Equine StudiesEquine Studies
You know those movie scenes with an elegant horse running free on a deserted beach? Someone carefully trained that horse to run on that beach and appear spontaneous and carefree, yet stay perfectly in line with the tide and throw off just the right amount of spray while taking great care not to create an ugly shadow or bump into the camera crew. Someone else groomed him, fed him, cared for him, and was ready to nurse him back to health should he happen to get sick. And chances are, someone else trained the actor who’s riding him, should there be one. Those are exactly some of the things you could be doing after a major in equine studies. During your studies, you’ll start off learning about horse anatomy and physiology, various breeds, and diseases and illnesses. You’ll learn how to care for horses through proper nutrition, health care, and fitness. You’ll also examine equine lameness and how it’s treated. Then there’s equipment—how to choose it and how to maintain it. And of course, the fun part: how to ride, train, and handle horses skillfully. You might learn about jumping and dressage, how to “cut” a horse, or how to rope calves. Some programs include courses on horse showmanship. You might even get a little experience in rodeo! Your studies will also lead you into the arena of stable and horse management—the real business side of horses—including how to keep accurate records, how to manage a farm or stable, and the accompanying safety concerns. In addition, you’ll develop the ability to give instruction to others and pass on the joy of riding. An equine studies major is as specific as they come—most students enter with at least tentative goals in mind for post-graduation pursuits. Jobs in this field vary from region to region, which is another aspect of this major to consider. The skills you learn will make you a valuable asset to any horse institution, and you’ll be prepared to someday, perhaps, set up a business of your own.
Building a strong foundation in the sciences—especially biology—will give you a good head start in your equine studies major. Math courses will be valuable as well. A good selection of humanities courses—English, history, languages, religion, psychology—will also be useful. Good reading, writing, and oral communication are vital to any future business career, so be sure to take courses that will help you strengthen your skills. If your community offers any opportunities for volunteer work with animals, take advantage!