Certificate programs in equine science can open job opportunities in the equine industry or prepare them for further study in the field of pre-veterinary science. Students learn the basics of equine reproduction, conformation and selection. They study color coat genetics and how to perform equine parentage tests; they also learn to recognize horse breeds through genetic testing.
Applicants to the program must have a high school diploma or equivalent, and should check their selected program curriculum for course-level prerequisites. Each program varies in the number of course hours required, but most include hands-on learning with horses.
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Certificate in Equine Science
Most equine genetics and breeding certificate programs include introductory courses in genetics topics such as gene mapping. Potential consequences of breeding, such as the inheritance of diseases, are also examined. Additionally, students can expect to take some variation of the following courses:
- Equine reproduction and nutrition
- Color coat genetics
- Conformation and selection
- Equine health management
- Parentage and genetic testing
A certificate in the field of equine science can act as a professional stepping stone to the following careers:
- Horse breeder
- Pedigree analyst
- Equine veterinarian
Employment Outlook and Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that as of May 2015, animal breeders earned an average of $44,650 per year. States employing the highest number of breeders included California, Kentucky and Texas.
Continuing Education Options
Aspiring equine veterinarians, nutritionists and trainers are required to complete additional education before embarking upon their chosen careers. Equine veterinarians must complete a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) program, while geneticists must also often pursue graduate study in the field of genetics. Horse breeders and pedigree analysts don't typically have educational prerequisites beyond a certificate program or field training.
Students interested in equine genetics can earn a certificate in equine science to study genetics and breeding techniques. Graduates can go on to pursue their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine or work as animal breeders.