Date: Ongoing via Distance Learning

Cost: $625CAD

Duration: 12 weeks

This online recommended affiliate course is led by Dr. Gail Ecker and Dr. Amanda Waller. It introduces many of the important aspects of conditioning the equine athlete for various disciplines, including topics such as base conditioning, aerobic and anaerobic exercise and recovery, monitoring of conditioning gains and prevention of health and performance problems and more. This course provides practical and updated information needed to ensure a safe and effective training program through applied scientific knowledge of exercise physiology. The course will also enable participants to improve the results of performance horses involved in racing, endurance, roping, eventing as well as show horses. This course is entirely online, so no travel to the University of Guelph is required. This course has been reviewed by Debranne Pattillo, Equinology CEO and fulfills the requirement for the Equinology REQ1850: Equine Exercise Physiology. This course is designed for individuals who work professionally in the equine health industry to enhance their understanding of equine exercise physiology.
The objectives for this course are as follows:
  • list and identify the equine movement terminology and the physiology of muscle function
  • identify the symptoms of heat stress in the horse
  • understand the energy requirements required to drive the muscular system,
  • discuss the cardiovascular system,
  • utilize the nutritional requirements required for various equine activities,
  • develop an appropriate exercise program to suit the particular horse’s needs.
Evaluation: The course evaluation will include:
  • Quizzes 30%: There will be five online quizzes. Each quiz consists of a number of true or false statements and multiple-choice questions which cover the weekly unit material.
  • Leaning Question Assignments 20%
  • The Training Journal 50% submitted in four parts: Each week you will work on questions that encourage you to apply the physiology you are learning to the training of a horse.
Assignment of course grades is according to the following standards:
  • 80-100 (A) Excellent
  • 70-79 (B) Good
  • 60-69 (C) Acceptable
  • 50-59 (D) Minimally Acceptable
  • 0-49 (F) Fail
A passing score of 50% is required to pass. The students are provided with a complete handbook guideline for accessing course material: All students registered the course begin the course at the same time and finish at the same time. Generally, each course comes with student learning materials that may be accompanied by CDs, DVDs, and industry resources depending on the nature of the course. Registered students are provided with a login and password to a secure learning management system which is web-based and accessible through the internet. The learning management system houses the content of the course and is the hub of the course instruction. Students interact with the instructor and other students in the class through the learning management system. The instructor guide students through the course and they will participate in various learning activities, access discussion boards, interact with the course content through readings, videos, and other materials.  Students demonstrate their learning by completing online quizzes, submitting assignments and papers. Every course has an assessment which results in grade which is recorded on a University of Guelph transcript Resource Materials: A computer and internet access is required to access the online course. The internet connection should be 56K modem, and although slower speeds will work, high speed is preferable (cable, LAN, DS, etc.) The student is given a passcode to view the online course and participate.
  • Conditioning Sports Horses by Dr. Hilary M. Clayton #ISBN: 0-9695720-0-X; this course is required for the course and is not part of the student tuition
  • Equine Exercise Physiology Course Manual by Dr. Gayle Ecker, 2009
Students must be at least 18-years-old and able to read English equivalent to the high school level.
No externship is required for this class; however, to receive Equinology/EquiLearn Institute credit, please email your transcripts to

*This course is a requirement for the MEEBW certification.

After begging my parents for years, I was lucky enough to get my first pony at age 9, and they’ve been my passion (and members of the family) ever since. My sport of choice was always jumping, and I competed for years on the hunter/jumper circuit, but these days I mainly ride for fun.

A lifelong rider and horse lover, Dr. Amanda Waller completed a Ph.D. in Equine Exercise Physiology in 2008 at the University of Guelph. Her graduate research focused on skeletal muscle substrate utilization and glycogen resynthesis, and fluid, electrolyte and acid-base balance during exercise and recovery. Based on her experience in exercise physiology, she wanted to expand her research in the field of muscle and whole-body glucose utilization while applying it to human and equine health. Therefore in 2009, she began her post-doctoral research at Ohio State University, where she is conducting translational research on glucose transport during insulin resistance and diabetes, using both equine and rodent models.

At Work: Gayle has been the Senior Manager of Equine Guelph since its inception in 2003 and played an instrumental role in its birth. She has dedicated her energies to advancing the equine industry through education and communications. Gayle created the ‘pyramid of education’ model – an educational approach that provides learning pathways for career development at all levels (youth education > industry skills > Equine Science Certificate > higher education) in the equine industry. In collaboration with the Office of Open learning, Gayle developed the Equine Science Certificate program – an online program targeted to the equine industry. She also acts as an instructor in the program.

At Horseplay: Gayle started riding before she could walk! A dappled grey Shetland pony named Pogo was her first mount. Known as the ‘show junkie’, Gayle spent her youth competing at Arabian shows. A former researcher, Gayle’s expertise is in the area of exercise physiology. She has been the Assistant Chef d’Equippe for the Canadian Endurance Team, traveling around the globe with the team to international events like the Pan-Am and World Endurance Championships. These days, Gayle takes pleasure in riding her two Quarter horses through the wooded trails of her country home.