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The worth of an equine science degree

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  • The worth of an equine science degree

    What is the worth of a college degree in equine science? If you are looking at a trainer's credentials, is that something that impresses you? Do you think potential trainers should choose that as a concentration in college?

    For me, I would rather see that a trainer had real world experience such as good competition results at a high level and previous jobs with top notch trainers and riders.


    thanks
    "If we we couldn't laugh we'd all go insane, if we weren't all crazy we'd all go insane." ~Jimmy Buffet
    "Pursuing the life of my high-riding heroes I burned up my childhood days..."-Willie Nelson

  • #2
    I don't think they are worth much personally. I would also rather see someone who has spent a lifetime with horses learning from the best rather than someone who hangs a degree on the wall. Honestly from my experiences as a kid and with some people I have met since I haven't met any many true horsepeople who felt the need for the equine science degree. A college degree, sure, but in business or the old "fall back on" degree.

    I remember as a teen when people would show up at the farm and announce that they had a degree from such and such and would like a job or to ride. The BO would just bring out one of the trickier horses in for training put them on and watch the fireworks. Then he would call over one of us barnrate (oh how we loved to be the chosen one) and would have us put the horse through its paces. He would then remark that we were learning to be horsemen the old fashioned way, by doing, and that couldn't be found in a book.

    Of course, this is all just my opinion and I'm sure you'll get many differing ones.

    Comment


    • #3
      degree

      Are you asking about a degree for yourself or are you looking for a trainer with a degree? If you want a trainer that excels at their discipline then I would chose one that is successful in their field whether or not they have a degree in equine science. On the other hand, if you are wanting to become a trainer, I would encourage you to pursue the riding and training but go ahead and get a college degree. You never know when you may need to fall back on your education. It doesn't really matter if the degree is in equine science or something else because the discipline and worldliness you develop will be an asset to you no matter what you do for a living. I hope this is helpful to you.
      My mom didn't raise no jellybean salesman!

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by lpcutter View Post
        Are you asking about a degree for yourself or are you looking for a trainer with a degree? If you want a trainer that excels at their discipline then I would chose one that is successful in their field whether or not they have a degree in equine science. On the other hand, if you are wanting to become a trainer, I would encourage you to pursue the riding and training but go ahead and get a college degree. You never know when you may need to fall back on your education. It doesn't really matter if the degree is in equine science or something else because the discipline and worldliness you develop will be an asset to you no matter what you do for a living. I hope this is helpful to you.
        I was asking out of curiosity for both sides of the question. My plan is to ride and have as many working student jobs as possible and go to college and get a fall back on/make money early degree or one that would be applicable at least in part to a horse world endeavor (i.e. hospitality. You learn business management and how to deal with people, both useful in the horse world and also a opportunity to get a real world job.)
        "If we we couldn't laugh we'd all go insane, if we weren't all crazy we'd all go insane." ~Jimmy Buffet
        "Pursuing the life of my high-riding heroes I burned up my childhood days..."-Willie Nelson

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        • #5
          I know several people who have an equine science degree from a very good/competitive/well-known school near me. One teaches Biology at a community college, one works as a secretary at a Vet office, and one is an embryologist (on people, also has degrees above that BS). I do not care what degree a horse trainer does or does not have because working with horses is a bit like working with children - you can read about it all day long, but that doesn't mean you have a clue what you're doing when you get around either one. In fact, in my experience, the people who hang up their Equine Science or other horse-related degrees and focus solely on the possession of that piece of paper are usually not nearly as talented of a rider/teacher than those that might have a business degree or nothing at all.

          If I was wanting to have a career as a professional, but also have a college degree as a backup, I would probably go for a business degree. OP- if you are interested in something equine related I would check out Johnson & Wales Providence Campus. It is in RI and I believe you're on LI, not too far apart. They have a beautiful barn and great horses and a great program. IT is an Equine Riding and Training degree in which you do take many horse classes, including riding/hands-on and book classes, as well as do a semester internship at a horse farm of your choice, but in the end you graduate with a Business Degree. Much better way to go, IMO.
          "to live is the rarest thing in the world, most people merely exist."

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          • #6
            degree

            Beau Cheval,
            It sounds to me like you have a good plan for your future.

            I got my degree to teach science and continued to ride and work at the racetrack when I could. After 11yrs of teaching school, I became a full time racehorse trainer. The money I earned and saved from my teaching allowed me to build a nice little farm where I base my racehorse training business. Without this life experience and the money I invested in my farm I don't think I could be successful in the racehorse business.

            As long as you stay true to yourself and your dreams you can be successful. Best of Luck!!
            My mom didn't raise no jellybean salesman!

            Comment


            • #7
              I have one and it pretty much is useless. When I graduated and started looking for jobs a lot of people in the industry laughed at me and said I would have been better off working for a BNT for 2 years. I feel like I did learn some stuff, but not as much as years of horse ownership and working at a barn taught me. The one positive was that I was able to get my CHA cert when I was there...and they were the best years of my life so far.

              OH- and I went to a private college so I will be paying for my 2 years of fun for the rest of my life :-)
              I WAS a proud member of the *I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday* clique..but now I am 30!!!!!!!!!!!
              My new blog about my Finger Lakes Finest:
              She Ain't No Small Potato!

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              • #8
                i would suggest a minor in equine science and a major in animal science/general agriculture. i am an animal science major and i have plans to graduate in May. My university doesnt allow for a minor in equine science but we have many, many equine science/training/coaching classes. I have taken all the classes needed to major in animal science but i also did all of the equine science classes that they offer. i also did some agri business classes, etc.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Sorry, but I think it is worth very little. If you really want to have your own horse business, get a degree in business and ride and do the WS thing as much as possible. I can't tell you how many trainers I know on a personal level who have no idea why their businesses are struggling (especially in this economy) or even how much money they make on a monthly basis. Be different - be a success.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think it's a total waste of time.Working for top notch horseman and building a great resume is a much wiser route to take.I've met many people who did the college equine route and ,honestly....the lack of knowledge amazed me.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It honestly depends on what college you go to and the specific degree. For example, at a college like Averett University, you can specialize in a dressage or an eventing track while also learning the book stuff. You ride a lot of different horses. I have a good friend that transferred into that college, and has drastically improved since she has been there. She was a good rider to begin with, but they have finessed her and made her a lot softer and lighter rider. They have clinics with people like Jessica Rasenhousen and Darren Chiacchia. My friend does have clients now due to her years at that university. If it's something that you love, then you might as well study it in college perhaps as a double major combined with a fall back on degree. I regret that I didn't go to a college that had an equine program just so that I could have ridden more while in college.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Will you need to work as an adult? If yes, then get a degree that can lead to a job that will pay. If you can afford to get an Equine degree and not do much with it, then have fun! I have one friend who was an Equine minor and business major and has an amazing job in the horse world but she is the only success story I know personally.
                        Can you stress-fracture your brain?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ponies123 View Post
                          I do not care what degree a horse trainer does or does not have because working with horses is a bit like working with children - you can read about it all day long, but that doesn't mean you have a clue what you're doing when you get around either one. In fact, in my experience, the people who hang up their Equine Science or other horse-related degrees and focus solely on the possession of that piece of paper are usually not nearly as talented of a rider/teacher than those that might have a business degree or nothing at all.
                          www.DaventryEquestrian.com
                          Home of Oldenburg, Westphalian & RPSI approved pony stallion Goldhills Brandysnap
                          Also home to Daventry Equine Appraisals & Equine Expert Witness www.EquineAppraisers.com

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                          • #14
                            Unless you have the experience to back it up, it isn't worth anything.

                            I have one in Animal Science with the Equine Science specialty (whatever that means...they didn't offer an Equine Science degree when I went but do now). I learned a lot. I consider myself fairly intelligent. I know a lot more in terms of horse management than a lot of trainers, but I do not have the riding and showing skills anymore to be at a high level. Had I kept up with riding and showing instead of going to grad school, I could probably be a horse trainer. But instead, I completed grad school and work at a University. It pays the bills, I get weekends off, and play with my horse now for fun instead of as a job.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I think the real question is what do you want to do for a career? If you want to ride and train, then a degree is probably not going to help with that. We live near a major university that offers an equine science degree program. Several of the professors are friends of ours. I would say that the degree will give you a level of professionalism on the business side that you will not be privy to while working for a trainer. THere is so much more to horses than riding. The people I know that teach go in depth into the business, marketing, breeding, judging, etc. These kids take ALOT of chemistry, anatomy etc. They can easily get a certificate to teach should they desire. I was one of the disbelievers when the program first began- I thought it was all fluff. Boy was I wrong. The professors take this seriously. Some of these kids have worked for me and they are learning valuable lessons in the boring, but necessary business end. I think if you see yourself in this as a business, then you could use it to your advantage. But make no mistake, it is NOT going to get you a barn full of clients. That you have to earn on your own.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                sorry, college classes can't teach someone how to ride a horse. i feel that there is probably a lot of technical things to learn, and maybe some good vet-type skills and i would hope they teach them how to recognize diseases and stuff, but over all i feel that it is a waste of money, because you can learn the same things by working in a barn (what a grand question--pay or be paid to get the same knowledge? huh!) and probably will learn more in the barn.

                                i couldn't care less what type of degree a trainer has. if they have a degree in astrophysics, well, great for them. that's a very interesting subject, but i care about what they can teach me on a horse and in the barn, not about astrophysics (i mean, i would certainly not mind learning because i find that interesting, but you know. i am not paying for astro, i am paying for training) or what ever they did in college.

                                the only possibility, in mind mind, where this can be helpful is if you already have the necessary funding to start and manage your own stable, OR if you want to be a veterinarian and specialize as an equine vet (so obviously a vet major but equine science would be logical as a minor class)

                                i think people need to consider their interests, but over all, lets face it: even an art degree could be more valuable. at least you can be an art teacher if you dont want to take the starving artist route. but equine science? that doesnt make you into a trainer or anything. i think if you want to be starting a farm, it might not hurt to take the class, but you need to major in agricultural business. a degree in business is always good because you can do pretty much anything with it. well, that's an exaggeration, but you can do a lot with it. you should be able to find a job (to support that horse hobby!)
                                (|--Sarah--|)

                                Blitz <3 & Leap of Faith <3

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  We know a trainer who has an Equine Science degree, but she must have cut class a lot. She went out to apprentice with a BNT for 6 mo. as part of her course work, but it didn't work either.

                                  Mistakenly, we decided to give this young woman a try and let her take two of our horses one year. We were trying to encourage a young person and give them a chance.

                                  She may have had all the book learning and time with a BNT, but she was L-A-Z-Y. She tried to find shortcuts to doing anything while she stayed on her cellphone constantly. At shows, she spent more time on the cell than working on the horses.

                                  On top of that, she did not know how to budget, use money wisely and she never had two nickels to rub together.

                                  Seems like she'd have done better taking courses in Business Management, Time Management and Economics.

                                  When you come right down to it, she'll never, ever make it because she is so lazy.

                                  Man, did we learn a lesson.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    It really depends on the individual person and prorgram! I went to a school with an Equine program, but I also doubled Majored in Business. I learned SO much from both sides, new training techniques and methods I never heard of before, as well as how to run a business. Yes, I agree, you don't need to go to school to be a trainer, no doubt there, but there is still plenty to learn that comes in handy with having your own business, or caring/managing horses properly. I learned how to give shots (IM, IV, SC, deal with catheter) properly, as well as various wrapping techniques and medications from the Preventative Med class. And then learned how to balance budgets and keep ledger books in the Accounting classes. Among other things.

                                    I had no idea what I wanted to study when I went off to college, so I started with Equestrian Studies. I knew I would not be a trainer after college, so I took business management classes because the courses looked interesting and coinciding with an Equine Business Mngt degree (meaning, I had time to fit those classes in around the required 3 hours a day/5 days/week riding classes). If I could do it all over, I would've branched out more so in the Business degree.

                                    My advice when people ask me about Equine programs is it's OK to start there, but plan as if you need a career to support your hobby and have a back up.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      only about

                                      $10/hour. It's really just an extended education experience designed to allow you not to have to grow up and get a real world job. Go to work on the backside of a racetrack for a couple of years, then get the a job with a BNT in the discipline of your choosing. Keep it for a couple of years, then call me. My twin sister and I grew up riding in the same barn. She is a "lovely" rider. I am an "effective" rider. She went to get an "equine science" and her MRS degree, took her a couple of years. I went to work at the track during the nice weather and in a series of law offices during the winter. Fast forward oh, about 20 years. I can get a really really good,job in the horse industry, in nearly any place of my choosing, with two or three phone calls, but keep my horses at home and have a wonderful facility.
                                      Sis works for me.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Forget the equine science degree and get a dual degree in business and psychology if you want to be a pro in the horse business.
                                        ************************
                                        "I can't help but wonder,what would Jimmy Buffett do?"

                                        https://falllinefarmblog.wordpress.com/

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