Horse Management

For more information about this program or to schedule a campus visit contact:

Karen Waite, PhD.
Program Coordinator
Department of Animal Science
1287 Anthony Hall
474 S. Shaw lane
East Lansing, MI 48824
Office: 517-432-0383
kwaite@msu.edu

Gainful Employment Disclosure

Program Description

This certificate program is designed to allow students the opportunity to specialize in the area of horse management. The typical program model is three semesters of on-campus, academic based learning opportunities. One semester is an off-campus, placement training experience at a horse facility. Once enrolled, students will have the opportunity to tailor their area of interest toward management emphasis, reproduction, riding instruction, or training. 

Academics

Students will take coursework in horse farm management, feeding and nutrition, basic reproduction, horse behavior, horsemanship, exercise physiology, and horse election/judging. Basic coursework in mathematics, communications, and computers is required.  Electives will vary depending on a student’s background and interests, and might be selected from the following: horse training, preparation for instructing horsemanship, independent study in horse reproduction, draft horses, forage crops, or leadership.

To see courses required for this program, visit the Horse Management certificate listing in the MSU course catalog.  

Internships

An important part of this program is completion of an internship. Internships are available throughout the United States, and, occasionally overseas. Students complete a one-semester internship at a horse farm that has been mutually selected by themselves and the Program Coordinator.
 
A few examples of recent internships include:
  • Arabian horse training facility - Wisconsin
  • Barrel horse farm - Virginia
  • Breeding, boarding and riding lesson facilities - several Michigan locations
  • Standardbred racing stable - Michigan
  • Training and boarding farm - Virginia
  • Dressage facility - Florida
  • MSU Horse Teaching and Research Center - Michigan
  • Therapeutic riding facilities - Michigan
  • Quarter horse farms - Colorado & Texas

Facilities

The MSU Horse Teaching & Research Center (HTRC), located south of campus on 100 acres, is used for teaching, research, and extension/outreach. The upper barn complex includes an indoor arena and classroom where a number of the horse classes are taught. The HTRC houses a herd of purebred, Arabian horses of national renown. Several draft horses are kept at the farm to facilitate the draft horse classes offered as electives. All students will engage in a clerkship experience at the HTRC.

Student Clubs and Organizations

There are several clubs and organizations that Horse Management students are encouraged to participate in: Horseman’s Association, Equestrian Team, Polo Team, Driving Club, Dressage Club and Rodeo Club.  Additionally, the Block and Bridle Club is for students with an interest in a variety of livestock species.  Students have the opportunity to participate on the MSU Horse Judging Team, which competes at the Arabian Nationals and either the Quarter Horse Congress or World. Furthermore, should students wish to participate in an extra summer semester, they have the opportunity to take a show training or dressage training class. Both of which offer some opportunity for competition.
 

Career Opportunities

Completion of the Horse Management Program is the first step toward a fulfilling career in the horse industry. Graduates work in a variety of positions in the industry. Jobs range from show groom positions to managing breeding or boarding facilities, from exercising young stock to training or instructing. Some graduates decide to start their own businesses, while others become vital parts of various-sized horse operations.
 

Admission Requirements

The Horse Management Program is for individuals with a strong work ethic, a passion for horses, and who are interested in a career in the horse industry.  Each Fall, a limited number of new students are accepted to the program so it is recommended students apply early for admission. Students need at least a 2.0 GPA or higher, experience working with horses, and some experience working at a horse farm.  ACT or SAT scores are used as needed in the admission process; however, a letter of recommendation is suggested along with your application.