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Equestrian/Equine Studies

Program Description

Just the Facts

Equestrian/Equine Studies. A program that focuses on the horse, horsemanship, and related subjects and prepares individuals to care for horses and horse equipment; ride and drive horses for leisure, sport, show, and professional purposes; and manage the training of horses and riders. Includes instruction in horse breeding, nutrition, health, and safety; history of the horse and horsemanship; horse development and training; riding and equestrian technique; stable, paddock, and track management; and equipment maintenance and repair.

This program is available in these options:

  • Certificate / Diploma
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Graduate Certificate

High School Courses

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See the high school courses recommended for programs in this pathway:

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Related Programs

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Additional Information

The education you'll need to work with horses depends on what you want to do -- equine management, training, equitation teaching, blacksmithing and competitive riding are just a few options.

Lee Boothe is director of operations at a school that offers an equine massage therapy certificate program."A student interested in equine massage as a career needs to know as much about horses as possible before entering the program," he says. "If a student has no equine experience, they are advised to volunteer at a local facility."

Additionally, students should become members of their local pony club, he says. "Having pony club levels makes you eligible for advanced standing in the program."

Otterbein College in Columbus, Ohio, offers two four-year non-veterinary equine options -- facility management and administration. The equine facility management major is recommended for those interested in managing a ranch or riding stable, for example.

Prospective students are strongly advised to take a minor in business administration, says Lynn Taylor, chair of the school's equine science department.

Otterbein's equine administration program was designed for the student "whose primary interest is in equine-related businesses," says Taylor. That includes insurance adjusters, leaders of racing and breeding organizations, and anyone involved in the marketing of horses.

Since virtually any work involving breeding, racing and riding can put you in contact with horse people around the world, studying a foreign language is mandatory in both majors at Otterbein.

In high school, take math, physical education and general agriculture. It helps to know your way around computers.

Some schools allow you to bring your own horse, so if that's important to you, check into it before making any final decisions. Stabling fees can be substantial, depending on the length of the program.

If you don't have a horse, you can use the horses provided by the schools. Most have their own equestrian teams, and students compete in events such as dressage, hunting or jumping.

Besides tuition, expenses for equine programs include books and field trips.

If your program involves close interaction with horses, such as an equestrian riding or training program, you'll also need tack. Basic tack is made up of a good quality saddle, halter, bridle, grooming tools and riding gear, but some schools require additional equipment such as running martingales, spurs, blankets, lunge lines and dressage whips.


Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Farmers, Ranchers and Agricultural Managers

For more information related to this field of study, see: Animal Care and Service Workers

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