Although equine physical therapy programs are rare, there are a few certificate and degree programs that prepare individuals to provide rehabilitation services for horses.
Schools with Equine Physical Therapy Offerings
These schools have equine studies programs that include equine physical therapy training:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition|
|College of Central Florida||Ocala, FL||4-year, Public||Associate||$2,570 in-state, $10,126 out-of-state (2015-2016)*|
|Delaware Valley University||Doylestown, PA||4-year, Private||Certificate||$1,499 (2017)**|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics, **School website
School Selection Criteria
Students interested in a program for equine physical therapy should keep these recommendations in mind:
- Consider programs with clinical opportunities to work directly with horses in a therapeutic or rehabilitative setting.
- Determine the regulations and licensing requirements for animal physical therapy in your state to be sure the necessary training will be met by a specific program.
- If your career goals include pursuing a DVM, seek schools that offer equine education tracks and schools with large-animal clinical facilities.
- Check to make that you meet the program's minimum admissions requirements. For instance, some programs only admit licensed veterinarians.
Certificate in Equine Physical Therapy
Certificate programs in equine physical therapy may be available in certain states to veterinarians and physical therapists who wish to gain a specific knowledge of equine physical therapy techniques and practices. Coursework may focus on study of musculoskeletal systems, ligaments, tendons, the nervous system and hooves. Students may also learn to assess medical, therapeutic and surgical treatment methods.
Associate Degree in Equine Physical Therapy
Associate degree programs may be available in equine studies or equine exercise and could be completed in two years. Such programs include coursework in nutrition, medicine, rehabilitation, health care and injury treatment. Clinical experiences may be offered within the program at an affiliated clinic, veterinary office or animal hospital.
Bachelor's Degree in Equine Physical Therapy
A 4-year bachelor's program in equine physical therapy typically prepares students for admission to DVM programs. Coursework may include legal aspects of animal physical therapy, disease and injury prevention, techniques in rehabilitation, nutrition and medical assessment. Clinical experiences and internships may be required for graduation.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Doctoral programs in veterinary medicine often provide sufficient training to practice equine physical therapy without any additional qualifications. Coursework commonly includes studies in nutrition, physiology, anatomy, diagnosis, treatment and radiology. A thesis may be required for graduation, as well as comprehensive research projects and clinical experiences.
Equine physical therapy programs can provide hands-on training that prepares students to provide rehabilitation services for horses. Depending on their background and career goals, there are several degree levels at which students can pursue education in subjects related to equine physical therapy.