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Best Equestrian Colleges

20 Schools for Students Who Want Horses to Be Part of Their College Experience

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St. Lawrence University

Saint Lawrence University - Richardson Hall
Photo Credit: Tara Freeman, SLU Photographer

St. Lawrence University does not offer any equine-related degrees; however, the university's IHSA hunt seat equestrian team is among the top programs in the country. Competing in Zone 2, Region 2 of the IHSA, the Saints have won several national titles. The team rides out of SLU's Elsa Gunnison Appleton Riding Hall, an extensive equestrian facility on the edge of campus that has hosted a number of prestigious horse shows. The university's riding program also offers riding instruction for non-competitive students.

Stephens College

Stephens College
Photo Courtesy of Stephens College

The equestrian department at Stephens College offers bachelor of science degrees in equestrian studies, a business-oriented equestrian degree, and equestrian science, which prepares students for veterinary studies. The college also offers minors in equestrian studies and animal science. Students ride and study hunt seat, saddle seat, Western riding, reining and driving and have opportunities to compete at schooling and rated horse shows through the college. The Stephens Equestrian Center is just a few minutes from the college's residence halls.

Sweet Briar College

Sweet Briar College
Photo by Aaron Mahler

The equestrian program at Sweet Briar College consists of several levels of education in hunter/jumper/equitation, training and schooling young horses, and hunter-oriented cross country. Students have the option to pursue an Equine Studies Certificate with a concentration in teaching and schooling or management in addition to their major. Riders can compete on Sweet Briar's IHSA hunt seat team, which shows in Zone 4, Region 2, and the field, hunter or jumper show teams. Sweet Briar's Harriet Howell Rogers Riding Center is located on campus and features one of the largest indoor college arenas in the country.

University of Findlay

University of Findlay
tekkbabe / Flickr

University of Findlay's equestrian studies program offers associate's degrees in both English and Western riding and training as well as bachelor of science programs in equine business management and English or Western equestrian studies. Students have several options for competitive riding, including IHSA hunt seat and Western equestrian teams competing in Zone 6, Region 1 and an IDA dressage team. Findlay's campus includes two equestrian facilities: the 32-acre East Campus James L. Child Jr. Equestrian Complex, home of the English equestrian program, and the 150-acre South Campus, which houses the Western equestrian and pre-veterinary studies programs.

University of Kentucky

University of Kentucky Library
Tombrarian / Flickr

Located right in the heart of horse country, the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture features an extensive equine studies program with a bachelor's degree in equine science and management, an equine internship program and several research opportunities. The program also offers a horse racing club and competitive opportunities in saddle seat, IDA dressage, eventing, polo and IHSA hunt seat and Western teams competing in Zone 6, Region 3. UK's Maine Chance Equine Campus includes a 100-acre equine education complex and an equine health research center.

University of Louisville

University of Louisville Cardinal
K. Coles / Flickr

The University of Louisville's Equine Industry Program within the College of Business offers bachelor of science and certificate degrees in equine business. The university's Riding and Racing Club also encompasses IHSA hunt seat and Western teams competing in Zone 6, Region 3 and an Intercollegiate Saddle Seat Riding Association (ISSRA) team based out of the nearby Zubrod Stables.

University of Montana Western

University of Montana Western
SeattleRay / Flickr

The Equine Studies Department at the University of Montana Western offers the nation's only bachelor of science degree in natural horsemanship. The university also offers a bachelor of science degree in equine management and associate's degrees in equine studies and natural horsemanship. Students wishing to compete can participate in the rodeo club or the university's hunt seat and Western equestrian teams, which show in IHSA Zone 8, Region 3. The equine studies program is based out of the university's Montana Center for Horsemanship, a natural horsemanship-based facility located less than two miles from campus.

University of New Hampshire

University of New Hampshire
bdjsb7 / Flickr

The University of New Hampshire equine program offers three bachelor of science degrees in equine industry management, therapeutic riding and equine science and an associate's degree in equine management. The riding program is primarily focused in dressage and eventing, and students can show on the IDA dressage team or IHSA hunt seat team competing in Zone 1, Region 2. The Lon & Lutza Smith Equine Center is located within a 10-minute walk from the campus center and features a USEA-recognized combined training course and a limited amount of equine student housing.

Virginia Intermont College

Virginia Intermont College
zabethanne / Flickr

Virginia Intermont College equestrian students can choose to pursue either a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science in equine studies as well as a minor in equine-assisted learning. The course selection encompasses a broad range of topics and disciplines. Virginia Intermont also supports several top-rated equestrian teams including an IHSA hunt seat team competing in Zone 5, Region 4, an IDA dressage team, and an International Student Riding Association team. The 120-acre Virginia Intermont College Riding Center houses the equine studies program and teams.

West Texas A&M University

West Texas A&M University
Anonymous Cow / Wikimedia Commons

West Texas A&M University's Agribusiness program offers a bachelor of science option in equine industry and business, a course of study integrating business with equine science and practical applications in the equine industry. Equestrian students can compete in intercollegiate horse judging, rodeo, and IHSA hunt seat and Western teams showing in Zone 7, Region 2. All are based at the West Texas A&M University Horse Center, an 80-acre equestrian facility just north of the university's main campus.

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