3 Things to Consider when Choosing an Equine College

You’ve decided you want to go to college and horses need to be involved in some way. This leaves the question: where do you go from there? You’ll need to think about the size college you want to go to, how far from home, class sizes, and what the area around the college is like (city, rural, etc.). That’s all standard no matter what you plan to go to college for. For equine programs, the type of major you are interested in needs to be considered, the type of riding you do, and if you want to bring your horse with you.

Choosing an Equine College - Equine Studies

Equine Studies

There are some common majors seen in equine programs. Equine facilities management is popular and often has focuses such as stud farm management or sales/training management. A riding or teacher/trainer major is common for people looking to be professionals.

Increasingly popularity is an animal or equine science major. This leads to more specialized graduate education in fields like veterinary medicine, equine nutrition, equine reproduction, and other equine sciences. An equine business or entrepreneurship major is commonly seen in equine colleges as well.

To some, picking a major can be an easy decision. To others, it is a little more difficult. Most majors at a university require the same core requirements, so this can allow more time to decide exactly what will work best.

Choosing an Equine College - Riding Programs

Riding Programs

Obviously, when choosing a college, it is important to find a riding program that complements what you already do. If you are a training major but only ride western, a school without a western program probably isn’t the best fit.

Finding a school that offers diverse riding options in their classes isn’t always easy. You may need to look into the riding teams to supplement to what is already offered. Some schools offer only English disciplines in riding classes but have a western riding team or vice versa. Some schools offer classes and majors for people who ride both English and Western, but those are fewer in number.

Choosing an Equine College - Your Horse

Your Horse

Bringing your horse to college may not be available for everyone. You may not own a horse or have someone to ride your horse while your away. Or better, your college and horse are close enough to each other that you don’t need to move them. Unfortunately, these options are not always available. The availability to bring your horse might be enough to sway your decision one way or another when choosing a college.

Some schools recommend not bringing a horse for freshman, much like recommending or not allowing freshmen to bring a car. Others don’t allow students to board their horse unless they can be used in the equine program. Comparing your options is important when deciding what works best for you and your horse.

Choosing a college is a big decision. There are so many options to consider and criteria to think about. All while making your decision, consider the size and location of the school, majors available, riding disciplines, and ability to board your horse. Visiting the college and surrounding areas is also important. Below is a list of some popular colleges with equine programs.

  • Colorado State University
  • Lake Erie College
  • Savannah College of Art and Design
  • Sweet Briar College
  • University of Findlay
  • University of New Hampshire
  • West Texas A&M