Equine Science Online Schools: How to Choose
In traditional undergraduate and graduate programs, equine science includes horse biology, reproduction and behavior, as well as horse care, nutrition and horsemanship. Online education in equine science is not widely offered, since these courses often require interaction with horses; however, there are a small number of equine science and a variety of equine management programs that are available for college credit.
How to Select an Online Equine Science School
Most of the online programs dealing with equine science and equine management are offered at the certificate level. Some equine management programs are open only to candidates with a 4-year degree. Technical requirements usually include a computer with high-speed connection, Internet access and e-mail. Courses are usually provided through a learning management system such as Blackboard.
- Focus of program
- Program delivery
Focus of Program
A few schools award online certificates in equine science. Graduates of these programs find jobs in a number of horse-related positions, including barn manager, riding instructor or horse trainer. Many jobs in the equine industry require knowledge of the business in addition to equine science.
Online certificate programs in equine management are offered by a number of schools around the country and teach students to manage, sell and invest in horses.
While most equine science programs include some hands-on training, some courses are provided entirely online. Hands-on training courses may require the use of a real horse and a video camera so that instructors can watch and provide feedback. Students in equine management programs may be asked to participate in on-site business internships, which augment their online classes.
List of Online Equine Science Programs
Certificate in Equine Science
This certificate program is usually taught through a school's veterinary sciences department. It is designed to be flexible and is open to both professionals and those new to horses, though basic biology may be a prerequisite. Classes are delivered via online lectures and streaming video that students may access anytime.
Online equine science certificates typically include instruction in horse management, reproduction, nutrition, behavior, disease and genetics. Additionally, students generally complete a hands-on internship with real horses in a stable or breeding setting. Some internships require participants to purchase insurance in case of injury. Other classes provide the opportunity to pursue a special interest, such as:
- Centered riding horsemanship
- Harness racehorse training
- Draft horse management
Certificate in Equine Business Management
The horse business often requires specialized management skills in addition to expert knowledge of horses. Online certificates offer students a perspective on the global nature of the horse industry in addition to the social and economic forces that influence it. Horse management software packages are also reviewed. Graduates find careers managing racehorses or dressage horses, national or international horse transport as well as horse breeding farms. Class topics include:
- Marketing and sales
- Equine law and ethics
- Horse showing
- Breeding operations
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