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Undergraduate Majors

Ohio University's nine undergraduate colleges offer more than 250 programs of study. Students may select from a wide variety of majors, minors and certificates. While most undergraduate programs at the Athens campus are designed to be completed in four years, a limited number of two-year degree programs are available as well.

Equine Studies Major (A.A.S.)

Major code AA5017

Office of Regional Higher Education  
Ohio University Southern
The Ohio Horse Park
400 Bobcat Lane
Franklin Furnace, OH 45629
Phone: 740.533.4600
Fax: 740.295.0031

Kelly Hall, director of equine studies/contact person

Program Overview

The Associate in Applied Science degree in equine studies has been designed to prepare students to seek enjoyment and employment as trained professionals in the horse industry. Our objective for this program is to provide each student the opportunity to develop skills and expertise in the areas of riding instruction, therapeutic riding, farm management and business, preanimal science, and preveterinary technology.

The equine studies degree will provide education and training to prepare students to enter the vast equine industry. The program offers core courses to form a solid foundation in the basics of equine studies. Students may then select from specialized tracks or concentrations to specifically tailor the program to their needs and interests. Courses combine lectures and laboratory work. Lectures are to inform the students of related equine information and skills with labs providing opportunities to apply the knowledge.

The program is located at the Ohio Horse Park, a 180 acre facility. The facility includes two indoor arenas, two outdoor arenas, and boarding for student horses. A student managed veterinary clinic is also part of the Ohio Horse Park. The Ohio Horse Park Center for Therapeutic Riding is a nationally accredited center serving the needs of the local community. Students actively instruct participants, evaluate and train horses, and work administratively to assist in managing the center.

Admissions Information

Freshman/First-Year Admission

No requirements beyond University admission requirements.

Change of Program Policy

No selective or limited admission requirements.

External Transfer Admission

No requirements beyond University admission requirements.

Opportunities Upon Graduation

The position our graduates will be prepared to pursue will vary with the track the student chooses. Potential positions are stable manager, farm manager, riding instructor, equine secretary or records manager, equine sales and marketing agent, horse trainer or assistant trainer, equine journalist, horse show or event manager, horse show judge, national breed association representative, and equine photographer or artist.

A study of the current equine industry reveals the following information provided by the American Horse Council:

  • There are 9.2 million horses in the United States.
  • There are 4.6 million Americans involved in the horse industry (this figure does not include spectators).
  • The horse industry has a $39 billion direct impact on the United States annually.
  • The industry has a $102 billion impact on the United States economy.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the equine studies major, students will be able to:

  • Trace the history and evolution of the horse and its contributions to mankind.
  • Understand and evaluate equine behaviors and reactions while learning how to respond and handle them accordingly.
  • Demonstrate understanding of training techniques through experiential learning.
  • Understand career opportunities for equine professionals.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of equine anatomy, physiology, health and care, including becoming proficient in identifying and assessing issues that require urgent, veterinary care.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and skills required to operate an equine facility through experiential learning labs, including an understanding of business and legal requirements.
  • Identify and evaluate distinguishing and breed characteristics of the top 10 U.S. breeds.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in various riding techniques and the ability to teach riding to others.
  • Understand therapeutic horsemanship techniques and demonstrate knowledge of equine assisted activities.