ASC321 Equine Exercise Physiology (8)


The physiological adaptations of the horse to exercise and training are studied. Emphasis is on early detection and prevention of exercise related problems, devising training programs that are sports specific and that minimise injury and/or disease in the horse. For those students studying by distance education, this subject includes a compulsory, 3 day residential school.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 2
InternalWagga Wagga Campus
Distance*Wagga Wagga Campus
*This subject offering contains a residential school. Please view following information for further details.
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: ASC321
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLSchool of Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Enrolment restrictions

Students in the Bachelor of Equine Science, Bachelor of Animal Science/Bachelor of Animal Science (Honours), Bachelor of Veterinary Technology and others at the discretion of the Courses Director and Subject Coordinator
ASC171 and (ASC206 or ASC106 or ASC390)

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to outline the biochemical pathways involved in energy production and their control
  • be able to explain basic principles underlying aerobic and anaerobic energy production
  • be able to apply this knowledge to the exercising horse
  • be able to explain how the various body systems function during exercise
  • be able to explain how these body systems adapt to training, their interactions and how they may also limit performance
  • be able to justify their horse training practices based on scientific principles (evidence based)
  • be able to defend and justify their view point on animal welfare related to the athletic horse
  • be able to incorporate best practice into the care of athletic horses
  • be able to identify poor performance indicators and its most common causes
  • be able to critique about the various sources of information available to horse owners / managers with regard to exercise and training
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of and recognise early signs consistent with heat stress, exhaustion, and tying up.
  • be able to interpret heart rates and other vital signs in athletic horses and relate them to fitness and athletic ability
  • be able to explain the limitations of predicting performance potential in horses.


The subject will cover the following topics:
  • Theory and practical aspects of energy production in the exercising horse
  • Theory of the respiratory, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, thermoregulatory systems in the athletic horse, and how these systems interact to support exercise.
  • Theory and practical aspects of adaptation to training of athletic horses
  • Theory of some common athletic injuries/problems and their prevention

Residential School

This subject contains a compulsory 3 day residential school. Students will carry out a series of experiments on a horse running on a treadmill to demonstrate physiological principles of the exercising horse. Dificulties with concepts of the study guide will also be explored.

Specialised Resources

There is a 3 day residential school


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.