Best Horse Colleges? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 03-17-2013, 03:13 AM Thread Starter
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Best Horse Colleges?

I'm graduating early so i'm already planning on the college i'm going to attend! I have my mind set on an Equine Science degree, but there's a few colleges that i've heard who also offer equine massage therapy certificates and some horse trainer certificates? Alot of the horse colleges i've looked at are completely different. I'm mainly looking at Lamar Community College in Colorado or Meredith Manor in West Virginia. Anybody been to either of this? Or anybody have some other good equine colleges i could look at? By the way, my focus is western.
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post #2 of 14 Old 03-17-2013, 03:46 AM
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Idk if you want to go cross country but I know people at linn Benton community college in Albany, OR. And they love it. It has 2 different equine majors and one girl I know hasn't even finished her degree and people are already trying to hire her because of the level if training the school does. :) good luck!
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post #3 of 14 Old 03-17-2013, 09:43 AM
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William Woods in Fulton MO. Or Stephen College in Columbia MO.

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post #4 of 14 Old 03-18-2013, 11:51 PM
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William Woods looked good to me! If I could have gone out of state I would have picked them in a heartbeat.
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post #5 of 14 Old 03-21-2013, 10:59 AM
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Im looking at Colorado state, they seem pretty good

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post #6 of 14 Old 03-21-2013, 03:16 PM
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Try looking into The University of Findlay, in Findlay Ohio, and the Ohio State ATI (Agricultural Technical Institute) in Wooster Ohio. I'm considering both of these schools myself.

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post #7 of 14 Old 03-21-2013, 04:19 PM
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Just a thought, people really look for experience in these type of jobs, not a degree. If you could get a job as a teacher or a nurse based on experience why would you go to school for it?

I'd advise you do put that money into internship, lessons with a good trainer, showing and finding a job.

Also, I would look into going to school for something you can make a living off of or fall back on of push comes to shove. It's tough tough tough to make it in the equine industry! It's long cold days and it takes a toll on your body. There isn't money there, you will most likely have to bust your butt for basic living.

Working with horses is amazing, but you don't want to turn your hobby into a chore.
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post #8 of 14 Old 03-23-2013, 01:48 PM
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I've heard to stay away from University of Findley. University of FL isn't good except for their vet school. Meredith manor from what I have heard is rather run down.

The college of Central FL has an associates degree in equine studies and it is located in Ocala, FL. Lots of breeding, and training stables in Ocala.

There is also Midway college in Kentucky which is really close to lots of major racing stables! A beautiful area to live in, rolling hills of pastures, white fences, and the most fabulous barns I have ever seen in my entire life. I didn't actually look at the school property (except the dorms), but I did tour the local racing stables and must say I was impressed. As far as job opportunities there won't be any shortages there!

For horse jobs, you can't beat Kentucky or Florida!
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post #9 of 14 Old 04-11-2013, 12:27 PM
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I have heard some not so great things about Meredith Manor, apparently they've really gone downhill. A google search should bring up lots of information though, I know it's been discussed in depth on other equine forums.

If you want to be a trainer, I'd recommend apprenticing under a trainer that is well known and respected in your area or in the discipline you want to pursue. In the horse world, it really is about "who you know." People will see you working with X trainer who is already well known and established, and people who are looking for a trainer are definitely going to choose you, over Joe Horse Trainer who has no credentials posting ads on kijiji. Unfortunately a few year equine science degree does not automatically make one into a "trainer".

I took an equine science degree, and while I learned a ton and do not regret it in the least, anyone interested in it really can go out into the horse world, find themselves an awesome internship or working student position, and learn it all without dropping tens of thousands of dollars and still be farther ahead in the big scheme of things. Having an equine science degree on your resume does not get you far in the real world. Prospective employers in the horse industry want to see names, barns and real life experience on your resume. That is what they'll pick over the degree.

I've actually had my equine science degree come back to bite me in the butt a time or two when looking for horse jobs. There's some students who take equine science, then come out and hang out their shingle and market themselves as a trainer or whatever they like, then get hired on at a barn and it's just a disaster because they think because they took "equine science" that they know everything and end up WAY over their heads. I've had more than a few people tell me that because of their experiences, they would NEVER consider hiring another student who took X at Y college. Of course those students may be few and far between, but it still ruins it for everyone else who is associated with that school. I would really do my homework, get out there and track down people who took the course you are interested in. Don't look at the statistics the schools put out, talk to the actual students. Find out what they liked about the course, and if they are still using what they learned and ask if they are even employed in the horse industry still. What you find might be extremely surprising. I know out of the 40 or so equine students who were in college with me, less than 5 are currently employed in the horse industry. Sure, the better majority still ride and have horses, but most moved on to different jobs so they could actually AFFORD their horses.

If equine science is really what you want to do, then by all means! Just be aware that all that time and money spent is probably not going to put you any more ahead of the game when you come out. You will have a degree but still be starting from square one in the horse industry with little to no experience. As long as you are ok with that and don't have unrealistic expectations of what's going to happen afterwards, then go for it. In the big scheme of things, you might be better off looking for somewhere you can do a business major, and an equine minor, or find a college that offers an Intercollege horse show team so you can still ride. Something like business will carry you over into many many different jobs and industries, where as with an equine degree you are really limiting yourself. Lots to think about, for sure. Good luck with whatever you decide
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post #10 of 14 Old 04-12-2013, 11:56 AM
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I adored my 4 years at University of Findlay! Before attending, I was a top competitor & known equestrian in my local area. By the first month at Findlay I realized my equine know-how barely skimmed the surface of what was required of big name trainers on the national level.

The concentrated focus of the school was amazing (and EXTREMELY tough) for me. Working alongside a trainer probably wouldn't have taught me as much, as fast. Your needs may be different.

That said, have a backup plan no matter what. After graduation I went to work for a very well-known reining trainer. A few years later, my life took an unexpected turn and I entered the big city corporate world. Thankfully I dual majored in Business, in addition to Equine Science & Training.
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