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What equine degree/college should I pursue?

Ok so I have a few questions:
What are some horse careers/jobs that aren’t as well known?
What colleges have an emphasis on horsemanship and not just competing/riding?
What equine degree is the most general to any horse job (in case I wanna explore different aspects)?
Is it okay to go to a college with an emphasis on horses as a slight beginner? I’m definitely not a beginner, but I’m definitely not a horse guru either, so I feel like I’d be behind. . .

Right now I’m planning on going to BYU Provo for my required credits than going to a college with an emphasis on horses. . . Is this a good plan? While I’m at BYU should I get a part time job working at a barn? I just want the most experience I can get.

Little bit about me if it helps:
I’m definitely not the stereotypical cowgirl. I’ve worked at a barn with horses for 4 years, and I have been training this gelding for a bit with my trainer. I have an emphasis on relationship and trust with the horses, bodywork, and training is something I love doing. I’ve never competed, and I’m not sure if I’d be interested in doing so. . .

You can tackle any or all questions, thanks for reading!

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Karin’s Answer

Hi Nuna,

Some more unusual horse jobs: equine veterinary nurse, equine physiotherapist, equine dentist, equine massage therapist. Or how about equine-assisted therapy?

You can also search for horse jobs on job search sites like Indeed or LinkedIn, or more specific on yardandgroom.com to see what comes up.

I have also added some links to equine programs in the US. You can check out what specializations the different programs offer. Also, depending on where you want to go, some business studies might be useful.

I hope this helps! All the best!

KP

Karin recommends the following next steps:

https://www.yardandgroom.com/jobs/USA
https://www.farmhousetack.com/blogs/barn-blog/11-best-equestrian-colleges
https://www.niche.com/colleges/search/best-colleges-with-equine-studies/
Thank you comment icon Thank you this is great!! Nuna
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Nuna !

I am very happy to address the concerns that you have about a career working with horses. Firstly, let's be clear about Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah not offering an Equine Program. Because of that, while you are enrolled, you will most likely want to seek out places to get additional and continued on the job training working with horses and learning all there is to know.

You can seek out all businesses, ranches, riding schools and riding clubs . Sometimes if you get a top notch teacher and dedicate time to riding lessons, the right teacher will teach you everything you'd want to know. One career you can start would be Hoof Care also known as a Farrier. It's usually a service you'd offer independently. The training is on the job training, I believe, however make some phone calls to know exactly who may offer it at which venue. I'm speaking in general because you may decide to stay in your town to pursue it or can do it once you get to college in Utah.

Of course there is tacking and grooming. I think that most of the positions working with horses are pretty much familiar, but you can consider these, too: a Sable Manager, Breeder, Horse Groom, Horse Massage Therapist, Equine Event Planner or you can go into research about horse health, behavior and management. You can eventually become a teacher of riding.

I do not know anything about their programs, but the following colleges offer an Equine program: Texas A & M, Michigan State in East Lansing, Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, University of Missouri in Columbia, Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, University of Minnesota in Crookston, Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA, University of Kentucky in Lexington, Ohio University in Athens, and Central Wyoming College in Riverton.

I would imagine a degree in Equine Studies would be a degree that covers most positions working with horses, but double check this with the particular college you decide to attend. It is perfectly fine to do an Equine Studies program in college as a slight beginner. You will be there to learn and a good program will teach you everything you'll need to know. You most assuredly should try to obtain part time work while you are in BYU. Try farms, ranches and riding schools as I doubt you would find race tracks there. You will learn a great deal on the job. And yes, your plan is very good, well thought out and I believe it is doable and beneficial for your future.

Another suggestion I have is to lean towards English or Dressage if you are not too keen on Western. I truly understand it. Learn all types but you can focus on English. It pays to be well-rounded but I know what you mean about having a preferred style. But to be versatile master the tacking and riding for Western, too.

You have already gained substantial experience. Four years working with horses, horse training, I think you've got this ! A strong foundation like that should take you far. Not everyone that goes into an equine career competes. You will find your specialty as you take each step closer in your education and training.

I hope that this was helpful and I wish you all the best !
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! This is really helpful!! Nuna
Thank you comment icon You are very welcome, Nuna ! Michelle M.
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Tammy’s Answer

Hi,
There are quiet a few jobs as seen above, but a great one is Equine Massage Therapy - https://armstrongequinemassage.com/information/ or Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields (PEMF) - PEMF therapy for horses accelerates healing and quick recovery from injuries, as well as faster recovery after a long day of work or a hard race. It’s used to heal bone fractures and repair cracked hooves. Regular use of electromagnetic therapy can improve recovery time for horses by as much as 70%.
Thank you comment icon Thank you! That’s super cool! Does going into equine massage therapy require a degree or certificate of some sort?? Nuna
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