedStuddert, V, Gay, C & Blood, D 20124TH EDN, ELSEVIER HEALTH SCIENCES
ReadingsHorse and stable managementRecommendedBrown, J, Pilliner, S, & Davies, Z 2003BLACKWELL PUBLISHING, OXFORD.
ReadingsEquitation scienceRecommendedMcGreevy, PD & McLean, AN 2010WILEY-BLACKWELL, CHICHESTER
ReadingsAcademic horse training: equitation science in practiceRecommendedMcLean, A & McLean, M 2008AUSTRALIAN EQUINE BEHAVIOUR CENTRE, CLONBINANE, VIC
ReadingsLearning and behaviourRecommendedChance, P 20137TH EDN, CENGAGE LEARNING, BELMONT, CA
ReadingsEquine behaviour: a guide for veterinarians and equine scientistsRecommendedMcGreevy, P 20122ND REV EDN, ELSEVIER HEALTH SCIENCES, LONDON
ReadingsCarrots and sticks: principles of animal trainingRecommendedMcGreevy, P & Boakes, R 2011DARLINGTON PRESS, SYDNEY, NSW
ReadingsThe domestic horse: the origins, development, and management of its behaviourRecommendedMills, D & McDonnell, S (eds.) 2005CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Apply the concepts of equitation science to safe performance of horse husbandry practice.

Lectures and practicals

02. Discuss the natural behaviour (ethology) of equids and the adaptation process to domestication.

Lectures and practicals

03. Analyse equine behavior and body language including signs of pain and distress in the horse.

Lectures, tutorials and practicals

04. Evaluate equine equipment function from an animal welfare perspective.

Lectures, tutorials and practicals

05. Analyse simple behavioural problems and develop training management approaches.

Lectures and tutorials

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Epping, 2020, Semester 1, Blended


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorDimuthu Wijesinghe

Class requirements

Lecture Week: 10 - 22
One 2.0 hours lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via blended.
"Delivered as either face-to-face or as a prerecorded online lecture"

Tutorial Week: 10 - 22
One 1.0 hours tutorial per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via online.
"Delivered as self-directed learning reading material or online tasks"

Practical Week: 10 - 22
Twelve 3.0 hours practical per study period on any day including weekend during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.
"Practical at Melbourne Polytechnic's Equine Facilities or other suitable equine facilities"


Assessment elementComments% ILO*
One 15-min individual presentation (equivalent to 750 words)Domestication and associated problems are managed through the development of a training program.15 02, 05
Report (1,750 words)The use of equitation science in the safe performance of husbandry techniques is applied in the recognition of equine behavior when signs of pain and distress are noticeable. Equine equipment and its effect on behavior and welfare are addressed.40 01, 03, 04
Practical examination (2 hours, equivalent to 2,000 words)45 01, 02, 03