PDA

View Full Version : Colleges with equine programs?



pwderblu17
May. 27, 2011, 05:24 PM
I am starting to look at colleges with strong equine programs and majors. On all the websites I've been to equine is not an option for my searches :(. Any colleges with reputable programs or personal experience?? Also colleges with equine program as well as an equestrian team??

llsc
May. 27, 2011, 05:31 PM
Cetenary has a very good program and there are lots of barns in the area, so that you can get part time work.

SaturdayNightLive
May. 27, 2011, 05:32 PM
Don't waste your time on an equine degree. You're much better off becoming a working student if you really want to be in the industry. Even better - get a business or psych degree, then become a working student.

Equine degrees, generally, aren't worth much in the industry.

*jumper*
May. 27, 2011, 05:40 PM
Agreed. If you really want to do some horsey stuff, major in something practical (business, whatever) and do an equine minor. I'm majoring in PR with an Equine Science minor at my school, which gives me 5-6 classes in physiology, repro, nutrition, management, judging, etc...just the right amount!

MightyBobbyMagee
May. 27, 2011, 05:41 PM
I third the no equine degree. I tried going that route and wasted a full year of tuition before switching to English. Where are you located?

findeight
May. 27, 2011, 05:47 PM
Findlay in Ohio offers one along with a recommended minor in business or marketing so you actually learn how to do something besides teach 6 year olds to post. Because that IS where you start, college or not. It can get you in the door but you are still on that bottom rung of the ladder.

But, especially if you need to take out loans to go??? Don't take out 40k in loans to land an 18k entry level position with few benefits.

Alot of these schools also do not have a particularly good record for actually placing graduates in jobs so choose carefully if you go that route.

TarheelJD
May. 27, 2011, 05:50 PM
Agreed. If you really want to do some horsey stuff, major in something practical (business, whatever) and do an equine minor. I'm majoring in PR with an Equine Science minor at my school, which gives me 5-6 classes in physiology, repro, nutrition, management, judging, etc...just the right amount!

This sounds like a very smart plan to me.

Pirateer
May. 27, 2011, 06:48 PM
Um.

No.

Basically, nearly all Bachelor degrees are useless without experience and contacts in the industry you want to work in.

Don't let the general populace tell you that an equine degree is worthless- its not. Its not particularly use-FUL, either.

The bad rap that ES degrees get is when hotheaded know it all types get into it with professionals. Guess what? Know it all types fail in all industries.

Ive been around...MANY...just graduated types. They all start in low-wage, entry level positions.

If you want an Equine degree, get one. Take advantage of ANY opportunities you get. Keep your mouth shut, get excellent grades, learn everything you can and be open to throwing it all out the window if your boss has a conflicting viewpoint.

Having an equine degree has not been a detriment to me. I've been gainfully employed since I graduated, although outside of the equine industry, and am on my way to graduate school.

If you would like to PT me for my specific experience at a major equine school, I'd be more than happy to share with you.

kichiri_kachiri
May. 28, 2011, 02:12 AM
Virginia Tech (http://www.arec.vaes.vt.edu/middleburg/index.html) ...was originally planning to go there for Pre-Vet or even just Equine Science, but then decided to do engineering instead (sometimes I wish I hadn't!)

Skip's Rider
May. 28, 2011, 07:32 AM
It's hard to recommend a college or university if we don't know what you want to do. Becoming a trainer requires a different skill set than if you wish to become a veterinarian or nutritionist, for example.

findeight
May. 28, 2011, 08:45 AM
... Becoming a trainer requires a different skill set than if you wish to become a veterinarian or nutritionist, for example.

Therein lies the rub-no school can teach you to ride or train well enough out of books, lectures and sessions on donated horses to land a decent job. That ability you have to bring with you or develop on the side. Hundreds of 20 somethings can ride and ride well with the contacts to get the rides. Lots of competition for those rides, college degreed or not.

You can, however, become a nutritionist or similar out of college programs.

Stoneheart Equestrian
May. 28, 2011, 10:01 AM
Depending on your riding ability you might want to consider a Varsity Equestrian team. There are 23 schools right now that have either a Division 1 or Division 2 equestrian team. Some of the smaller/younger teams do not require you to be a McLay finalist to be recruited.

My daughter just finished her freshman year at a great school with a Division 1 team. She got to compete against other teams in Tennessee, Delaware, Georgia and then represented her school at the Pin Oak Invitational in Texas. It has been a great experience so far.

She has chosen to study Journalism with an equine studies minor but at her school she will actually end up with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with a Journalism focus and lots of equine courses so it is a great combination. She plans on becoming a trainer/pro rider after school but it was my suggestion that she have a back up education to enhance her business skills and to have something to fall back on.

I just think there are many programs out there for the horse crazy young woman. Don't limit yourself to an equine studies program - look at all the different ways you can keep horses in your life and future career. I do agree that the working student route is also a great way to go. My daughter has done that route already and now works at top barns in the summer while she is home. Just another way to build skills, network and gain additional experience from very talented professionals.

Good luck in whatever you choose to do! :-)

Rel6
May. 28, 2011, 10:51 AM
Depending on your riding ability you might want to consider a Varsity Equestrian team. There are 23 schools right now that have either a Division 1 or Division 2 equestrian team. Some of the smaller/younger teams do not require you to be a McLay finalist to be recruited.

I don't know of a single school that requires you to be a *Maclay* finalist. In fact, someone who rides at a Maclay level but never had the money or horse to d the 3'6'' will be worth A LOT more to a team. They will be eligible for a lower division at shows, and accumulate more points for their team than a bigeq rider riding against other bigeq riders.

But alas, I am not talking about recruiting. Also, you don't need it to be Division 1 or Division 2. I ride on a division three equestrian team. We do ihsa and we are a varsity sport. We compete against St Lawrence and Cazenovia, and the winner of our zone usually finishes in the top three at nationals, yet we get our fare share of blues at shows.

If you are hell bent on an equine school, Cazenovia is another to look into. Let me give you a head up though...I have yet to hear about a positive experience from someone who has gone to a school for an equine degree.

I think you are better off finding a school where you can and would want to ride (whether its a school's team, or a barn near the school) and expressing to your coach/trainer your interest in interning whenever you can.

My barn just hired a college graduate to train horses and work as an instructor. She's also being recruited by a horse grain company to sell for them. Her major? Business.

SaturdayNightLive
May. 28, 2011, 10:57 AM
I don't know of a single school that requires you to be a *Maclay* finalist. In fact, someone who rides at a Maclay level but never had the money or horse to d the 3'6'' will be worth A LOT more to a team. They will be eligible for a lower division at shows, and accumulate more points for their team than a bigeq rider riding against other bigeq riders.



You're thinking of Varsity IHSA. I believe the other poster was referring to NCAA Equestrian. In NCAA, there are no levels. The jumps are 3'6" and competition for scholarships is fierce. More and more, you need a record at the national level to get money. Unless, as the other poster pointed out, you go to one of the smaller schools. Even then, though, you should have at least some 3'6" experience.

RyuEquestrian
May. 28, 2011, 11:35 AM
Don't waste your time on an equine degree. You're much better off becoming a working student if you really want to be in the industry. Even better - get a business or psych degree, then become a working student.

Equine degrees, generally, aren't worth much in the industry.

This.

I chose to go to Mount Holyoke College in MA because I knew I didn't want to go to an "Equine" school, however it was very important that the school I attend have an Riding team or access to top trainers in the area. I put a great emphasis on academics as I was planning to be a Biology major on a pre-vet track.

I ended up attending Mount Holyoke College in the fall of 2005. I graduated as a Biology major (Rusian Eurasian studies Minor), competed on the team all four years I was there as well as had 3 of my own horses with me at various times during my college education. It was a perfect fit for me.

DNB
May. 28, 2011, 02:17 PM
Savannah College of Art and Design

EquestrianRunner
May. 29, 2011, 08:20 AM
I always wanted to get equine science degree but due to other stuff in my life, I have chosen not to. I took a gap year, got a job at a barn, worked, rode, etc. and decided that a "traditional" go away to college for four years wasn't for me.

But instead I am starting at a local Community College (saving money, and with that saved money I can ride!!!) and on my way to a vet tech degree (havent decided if I want to do small or large animal, but I am leaning twards large animal). I chose vet tech, because well, I dont want to be a vet (too much school), but I still find medicine very intresting. Hence how I came up with the vet tech idea. I have gone on the road with our large animal vet twice, and am going to go on the road with some other large animal vets as well, along with visiting an equine hospital.

Just something to think about. Feel free to PM me if you want to talk more about it...I don't know how much help I can be, but sometimes its nice to talk to someone who is in a simmilar situation as you.



NOTE: if you do decide on vet tech, make sure it is an acredited program. I know for me, there is only one in my state.

Pennywell Bay
May. 29, 2011, 08:53 AM
Soooo- just to add my 2 cents. I admire your desire to get a degree. Awesome. At Devon this week, a BNT was just talking about young people coming out of schools with ES degrees.

The comment was made they would take someone with drive and desire and some references over a degree. BNTs really are not looking for degrees. Hit it spot on with the "you'll pay 40 grand to get a 18 grand job".

Now- this BNT helped the college kids who helped them get jobs with Anne K, Ralph C among others. But not b/c of the degree. Because these ES majors had DRIVE. They had PASSION. They kept their mouths shut and absorbed all they could. Being in the program helped hook them up with the original BNT, but did not get them the jobs. Their talent did, and being smart and making contacts.

Now- I minored in ES, got my BS in Small Animal thinking of vet school. Got hired by a major pharm company who paid for all my advanced degrees. Now I can afford to have a barn, horses, show at Devon, and pay the ES majors to help me out.

Getting a degree is a wonderful accomplishment and kudos to all the ES majors who have accomplished it. I am just saying it is not necessary to get a job in the industry.

mrsbradbury
May. 29, 2011, 09:53 AM
If you want to attend an ES program, I am not going to be a naysayer. I graduated from the University of Findlay and got a lot out of the experience. My assistant curently attends UF, and is getting alot out of the program as well. I thought my curriculum was better, but all schools go through change.

To some point a bachelors is a bachelors regardless of your study point, a degree opens doors for all types of jobs, employers like to know you can follow trough and education is priceless.

I don't feel it is a university's responsibility to place you in a position post-graduation.

I have worked as a equine pro since I graduated 11 years ago; I took two short breaks between positions and also worked as an animal welfare supervisor for a humane society, ad worked as a non-certified tech in a small animal hospital, both employers were impressed with my ES degree.

I never had a problem getting a job, and now that I own my own little thriving business with professional and educated clientele; I will share that prospective clients are impressed with the degree, especially the ones that own their horses.

Some schools that offer degrees include the University of Findlay, Midway College, Lake Erie College, Casenova, Johnson & Wales, Virginia Intermont, Fresno State, Williams and Mary (?), Ohio State, Kentucky State (?); each school has a variation and offers a different curriculum. Findlay students have a leson format 5 days per week, Midway students ride 3+ days per week in a lesson format as well.

RougeEmpire
May. 29, 2011, 01:14 PM
An Equine Studies degree isn't worth the paper it's printed on. You are much better off investing that 25k-35k a year in a few good horses, housing and taking an apprentiship position with a highly successful trainer. THAT will do wonders for a resume'. I know Barn Owners and Trainers that actually see an Equine Studies degree as a negative. It's because especially here in New England there is a GLUT of UNQUALIFIED kids out there with "Equine Studies degrees" from such and such college but have virtually no REAL world Equine Industry experience, aka can not drive a truck and trailer, can't load a horse, have never dug a ditch, have never stitched up a horse have never turned off a water line after a pipe freezes and breaks.

JWB
May. 29, 2011, 03:36 PM
Not sure what you are hoping to *achieve* out of college.

If you are sure you want to get the bachelor's degree then don't major in equine studies. Major in English, psychology, education and spend as much free time as possible in the saddle on the side. My coach got a BS in English, which she never used, but she has it.

Another option is a vocation school like Meredith Manor (http://www.meredithmanor.com/) that is ENTIRELY focused on producing equine professionals and offers job placement services, etc. I know a few instructors who went there and loved it. None are particularly wealthy but they've all got amazing knowledge.

What are your goals? What do you want to get from college? What do you want to do for a career? How do you envision your college experience helping you achieve your career goals?

imac34
May. 29, 2011, 04:37 PM
i go to Savannah college of art and design now and am majoring in equestrian studies. i really reccommend scad because we get a lot of real world experience and our professors have had successful businesses in the industry

if u have any questions, pm me!

horsegal301
May. 29, 2011, 05:42 PM
An Equine Studies degree isn't worth the paper it's printed on. You are much better off investing that 25k-35k a year in a few good horses, housing and taking an apprentiship position with a highly successful trainer. THAT will do wonders for a resume'. I know Barn Owners and Trainers that actually see an Equine Studies degree as a negative. It's because especially here in New England there is a GLUT of UNQUALIFIED kids out there with "Equine Studies degrees" from such and such college but have virtually no REAL world Equine Industry experience, aka can not drive a truck and trailer, can't load a horse, have never dug a ditch, have never stitched up a horse have never turned off a water line after a pipe freezes and breaks.

I find this interesting. As a person who went to a small private college for graphic design, it was still hard to find a job without knowing someone. The equine industry is different, but not all THAT different. If you find the right school with the right professors that help you and work with you to find experience, you will be fine.

But then again, it depends on what you want to do.

I was a design major, but took riding classes and was on the riding team.

Cazenovia College has a wonderful Equine BUSINESS management degree. You learn everything from how to clip a horse to classes for tractor driving and nutrition. You also hit all the business classes that round you out as well as all the liberal arts classes (English/Mathemetics/Ethics, blah blah). You get experience, start from the ground up from a basic equine care techniques class and have certain hours on different weeks where you work on cleaning the barn and have a project horse that you help get ready for shows. It's all about how you shape your experience really. Unless you don't go out and look for it, nothing is going to happen.

You get help with internships as long as you proactively also look yourself. I know people who have found internships for WEF and other dressage/HJ places around the east coast. It's all about how YOU approach the situation.

Saying you "might as well throw 25-35k on nice horses" is ridiculous. If you ever wanted to do something OTHER than horses, you're screwed. If you want to take the smart path, look into a school who has an equine business that has a major concentration in regular business, or take a regular business degree with a minor in equine -- Caz would be great for that if you're looking for real hands on experience and a good professor to student ratio. We have a western/hunt seat/dressage team and also have driving classes.

Don't get an equine studies, look for equine BUSINESS, and go from there, unless you are looking for something different, then double major.

horsegal301
May. 29, 2011, 05:46 PM
I also wanted to add that Cazenovia has been constantly at the top of our zone/region in the past couple years as far as IHSA teams. They really value their horses and if you want any more info, feel free to PM me or email me at eadalessandro @ gmail.com (without the spaces). I wasn't an equine major, but was on the team for 2 years and loved it, but had to stop because my own degree was too demanding to have a sport on the side as well as being a head resident advisor.

As a recent graduate as of May '10, I can say that NO ONE in ANY industry really wants to hire a kid with a degree. We have so many pre-conceived negative attitudes about us - we're not hard working, we think we're entitled t something, but all it takes is some hard work.. offer up doing a free internship. Directly inquire to the person in charge and prove yourself.. start small if you have to, but get the experience and go from there.

Ashtastically
May. 29, 2011, 07:36 PM
Savannah College of Art and Design

Yes. I did a ton of research before choosing a college and it came down to SCAD and Birmingham-Southern College. SCAD has excellent programs, both academically and athletically.
I actually choose BSC because I decided I don't want my career to be in horses. For me, I decided I would like to have a nine to five job I enjoy and then show my horses for myself rather than deal with clients. Growing up having an eventing trainer for a mother and seeing her deal with clients might have had something to do with it.
But I digress. Definitely scope around and see what schools are actually financially available to you and feel like the right fit, but don't place all your eggs in getting a degree. As others have said, its not just about your degree, but its who you meet and what you do whilst earning that degree.
Good Luck!

equinemom93
May. 30, 2011, 06:24 AM
Check out this website for colleges with equine degrees: http://equestriancollegerecruiter.com/ you can also post your profile on there and colleges are looking at it. My daughter was contacted by several!! Good luck and follow your heart. A degree, regardless of which one, will be a good thing to have. I told my daughter I'd rather she study what she is passionate about in college than trying to follow another route because of the practicality and then possibly dropping out due to lack of interest. Best wishes on your future and kudos to you for choosing college!

IronwoodFarm
May. 30, 2011, 06:54 AM
A college education is probably the second biggest purchase a person will make. Only buying a home costs more. So choose wisely, particularly if you are going to using loans to pay for your education.

I'm not a fan of equine studies degree. When I hire for my farm, it's strictly based on experience or references. I could care less what your major was or if you even have a degree. When I hire for my "rel job," I want someone with a liberal arts or marketing/communication degree because they can write and think analytically. I can train them in what I need to have done. As I tell others, I went to college so I can have a good job that allows me to do manual labor on my farm during my off hours.

morganpony86
May. 30, 2011, 12:26 PM
Agreed. If you really want to do some horsey stuff, major in something practical (business, whatever) and do an equine minor. I'm majoring in PR with an Equine Science minor at my school, which gives me 5-6 classes in physiology, repro, nutrition, management, judging, etc...just the right amount!

This is what a lot of what I think the "smart" college horse kids do. That way if the trainer thing doesn't work out, you have something else to fall back on. Remember, the average American makes like 2-3 major career changes in their life. Chances are you won't be a trainer forever.



The bad rap that ES degrees get is when hotheaded know it all types get into it with professionals.


I know Barn Owners and Trainers that actually see an Equine Studies degree as a negative. It's because especially here in New England there is a GLUT of UNQUALIFIED kids out there with "Equine Studies degrees" from such and such college but have virtually no REAL world Equine Industry experience, aka can not drive a truck and trailer, can't load a horse, have never dug a ditch, have never stitched up a horse have never turned off a water line after a pipe freezes and breaks.

This is so true. I attended one such school, and at least 50% of those that graduated from the ES program had never touched a horse before college but wanted to be trainers when they grew up.

I can't think of one ES student who wasn't a trainer BEFORE starting school that is training today. They all realized that they can't learn this stuff by books and took other jobs (e.g. in association offices, ranches, camps, etc).




You can, however, become a nutritionist or similar out of college programs.

My plan was to find a large state university (e.g. Colorado State, Texas A&M, UC Davis, really anywhere with a vet school) that has a good equine/animal science program, so that I could take a broad range of classes instead of intense horse related courses. You'll also be required to learn a lot of basic science to take the more advanced repro/nutrition courses.


You are much better off investing that 25k-35k a year in a few good horses, housing and taking an apprentiship position with a highly successful trainer. THAT will do wonders for a resume'.

This is a fabulous idea if you're really dead set on becoming a trainer. I never thought of it that way. Especially because most of the horse schools are private, or you'll have to pay out-of-state at a state school (like I did) which is on par with the above plan.

xxreddxheaddxx
May. 30, 2011, 04:11 PM
if you know you want to have a career w/ horses, go to sweet briar.

Rel6
May. 30, 2011, 06:33 PM
if you know you want to have a career w/ horses, go to sweet briar.

It will definitely give you a heads up on the all female, catty, bitchy atmosphere you will encounter at some point in the equestrian field! :lol::lol::lol:

chunky munky
May. 30, 2011, 07:34 PM
It will definitely give you a heads up on the all female, catty, bitchy atmosphere you will encounter at some point in the equestrian field! :lol::lol::lol:

The horse show world is that way. As is every world you will be involved with. Learn that now. The bitchy world you may live in at College is not even close to the bitchy, male dominated and dishonest world you will live in as an adult.

Rel6
May. 30, 2011, 08:36 PM
The horse show world is that way. As is every world you will be involved with. Learn that now. The bitchy world you may live in at College is not even close to the bitchy, male dominated and dishonest world you will live in as an adult.

Isn't that what I just said? :lol:

Opus1
May. 30, 2011, 10:13 PM
The horse show world is that way. As is every world you will be involved with. Learn that now. The bitchy world you may live in at College is not even close to the bitchy, male dominated and dishonest world you will live in as an adult.

I'd never thought of it that way before ... But damn if you're not right. Going to an all-women's college *and* being on the equestrian team is like boot camp for bi----s.

I'm thankful for that. If not for that experience, I'm pretty sure my current office would have chewed me up and spit me out years ago. Ears perked, claws out.