Course code LauZ6126

Credit points 5

Horse Breeding

Total Hours in Course200

Number of hours for lectures40

Number of hours for seminars and practical classes40

Independent study hours120

Date of course confirmation01.11.2011

Responsible UnitInstitute of Animal Science

Course developer

author Dzīvnieku zinātņu institūts

Laine Orbidāne

Mg. agr.

Course abstract

Estimation of horse genetic quality and selection efficency, selection objectives, horse performance testing methods and using of performance data to estimate breeding value, realizing of breeding programmes for the improvement of breeds, preservation of local endangereed breeds and reconstruction of breeds.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

After completing the course Master student will have:
• knowledge about breeding methods and breeding programmes appropriate for horse breeds of different direction of use, estimation of horse genetic quality – individual works, written examination.
• skills to work out breeding programme for horse breeding, estimate characteristic values of horses of different type, organize horse performance testing and use performance data to estimate genetic quality –individual works.
• competences to analyze achieved breeding results, consult and manage breeding programme in horse breeding –individual works, written examination.

Course Content(Calendar)

1. The economic significance of the horse breeding.
2. The identification methods of horses.
3. The International Federation of Equestrian sports (FEI). Equestrian sport competition and importance in development of horse breeding.
4. The characteristic values of quality of horses.
5. Performance testing methods.
6. Scoring of pedigree and type. The body measurements for characterization of breed.
7. The conformation and its importance for horses of different use.
8. The performance and its importance in estimation of the genetic value in horse breeding.
9. Individual work 1. The determination of horse productivity and use of performance data.
10. Breeding programmes in horse breeding. Use of relative and acceptable horse breeds for Latvian Warmblood.
11. The local endangered horse breeds, characterisation and directions of use.
12. Methods of estimation of breeding values and application. Selection indexes.
13. The features of use of breeding methods in horse breeding.
14. The methods of estimation the quality of progeny, possibilities to improve the methods.
15. Individual work 2. Breeding methods and their application for improvement and preservation of horse breeds.
16. Importance of horse training in performance testing. Physiological and biochemical changes in duration of training.

Requirements for awarding credit points

Summary exam consists of an arithmetic mean of grades obtained in two individual works and written examination.

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

Synopsis of scientific literature on the topics chosen as a result of a teacher-student agreement, at least 6 p. A4 format.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

The individual works are graded with a mark. The resulting marks are included in the final evaluation.
The final assessment is a summary exam consisting of grades of two individual work and written examination.

Compulsory reading

1. Davies Morel M. C. G. (1999.) Equine reproductive, psychology, breeding and stud management. – Cambridge: CABI Publishing,– 450 p.
2. Seržāns A. (1986.) Zirgkopība. - R.: Zvaigzne, - 222 lpp.
3. Warren J., Borton A., Hintz H. (1997.) The Horse. – 2nd ed. – New York: W. H. Freeman and Company.,– 860 p.

Further reading

1. Baltakmens R. (2000.) Latvietis un viņa zirgs. - R.: A/S "Valters un Rapa", - 383 lpp.
2. Baltakmens R. (1990.) Bērie, sirmie, dūkanie. - R.: Zinātne, - 210 lpp.
3. Bowling A. T. (1997.) Horse genetics. – Wallingford: CAB International,–200p.
4. Schacht Ch. (2012) The sport horse conformation. - Trafalgar Square North Pomfret, Vermont,- 136p.
5. The genetics of the horse (2000.) / A. T. Bowling, A. Ruwinsky. – Oxon: CABI Publishing,– 527 p.

Periodicals and other sources

Latvijas Lauksaimniecības datu centrs, audzēšanas programmas un nozares likumdošana
Latvijas Šķirnes zirgu audzētāju asociācija
Latvijas Zirgaudzētāju biedrība
Pasaules Sporta zirgu audzēšanas federācija


Optional course for Master study programme “Agriculture” specialization on Animal husbandry