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A Sampling of Equine and Equestrian Programs


By Leigh Ballard

College students with a passion for horses can combine their love of horses with many other traditional degrees for a horse-related career. For those students who are not interested in being professional trainers or riders, combining Equine Studies with other degrees such as Business, Communications, Journalism, Marketing, and Physical Therapy can lead to interesting and rewarding careers in the equine industry. The following schools, listed in alphabetical order, are a sampling of colleges and universities which offer Equine Studies or related curriculums. These schools also offer competitive showing through the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (ISHA) and the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA). For more details, visit the websites for the schools.

Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, AR. Arkansas State offers programs in Equine Science and Horsemanship, with Animal Science and Pre-vet majors also available. The University is home to the ASU Equine Center and includes the Garry Meadows Arena, a 52-stall boarding barn and large covered arena, which also serves as an event facility for the public. ASU Equine Center:

Berry College, Mount Berry, GA. Berry College is home to a National Champion IHSA Western team. The horse show teams are Varsity teams, and as such, receive scholarships and school funding for their programs. The Gunby Equine Center includes indoor and outdoor arenas. Their Animal Science program includes a Pre-veteriniarian track. Berry Equestrian: Berry Animal Science Facilities:

Georgetown College, Georgetown, KY. Georgetown College offers the Equine Scholars Program which allows students to combine a liberal arts education with equine related opportunities. Georgetown has an educational affiliation with the Kentucky Horse Park. There is opportunity for riding, training, and show competition within the program. Students accepted to the program receive a $1000 renewable scholarship. The program will match other approved equine scholarships which have been awarded to an Equine Scholar. Georgetown Equine Scholars:

Hiwassee College, Madisonville, TN. Hiwassee is a private liberal arts college affiliated with the Methodist Church. The Equestrian Studies program offers a B.A. in Equine Management and Training, and a B.S. in Equine Science. The Equestrian Center is a boarding and training facility with an emphasis on dressage. Hiwassee College Equestrian Center:

Maryville College, Maryville, TN. Located in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Maryville College is a private liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. The school is home to an IHSA hunt seat team, and a western team which placed near the top in national competition in 2011. The team uses Penrose Farm, a 30-stall facility with an outdoor show jumping ring, dressage arenas, and cross-country course. Maryville College Equestrian Club:

Meredith Manor, Waverly, WV. Meredith Manor is specifically an equestrian college preparing students for careers in the equine industry. Programs are offered which produce farriers, professional riders, trainers, instructors, massage therapists and other equine professionals. Bachelor’s degrees with an equine emphasis are offered through West Virginia University at Parkersburg, WV  in conjunction with studies at Meredith Manor.

Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN. MTSU offers a comprehensive Horse Science Program. The curriculum includes classes in equitation, horse care, judging, stable management, event management, equine assisted therapy, genetics, nutrition, and reproductive physiology. Undergraduate and Graduate degrees are offered in Horse Science. The school is home to both English and Western IHSA teams. The Horse Science Center includes a 65-stall heated barn and indoor and outdoor arenas. The campus is also home to the Tennessee Miller Coliseum and the Tennessee Livestock Center, venues for local, regional and international horse show events. MTSU Horse Science:

Midway College, Midway, KY. Midway College is a women’s college offering  bachelor’s degrees in three equine fields: B.S. in Equine Studies with concentration in Health and Rehabilitation; B.A. in Applied Equine Management; and B.A. in Business Administration-Equine Business. Riding programs in both English and Western disciplines are offered.  A state-of-the-art training and education facility is used by the equestrian teams which compete in IHSA, AQHA, NRHA, and other shows.

Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS. Mississippi State offers a B.S. in Equine Studies, a Pre-Vet program, and the school boasts a College of Veterinary Medicine. The university is home to the Mississippi Horse Park, which serves as an equestrian venue for the area. Riding courses are available to students. Equestrian teams which compete in English and Western divisions of ISHA, an NIRA rodeo team, as well as a Horse Judging team, are available to students with competitive interests.     

Missouri Valley College, Marshall, MO.  Missouri Valley College is a 4-year liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. The Equine Program includes an NIRA rodeo team which is housed in the Porter Brown Rodeo Residence Hall.  Members of the team are considered college athletes, and have achieved both regional and national championships. The Mack Porter Stables are a practice and boarding facility with a 60-stall barn and two full sized practice arenas with indoor and outdoor roping alleys. Missouri Valley Rodeo:

Morehead State University, Morehead, KY. Morehead State offers degrees in Agricultural Science with an Equine Science option. The university also has a Veterinary Science program as well as a Veterinary Technology program. Morehead competes in IHSA shows with a Western Team and a Hunt Seat Team. The school also has a Saddle Seat Team which competes with the Intercollegiate Saddle Seat Riding Association (ISSRA).

Murray State University, Murray, KY. Murray State is a 4-year public university. Degree programs include Equine Science, Pre-Veterinary Medicine, and Veterinary Technology. The university is home to an NIRA team and ISHA Hunt Seat and Stock Seat teams. The School of Agriculture Equine Center serves as a boarding and breeding facility and a teaching and riding center with indoor and outdoor arenas.

North Georgia College and State University, Dahlonega, GA. A -4 year public university, NGCSU is one of the few military colleges in the US with a riding program. It is a liberal arts college, offering numerous bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Their riding program includes IHSA English and Western teams. Epiphany Farm is home to the equestrian teams.

Sweet Briar College, Sweet Briar, VA. Sweet Briar is a private liberal arts college for women. An on-campus riding center has a large indoor arena, outdoor riding rings, and 18 miles of trails. The school is home to active hunter/jumper equestrian teams which compete at IHSA shows as well as USEF A-rated shows.

Tennessee Tech University, Cookeville, TN. A large, public university long known for its emphasis on engineering and technology, Tennessee Tech also has programs in Animal Science and Pre-Vet. IHSA teams compete for the school in hunt seat, stock seat, jumping, and reining.

The University of Findlay, Findlay, OH. Findlay’s Equine Program, including Animal Science and Pre-Vet programs, as well as other equine related studies, can be combined with other academic programs to prepare students for a wide range of equine careers. Internship opportunities are available for hands-on experience in the horse industry. The school has an English riding complex, a Western riding complex, indoor and outdoor arenas, competitive show teams, and an on-campus equine veterinary clinic.
University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. Because of its location in the heart of Kentucky horse country, UK offers a myriad of equine programs. Broad opportunities are available in conjunction with the Thoroughbred racing industry, the Kentucky Horse Park, and several world renowned veterinary clinics. The University offers bachelor’s degrees in Animal Science and Equine Science, and is home to a College of Veterinary Science. The university is also home to the world-class Gluck Equine Research Center. The school has several competitive equestrian teams: a Dressage Team, a Polo Team, an Eventing Team, and a Horse Judging Team.

University of Tennessee-Martin, Martin, TN. UT Martin has Animal Science and Pre-Vet programs. Campus equestrian events take place in the Ned R. McWherter Agricultural Complex, sporting a 24,000 square foot indoor arena and a 185-stall barn. The school offers scholarships for their Varsity Women’s Equestrian Team and Varsity Rodeo Team. Riders on these teams compete at a high level, and can boast regional and national championships in their divisions. UTM Animal Science:
UTM Equestrian Team:
UTM Rodeo:
The University of the South, Sewanee, TN. Sewanee is a small, private liberal arts college in the Cumberland Mountains with a beautiful campus of old growth trees and stone buildings. The Equestrian Program offers riding lessons for Physical Education credit. Sewanee has a strong varsity equestrian team which competes in hunter and western ISHA shows. The Howell Riding Facility is a 32-stall barn with an indoor riding arena, with an additional boarder barn and two outdoor arenas.
Virginia Intermont College, Bristol, VA. Virginia Intermont is a liberal arts college with a state-of-the-art riding center. Focusing on English riding disciplines, the school has teams competing in IHSA and International Dressage Association (IDA).  The academic curriculum includes Equine Studies.

Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY.  Western Kentucky offers programs in Animal Science with an equine emphasis, and a Pre-Vet major. Courses include horse training, equine production, and equitation. The school has IHSA teams which compete in reining and horsemanship. WKU Equestrian Team: WKU Equestrian Department:

William Woods University, Fulton, MO. William Woods is a liberal arts college offering degrees in Equine Science, Equine Administration and Equine General Studies. An extensive on-campus equine facility includes 150 stalls, 2 indoor arenas, a 40 acre cross country course, and a USDF regulation dressage arena. Equestrian teams compete in hunt seat, saddle seat, western, and dressage, and there is also a horse judging team.

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