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Schools with Equine Rehabilitation Programs: How to Choose

Horses may be used for racing, farm labor and transportation. Equine rehabilitation can help undo the damage from these physically taxing jobs. Continue reading to see what you should consider when choosing an equine rehabilitation program, and to view some U.S. schools that offer these programs.

Students desiring careers working with injured horses might seek an equine studies degree program with a concentration in a relevant field. These programs -- typically offered at four-year colleges and universities or specialized equine schools -- teach various therapy methods, such as electrical stimulation, ultrasound, acupuncture and underwater treadmill therapy.

10 Schools with Equine Science Programs

A mixture of public and private institutions comprise the ten schools listed below that offer equine rehabilitation studies

University/College Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)*
University of Tennessee Knoxville, TN 4-year, Public Postgraduate Certificate $12,356 (in-state), $30,544 (out-of-state)
Midway University Midway, KY 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's $22,250
Bluegrass Community and Technical College Lexington, KY 2-year, Public Associate, Diploma, Certificate $3,704 (in-state), &12,536 (out-of-state)
College of Central Florida Ocala, FL 4-year, Public Associate $2,570 (in-state), $10,126 (out-of-state)
Colby Community College Colby, KS 2-year, Public Associate $3,300 (in-state), $4,920 (out-of-state)
Hiwassee College Madisonville, TN 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's $15,543
Delaware Valley University Doylestown, PA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Associate, Bachelor's, Certificate $35,256
Houghton College Houghton, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's $29,458
Judson College St. Marion, AL 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's $16,868
Merced College Merced, CA 2-year, Public Associate, Certificate $1,141 (in-state), $6,133 (out-of-state)

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

School Selection Criteria

Keep these considerations in mind as you choose an equine rehabilitation school:

  • An Associate in Science (A.S.) program typically prepares students for jobs as rehabilitation technicians, as well as groomers or trainers.
  • A Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Equine Studies program can prepare students to work in equine rehab or performance management from a scientific or legal standpoint.
  • Certificate programs in equine rehabilitation typically are intended for practicing professionals in the animal health care industry, including veterinarians, veterinary technicians, physical therapists, and physical therapy assistants.
  • While equine rehabilitation may not be offered specifically as a major, students enrolled in equine studies can often pursue more focused study in specialized areas like equine rehabilitation, exercise physiology or sports medicine.

A.S. in Equine Studies

An associate's degree program in equine science typically requires 60-70 credit hours. Programs with a concentration in equine exercise physiology tend to concentrate on providing support and care to working and racing horses. An internship or cooperative work experience may be required.

B.S. in Equine Studies

Students in a 4-year equine studies program with a concentration in equine rehabilitation or sports medicine likely will be required to complete an internship, as well as riding courses. Some programs also require students to complete a senior project.

Graduate Certificate Programs in Equine Rehabilitation

Professionals in the field can enroll in these graduate offerings to learn more about equine rehabilitation. Students might learn to analyze a horse's gait, evaluate lameness and recognize various conditions related to a horse's hooves, ligaments, muscles, skin and tendons. They also might develop and enact treatment plans for horses with various physical conditions.

Several options are available for individuals interested in equine rehabilitation as a career, ranging from certificate programs to traditional bachelor's or associate equine studies programs that provide specialized study opportunities. Hands-on training often supplements classroom instruction within these programs.

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