TOCES Introductory Diploma in Equine Nutrition

As an ever-emerging and developing field, equine nutrition forms a key element of equine management.

TOCES Introductory Diploma in Equine Nutrition is designed for learners with an interest in nutrition seeking to expand their knowledge and is ideal for horse owners, feed company managers and their employees or yard managers. The programme is delivered at Levels 2 and 3, discussing anatomy and physiology of the equine gastrointestinal tract, nutrient requirements of the equine diet, formulation of rations and diet-induced clinical disorders.

There is optional attendance at an Equine Nutrition Workshop which will help to consolidate the study of this programme.

Already completed an Equine Science/Management qualification at Level 3 or above? Why not have a look at the TOCES Higher Education Diploma in Equine Nutrition?

Module/Unit Details:

Introduction to Equine Digestive Anatomy and Physiology

Upon completion of this module, learners will be able to:

  • Recognise the basic anatomy of the horse’s digestive tract
  • Understand the basic function of the digestive system
  • Identify the process of digestion in the foregut
  • Identify the process of fermentation in the hindgut
Nutrients and Feedstuffs in the Equine Diet

Upon completion of this module learners will be able to:

  • Identify the nutrients needed in the horse’s diet
  • Understand the function of nutrients in the horse’s diet
  • Identify different types of feedstuffs
  • Know the nutritional value of different types of feedstuffs
Formulating a Basic Ration

Upon completion of this module learners will:

  • Know the rules of feeding
  • Be able to calculate the amount of feed a horse needs daily
  • Be able to calculate what proportion of the ration should be hay and what proportion should be concentrates
  • Know how to put together a basic feed ration for different types of horses and ponies
Introduction to Equine Diet-Related Disorders

Upon completion of this module learners will be able to:

  • Recognise the aspects of a horse’s diet and management which may lead to digestive disorders
  • Explain the potential effects of changes to the horse’s usual feed regime
  • Discuss the dietary management of horses and ponies affected by laminitis
  • Discuss the dietary management of horses and ponies affected by Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGUS)

This is a TOCES Certificate course. You will be awarded a graded TOCES certificate upon completion of the course. This will be of value to prospective employers as well as to you personally as it reflects your commitment to study. Please note that although TOCES Certificate courses do not result in a validated qualification, the course material is of the same high standard as our validated programmes through BTEC, the BHS and City and Guilds.

Study from home or school

Fit study in around your current commitments and while you gain practical experience in the equine industry.

Full course support

Our dedicated student support tutors are available to assist you throughout your studies. Keep in touch with fellow students too!

Learn while you earn

Continue to work full, part time or volunteer!

Course Details:


Academic Level: Further Education Levels 2 and 3
Number of Units/Modules: 4
Study Hours per Unit: 60
Total Hours: 240
Course Duration: Maximum of 18 months to complete course
Study Week Requirement: Optional attendance of Equine Nutrition Workshop (2 days)

As with all TOCES programmes, you will receive detailed study material – each module comprises two work assignments which are completed at home and sent in for tutor assessment and feedback.

The first assignments in each module are formative work assignments designed to prepare you for the second assignment, a summative work assignment which contributes towards your overall grade. The overall grade of your qualification will reflect the grades achieved in your assignments and practical assessments. You will receive a TOCES certificate upon completion of this programme.

The optional Workshop offered with this programme consists of lectures, practical sessions, tutorials and assessments and are designed to build upon the subjects studied through the distance learning material.

Equine Nutrition Workshop

Students of the Introductory Diploma in Equine Nutrition may attend an optional Equine Nutrition Workshop to consolidate their study. It is recommended that students enrolled on this programme attend days 1 and 2; though are welcome to attend day 3 in addition if they wish.

Please refer to our Study Weeks page for more information.

The fee for these workshops are:

Attendance of 2 days – £175

Attendance of 3 days – £265

You don’t have to be an enrolled TOCES student to attend the workshops!

For all programmes you must be:

  • enthusiastic!
  • prepared to work hard
  • disciplined enough to set aside time to study
  • prepared to undertake independent study
  • aged 16 or more – there is no upper age limit


Enrolment and Fees

Enrolments are accepted for all courses anytime throughout the year.

Following enrolment, you will receive access to online course information and course material.

Full Payment

  • Online access to all course materials
  • Tutor support
  • Optional attendance at Equine Nutrition Workshop (additional fees apply)
  • Accommodation, breakfast and evening meals not included
  • Printing and postage fees additional (optional)
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Interest Free Finance

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The Open College of Equine Studies 33 Pages Lane Lower Green Higham Bury St Edmunds Suffolk IP28 6NJ

Registered Office:

The Open College of Equine Studies Eldo House Kempson Way Bury St Edmunds Suffolk IP32 7AR Company No. 04354226