How to Get an Equine Science Degree
If you find it to be particularly intriguing, then perhaps you should pursue a degree in equine science. You should start searching for and applying to colleges and universities before you graduate from high school, that way you’re sure to meet any application and confirmation deadlines. Choosing the right higher educational facility is important for success in your desired career path, so make sure you weigh your options before accepting a position at just any college. You should find one that best suits your academic needs.
Texas A&M University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences allows undergraduate students to earn a bachelors degree in animal science with a focus on equine science. Graduate students can earn either a masters degree or a doctoral degree in equine science. At this school, the research opportunities for graduate students in equine science focuses mostly on nutrition and physiology. The equine science program at Texas A&M also offers exciting summer opportunities for students to travel around the state and teach horsemanship to younger people, get involved in horse judging, and even participate in groups like Rodeo Club and Horseman’s Association. With so many ways to get involved in learning and lending a helping hand, Texas A&M University is an excellent school to consider.
The University of New Hampshire also offers a good program in equine studies. While earning a Bachelor of Science in Equine Studies, students can choose to specialize in one of three areas including Equine Industry and Management, Equine Science, and Therapeutic Riding. Classes in this school’s equine studies program cover topics like equine sports medicine, stable management, therapeutic riding, reproductive management, and more so students can qualify for a wide variety of jobs upon graduating from college. The school also boasts horse trials that have been recognized by the USEA/USEF and dressage shows that have been recognized by the USDF/USEF and a program strictly dedicated to therapeutic riding. You are sure to get a great education in equine studies from such a prestigious school as the University of New Hampshire.
The College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment at the University of Kentucky offers a Bachelor of Science in Equine Science and Management. While earning this degree, students can choose to focus their studies more closely on equine science or equine management in order to better prepare themselves for whatever career they choose to pursue. Here, equine science focuses more on animal biology and biochemistry of horses on farms; whereas, equine management prepares students for entrance into the horse industry, touching on business and agricultural marketing as well as hospitality. From there, students may enter a graduate program to focus on veterinary science, agricultural economics, and more.
Careers in Equine Science
Before graduating from college, you should consider the various career options you’ll have upon earning your degree. Once you earn your degree in equine science, you are ready to step out into the working world. So, what can you do with an equine science degree? Take a look at just some of the positions you may qualify for when you finally have your degree in equine science.
Entry Level Careers in Equine Science
With a bachelors degree in equine science, you may qualify for multiple positions briefly described below. This is just a sample of jobs you can get with a bachelors degree in equine science. There are many other options available that are not listed here.
With very little experience but knowledge in animal science and behavior, you could qualify for a job as a horse groom. Horse grooms are responsible for maintaining the health of horses by providing them with food and water, exercise, and by grooming them on a daily basis. Not only do they care for the horses, but horse grooms also care for equipment and stables. They change stable bedding and clean saddles and other equipment used by riders. Horse grooms are highly organized and dedicated to keeping these animals safe and healthy. If you have a passion for horses, then this could be a great entry level career for you to pursue on your way into the equestrian world.
Horse grooms can earn around $18,000 annually.
Horse Riding Coach
In order to become a horse riding coach, you should have a few years of riding and teaching experience under your belt. A degree in equine science with a focus on therapeutic riding may suffice, depending on the employer’s requirements. Riding coaches teach students proper riding techniques and tricks to prepare them for competitions. They can work with individuals or groups, independently or for a specific company. Riding coaches are generally knowledgeable in the field of animal behavior and possess excellent communication skills in order to best instruct their students of all ages.
Horse riding coaches can earn more than $26,000 annually, depending on experience and whether they work independently.
Stable managers are responsible for the business side of horse care. They often organize employee schedules, payroll, paying bills, and order necessary equipment and supplies when supply stocks get low. They also play the role of a supervisor over the employees as well as contacting the horses’ owners when needed. Stable managers possess basic mathematical skills as well as excellent communication skills to keep the business running smoothly. Although it is not usually necessary for a stable manager to possess a degree of any level, a bachelor degree in equine science or equine management will raise your chances of landing the job above many other applicants. Experience working with animals, particularly horses, is also beneficial to note when you are looking to get a job as a stable manager.
Stable managers can earn around $30,000 or more a year, depending on the stable size.
Advanced Careers in Equine Science
Once you gain experience and/or a masters degree or doctoral degree in equine science, you’re bound to qualify for one or more of the positions described in this section. Just like the section above, you are not limited to these positions. Many more types of jobs are available for you to consider.
Horse geneticists spend most of their time performing research rather than working with horses in person. They study hereditary trends and specific genetic traits of horses, preparing written reports on their findings. Horse geneticists possess acute research abilities and advanced written communication skills. Most horse geneticists have earned a bachelors degree in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, equine science, or related field and a masters degree and/or doctoral degree in genetics.
Horse geneticists can earn over $45,000 annually.
Horse VeterinarianIf you are interested in medically treating horses to help them get back on their feet and into the ring, then consider a job as a horse veterinarian. Also known as an equine veterinarian, the horse veterinarian often goes from farm to farm to treat horses. They may be called upon for medical checkups to issue regular vaccines or if a horse is suffering a medical problem. They also provide information when asked on caring for and breeding horses. They are patient with animals and typically have a doctoral degree in veterinary medicine after earning a degree in equine science with focuses in biology and chemistry.
Horse veterinarians can earn around $80,000 annually.
Horse Feed Development Specialist
Horse feed development specialists spend most of their time researching and creating feed with proper amounts of nutrients for horses; therefore, they tend to stay in laboratories with very little contact with the horses themselves. Horse feed development specialists typically have an advanced degree in veterinary science with a bachelors degree in equine science or animal science. They are highly skilled researchers with excessive knowledge in animal nutrition and science.
Horse feed development specialists can earn over $100,000 annually.
Companies that Hire People with Equine Science Degrees
With a degree in equine science, you can work for stable companies, horse owners, or even work horse shows. Some examples of places you may qualify to work are listed below.
Land O ‘Lakes, Inc. – located in Arden Hills, MN; hires positions for equine marketing managers, lab technicians, agriculture technology specialists, dairy livestock production specialists, etc.
Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital – located in Snohomish, WA; hires positions for large animal veterinary technicians, managers, equine surgeons, etc.
Biltmore – located in Asheville, NC; America’s largest home; hires positions for equine program interns, horse grooms, carts attendants, etc.
Marin YMCA – located in San Rafael, CA; hires positions for horse handlers, riding teachers, etc.
Caring for horses is not a job; it is a lifestyle. If you are passionate about helping animals or, more specifically, working with horses, then consider an education in equine science. With a degree in equine science, you are sure to find an opportunity to do what you love and get paid for it.