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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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If horses play a big role in your college search or you're interested in pursuing a career in the equine industry, check out these top equestrian colleges. These institutions are recognized for their outstanding equine education programs, offering degrees in equine science, equine management and other specializations designed to prepare students for a career working with horses. Most of these colleges feature state-of-the-art equine facilities, and many also have competitive intercollegiate equestrian teams in various disciplines including hunter seat, Western, saddle seat and dressage.

Alfred University

Alfred University Steinheim
Photo Credit: Allen Grove

Alfred University's equestrian studies program offers a minor that can be combined with any number of majors at the university. Equine theory classes in subjects such as equine science and course design as well as English and Western riding and draft horse driving are all taught out of the university's Bromeley-Daggett Equestrian Center, a 400-acre facility just a few minutes from campus. AU also fully supports its varsity hunt seat and Western equestrian teams, which compete in Zone 2, Region 1 of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA).

Berry College

Berry College
Matthew Weitzel / Flickr

The animal science program at Berry College allows students to pursue their studies with an equine emphasis that includes various courses in equine science and management as well as opportunities for experiential learning at the college's 185-acre Gunby Equine Center. The Berry College hunt seat and Western equestrian teams compete successfully in IHSA Zone 5, Region 2, regularly advancing to the national finals.

Centenary College

Centenary College of New Jersey
Obmckenzie / Wikipedia

Possibly one of the most well-known equestrian colleges in the nation, Centenary College offers a Bachelor of Science in Equine Studies with concentrations in riding instruction and training, equine business management, communication for the equine industry and equine science. Centenary also supports several equestrian teams, including an Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) dressage team, a hunter/jumper team and hunt seat and Western IHSA teams competing in Zone 3, Region 3. The Centenary College Equestrian Center is a sizable facility featuring three barns, three riding arenas and a hunt field.

Colorado State University

Colorado State University
ecopolitologist / Flickr
Colorado State University has an extensive equine program, including a Bachelor of Science in Equine Science and several related graduate programs in animal sciences. CSU also offers opportunities for competition in several disciplines, with club teams in English riding, polo, ranch horse versatility and rodeo. The program is based out of the university’s B.W. Pickett Equine Center. Located just west of the main campus, the center features an equine reproduction laboratory, two indoor arenas, classrooms and conference rooms, several barns and acres of pasture and trails.

Lake Erie College

Lake Erie College
Dkocan / Wikimedia Commons

Lake Erie College's equine studies department offers a liberal-arts based program with majors in equestrian facility management, equestrian teacher/trainer and equine entrepreneurship with options for concentrations in therapeutic horsemanship and stud farm management. Lake Erie supports several competitive equestrian teams as well, including an IDA dressage team, an Intercollegiate Combined Training Association team and IHSA hunt seat and Western teams competing in Zone 6, Region 1. LEC's 86-acre George H. Humphrey Equestrian Center is located five miles from campus.

Murray State University

Murray State University
BlueGold73 / Wiki
Murray State University offers an Animal Science/Equine program, which allows students to choose an emphasis in food animals, equine management or equine science. Murray State’s equestrian teams include IHSA hunt seat and Western teams competing in Zone 5, Region 1 and dressage and ranch horse teams. The Murray State Equine Center is home to the university’s program and equestrian teams and features extensive riding and educational facilities as well as an in-house breeding program.

Penn State University

Penn State University Old Main
acidcookie / Flickr

Penn State University's College of Agricultural Sciences offers a minor in equine studies within the dairy and animal science program. The minor includes core courses in basic equine science as well as additional electives emphasizing topics such as management, genetics and breeding. The program also maintains a herd of Quarter Horses at the university's equine facility that are used in classes and for breeding. Penn State's IHSA hunt seat equestrian team competes in Zone 3, Region 1 and trains off campus at a privately owned farm.

Savannah College of Art and Design

Savannah College of Art and Design
andresmh / Flickr

Savannah College of Art and Design is the only art school in the country to also offer a degree in equestrian studies. SCAD's equestrian program includes a Bachelor of Arts in equestrian studies as well as a minor, with theory and practical courses in equine science, management and riding. The program operates out of the college's 80-acre Ronald C. Waranch Equestrian Center. SCAD also offers a highly competitive hunt seat equestrian team that competes in IHSA Zone 5, Region 3 and has brought home several IHSA and American National Riding Commission individual and team championships.

Skidmore College

Skidmore College Quad
craigemorsels / Flickr

Skidmore College does not offer an equine studies major or minor, but the college maintains an active equestrian program. Students take classes in several levels of hunt seat riding and dressage as part of the physical education program, and non-credit riding instruction is also available. The college also has a successful IHSA hunt seat equestrian team competing in Zone 2, Region 3 and an IDA dressage team. Skidmore's Van Lennep Riding Center houses the educational and competition programs.

St. Andrews University

St. Andrews University
Sir Mildred Pierce / Flickr

At St. Andrews University, equestrian students can pursue bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees in equine business management, equine science, pre-veterinary, therapeutic horsemanship and therapeutic horsemanship business management. St. Andrews also offers several options for competition, including IHSA hunt seat and Western teams competing in Zone 4, Region 3, an IDA dressage team, and a hunter/jumper show team. The program operates out of the St. Andrews Equestrian Center, a 300-acre complex two miles from campus.

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