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Level 3 Diploma in Equine Psychology


  • 200h - 1 Year
  • 2 students have purchased
  • Express
Oxford Learning College
6/22 Watergardens, GX11 1AA See in Google maps
Oxford Learning is one of the leading distance education providers in the United Kingdom and internationally, and along with our partners in education, promotes quality home study education world wide. Our online distance learning programmes encompass A-Level and Diploma level courses. As part of your course you will have access to the tutor department who are able to support and mentor you throughout the learning process. Our students come from varied backgrounds, differing levels of education, and every continent in the world. Our courses give you the confidence to achieve your academic goals, and give you new and further knowledge or, as with many of our past students, a new career path. We invite you to take a look at the reviews past students have left, and look forward to welcoming you as an Oxford Learning student soon. Your qualification from Oxford Learning will show your respected and exceptional level of education.


  • Affordable
  • Make your own study schedule and take advantage of online tutoring hours
  • Obtain a certified diploma once you finish the course.


The course is designed to give you a well rounded knowledge of the subject and to give you the ability to carry on your studies at a higher level. At Level 3 you are not required to have any previous knowledge of the subject, as the materials will take you from no previous knowledge up to Level 3. For Level 5/HND subjects you will be required to have studied at Level 3 or above before enrolment.
Suitable for: SUITABLE FOR: This course is suitable for all students over the age of 17. Students can study on this course no matter where you are in the World. The course is made up of various units and each build up your knowledge base of the subject. Courses are all delivered in English.

Course Synopsis
This Diploma course is aimed at those with an interest in psychology and the way that horses behave, and how psychology can be used when handling, training and riding horses. The Diploma in Equine Psychology will be awarded by Oxford College to those students who satisfactorily complete all 10 Units of this course.

Course Structure:

  1. An overview of psychology
  2. Evolution of the horse and behaviour
  3. Learning Theory
  4. Sexual and reproductive behaviour
  5. The psychology of the young horse
  6. Natural equine behaviour
  7. Equine behaviour in the managed environment.
  8. The causes of problem behaviour
  9. Dealing with problem behaviour
  10. Training horses using psychology

Course Content:

Module 1 - An overview of psychology

This first unit of the Diploma in Equine Psychology introduces the general principles of psychology, to provide a foundation for the rest of the course. It covers the following topics:

  • = The development of psychology as a science
  • = Defining the mind, intelligence and cognition
  • = The different branches of human psychology
  • = The different approaches to studying psychology
  • = Some of the main psychological theories and well known scientists
  • = The different factors that can cause behaviour
  • = How findings from psychological studies can be applied to animals and to horses in particular
  • = A look at the history of the study of psychology, including the findings from the study of equines and other species

Module 2 - Evolution of the horse and behaviour

This unit covers the evolution of the horse and the development of the different breeds, and how this is related to the behaviour of the horse. The unit looks at the following topics:
= The basics of genetics and inheritance of characteristics
= The theory of evolution
= Natural and artificial selection
= The history of domestication of the horse
= The development of the different breeds of horse
= How breed differences can affect the temperament and behaviour of a horse
= The evolution of the horse and the different breeds. Different evolutionary theories. The history of domestication

Module 3 - Learning Theory

Although undoubtedly a lot of equine behaviour is instinctive, much of it is also learned, through life experiences or through deliberate training. This unit examines in detail how horses learn. The unit covers the following topics:
= The different ways in which horses can learn
= How psychologists have developed their theories of learning through experimentation
= Environmental effects on learning
= Types of reinforcement
= Constraints on learning
= How memory is important for learning to take place

Module 4 - Sexual and reproductive behaviour

Behaviour of horses can be affected by the process of reproduction, in terms of sexual behaviour of mares and stallions, and the nurturing shown by a mare towards her foal. This unit covers the following topics:
= The hormonal changes occurring at puberty
= The hormones involved in reproduction and their effects on behaviour, for both mares and stallions
= The oestrus cycle of the mare and how behaviour is affected throughout the cycle
= The effects of castration on behaviour
= The maternal behaviour of the mare
= The normal behaviour of a newborn foal

Module 5 - The psychology of the young horse

The previous unit looks at the sexual and reproductive behaviour of the horse, and also the very early behaviour seen in a newborn foal. This unit carries on from there and covers the behaviour and psychology of the young horse as it develops and grows. It covers the following topics:
= The normal behaviour of a newborn foal
= The innate behavioural development of a foal
= The rejection of a foal by a mare, and the problems that can occur when hand rearing foals
= The social ranking of a mare within a herd, and how this can affect the behaviour of her foal
= How a foal learns and makes associations
= The procedure of weaning and separating foals from their dams, and the psychological impact of this
= Some of the early handling and training that can be carried out with a young horse

Module 6 - Natural equine behaviour

We can learn a lot about the natural behaviour of horses by studying ethology, the observation of animals within their natural environment. By watching a herd of feral equines, we can determine which behaviours are natural ones. This unit examines natural equine behaviour as might be observed in a group of wild equines, and so does not cover the behaviour that is a direct result of training by humans, or that may be a direct result of life in a domesticated environment. The following topics are covered:
= Identifying the types of behaviours that are innate
= The senses of the horse and how these are related to behaviour
= The nervous system and the way the brain controls behaviour
= The endocrine system and its influence on behaviour
= The social structure of a natural herd
= The ways horses communicate with each other

Module 7 - Equine behaviour in the managed environment

In the previous unit the instinctive and natural behaviour of a horse the way it would likely to be if it was living in the wild was covered This unit looks at the domestication of the horse and how a horse may behave within this human managed environment. The following topics are covered:
= The domestication of the horse and the different ways that horses are used for work, sport and recreation
= The differences between the natural and domesticated environment of horses
= The ways that artificial management and feeding techniques are in contrast to a natural lifestyle
= The tack and gadgets that may be used when riding or handling horses
= The reasons why a natural lifestyle may not always be in the best interests of a domesticated horse

Module 8 - The causes of problem behaviour

Unit 7 looks at the ways in which a domesticated environment might differ from the way that equines would live within a natural setting. Although horses are very adaptable, the environment in which they live may sometimes influence their behaviour, and could be the cause of some problem behaviour. This unit examines some common behavioural problems, and the possible reasons behind them. The following topics are covered:
= The internal effects on behaviour, such as hormones, health or genetics, or the effects of pain
= The possible effects of diet on behaviour
= The environmental factors that could influence behaviour, such as confinement or social interaction
= The learning element behind some problem behaviour
= The ways that humans could influence the behaviour of horses through giving confusing signals

Module 9 - Dealing with problem behaviour

In order to deal effectively with problems, we first need to understand why they are occurring. Without finding out the real cause, we are at best just masking the symptoms, and at worst we may be causing distress to the horse and impacting upon its welfare. Failing to address behavioural problems in horses could lead to an escalation of the problem, which could even potentially become dangerous. This unit examines some of the techniques that can be used to find out the causes of behaviour, and will examine some of the ways that problem behaviour can be dealt with. It includes a different variety of methods that are currently employed, including those that may now appear outdated, in order that a comparison can be made. It should also be remembered that a solution that works for one horse may not be suitable in every case. All horses are individuals and respond to different techniques. The following topics are covered:
= Determining the cause of a particular behaviour
= Some of the traditional methods of preventing stereotypical behaviour
= Altering the managed environment to reduce behavioural problems
= Ways of dealing with common handling and riding problems

Module 10 - Training horses using psychology

This unit looks at the different ways of training horses, and will compare traditional methods with some of the alternative methods. The following topics are covered:
= The ways horses learn and how knowledge of learning theory can improve training techniques
= The traditional methods of training horses
= Techniques such as working on the lunge, and free schooling
= Natural horsemanship methods, and a look at how the natural behaviour of the horse can be used to obtain results
= The body language of the horse and how it can be used to assess the training  being given
= The rider's attitude and how this can affect equine behavior

Assessment Method

Final online multiple choice examination.


Thanks to this offer, valid exclusively for one person, you will obtain a Level 3 Diploma in Equine Psychology.

How to register

By buying the course in Emagister Express, you will obtain an access coupon. We will send you the codes and keys to the coupon. Send the coupon code and the key to contact@oxfordcollege.ac. The training provider will then give you access to the course.

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