Degree Options

Equitation and Training

This degree is tailored to the student interested in training both horses and riders of all levels. Students study horse training skills from the finished show horse to the very green, unbroken horse. Students learn how to educate riders in proper equitation methods, as well as show ring strategies. Horse care, evaluation, and training are the focus of this major. Students seeking employment as horse trainers and riding instructors are most inclined to major in equitation and training. Past internship opportunities for this major have included: Todd Crawford Performance Horses, High Point Performance Horses, Roberts Performance Horses, Sandra Vaughn Performance Horses, Steve and Carol Metcalf Performance Horses, and Dolorosa Arabians.

Riding Instruction

Students majoring in riding instruction focus primarily on their ability to deliver training information for both horse and rider. In this major, students study horse training methods, horse and rider evaluation, as well as equitation principles. Students who see themselves as future educators rather than horse trainers fit will into the riding instruction option. From coaching the recreational rider to critiquing the seasoned show competitor, students gain knowledge from a variety of situations they encounter in this major. Understanding training and equitation fundamentals combined with a variety of hands-on experiences prepare the riding instruction major for a career in education the equestrian. Students majoring in riding instruction often find employment giving lessons full-time at an equestrian center or working for an educational institution where riding instruction is offered. Past internship opportunities have included the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch and as a Yellowstone Park horse wrangler.

Therapeutic Riding Instruction

The therapeutic riding instruction major seeks a career in the instruction and therapy of riders with developmental or emotional disabilities. This specialized service industry is fast growing and is seeking competent horsemen and women who understand the principles of riding instruction with a solid base of horsemanship abilities. Students study horse evaluation, horse care, student education and development, legal and ethical issues, and safety procedures. The therapeutic riding instruction major usually seeks employment within a business that offers this specialized instruction. Past internship opportunities have included Victory Junction and the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch.

Equine Business

The equine business major is primarily focused on the management facet of the equine industry. Managing boarding and training facilities or equine event management are the usual interests for this major. Students study horse care and management, marketing, basic accounting, legal issues, and human resource skills. This major is most suited for the individual who is seeking business and management opportunities within the equine industry outside of training and coaching. Past internship hosts have included Mark Harrell Horse Shows, Excel Horse Show Management Company, and JR Reichert Ventures.