Fall is coming, the seasons are changing, our horses are getting hairy, and school is getting back in session….
Yes I said it. School is starting. For most school age children it means backpacks and buses, homework and tests, but for the older generation it is time to consider their first year of college. College is a great white castle in the sky for some and a dungeon for others. For people bitten by the horse bug it’s a chance to follow our hearts and never look back. Who knew you could go to college and get a degree to work with horses? Well, you can. Who knew you could ride as part of the curriculum, spend class hours learning about grass, and take field trips to top facilities? Well, you can.
There are many equine degrees you can pursue:
Bachelor of the Arts in Equine Management
Bachelor of Science in Equine Science
Bachelor of Science in Biology (to go to Vet School)
Bachelor of Science in Equine Rehabilitation
Bachelor of Science in Natural Horsemanship
Bachelor of the Arts in Equine Business
Bachelor of the Arts in Equine Journalism
These degrees also happen to be at colleges where you can join a riding team or club. This is something as equestrians we don’t get to experience often. Riding is singular, just you and your horse, against yourselves. In college it can be you and your horse and friends! There are intercollegiate riding associations for hunt seat, western (rodeo and equitation), saddleseat, and dressage. There is even a new association for eventing!
Not only are there riding teams of all kinds, but there are also clubs. You can learn to play polo or join a racing club. If you are interested in games or competitive trail riding there are clubs. And each year new clubs and teams form at colleges around the country.
Best of all, there are scholarships to attend these schools. If you are a Pony Club member there are scholarships, if your parents work on a horse farm or have thoroughbreds, there is a scholarship. Lots of equine organizations offer scholarships and if you are near a racetrack they often have what they call “scholarship days” where they have lotteries for students to win scholarships.
So, you see, if the horse bug has bitten and you can’t seem to shake your love for these 1000lb slobbering, amazing animals, you can make a career out of it. Make sure to do your research to find the best fit and then seek out your goals.