The two-year Horse Management program is a four semester curriculum that emphasizes both hands-on learning and the understanding of pertinent theory. Students come with a wide variety of goals, from wanting to become trainers and riding instructors to wanting to be show grooms and exercise riders; from students wanting to own their own boarding facilities to ones that want to be employed at breeding farms. The program emphasizes mandatory internships and tailors elective classes to each student's goals. This program has a limited annual enrollment.
Students have the opportunity to specialize in horses through course work, directed studies and undergraduate research projects. A semester exchange with the Enniskillen College of Agriculture Horse Program in Northern Ireland provides additional opportunities for those students with an interest in the international horse industry.
Opportunities exist for graduate education in the area of equine science, though openings are limited. Besides taking graduate level courses, graduate students will conduct their own research and are encouraged to become involved with teaching and extension activities.
The Horsemen's Association is the primary undergraduate student organization with a horse emphasis. This organization conducts a number of fund raising activities to help with the support of the Equestrian Teams (Stock Seat & Hunt Seat), the Polo Club, the Dressage Club, and the Horse Judging Team. The Horsemen's Association also provides a number of activities in association with the horse industry and social activities and annually recognizes exceptional students for their contributions. The MSU Driving Club works with both draft and standard breeds, with a focus on educating individuals on the importance and history of equine driving. The MSU Rodeo Club annually hosts the Spartan Stampede Rodeo and sends a competing rodeo team to NIRA rodeos in the Ozark Region.
The primary focus of the horse research program is the growth and development of the equine athlete. The majority of research projects deal with methods to improve longevity and performance of horses through better nutrition, management and training. Particular emphasis is placed on development of the skeletal system.
The Equine Adult Extension Program provides scientific-based information on production management and health, as well as equine-related legislative issues to the Michigan Horse Industry through county and state-wide programs and publications. Equine Adult Extension Programs are conducted by campus faculty and county staff throughout the state emphasizing sustainable management practices that promotes horse welfare.
The Equine Youth Extension Program coordinates state-level 4-H and youth horse activities. These include the State 4-H Horse Show, State 4-H Horse Jamboree, State 4-H Trail Ride, 4-H Standardbred Project, Teen and Adult 4-H Horse Leader workshops, the Michigan 4-H Horse Judges List, 4-H Horse Benefit clinics and much more! These programs bring potential students to campus and share research-based horse management and youth development principles with tomorrow's horse industry.
The MSU Horse Teaching and Research Center maintains a breeding herd of registered Arabian Horses for the teaching, research and outreach functions of the university. All horses are trained, exhibited and prepared for sale by students. Student employees are responsible for the day-to-day care and management of the breeding herd and facility.
Members of the Michigan horse industry have established the "Friends of the Horse Teaching and Research Center" to provide support for student opportunities relating to horses. Continuing to provide quality hands-on horse activities is made possible through this organization. This is done through annual membership dues as well as horse events that are sponsored by "Friends". Membership in "Friends" provides a number of unique opportunities for its participants. These include receiving the Friends News Letter, attending The Friends Annual Picnic, becoming a Student Sponsor or part of the Adopt-A-Foal program or all of the above depending on your level of giving.