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Bachelor of Science (BS) in Equestrian Science

bachelors in equestrian science.

Make a 1,100 lb. difference.

William Woods University Equestrian Science graduates can be found in every corner of the equestrian world. Our graduates are professional horse trainers, riding instructors, clinicians and veterinarians. They’re horse show judges, teaching at the college or university level, boarding facility owners and more.

As a Bachelors in Equestrian Science student at William Woods University, you can pursue a successful career in your dream field, and make a difference in a growing industry. We hold high standards in horse healthcare, training and teaching. Utilize the most advanced technology, learn the best practices in equine healthcare, and enjoy practical experiences that are relevant no matter which way your equestrian career takes you.

Essential skills you will learn include:

  • The anatomy of movement
  • Digestive physiology and feeding programs
  • Proper farrier methods and variations of shoeing
  • Breed/type evaluation for performance and conformation
  • Logistics of teaching and managing a lesson program
  • Overview of the horse industry and employment opportunities
  • Equine health and first aid
  • Day-to-day care of horses
  • Designing and managing a stable
  • Advanced business practices for a horse competition
  • Small business fundamentals
  • Riding and teaching techniques for the four disciplines: Dressage, Hunter/Jumper, Saddle Seat and Western

Extracurricular learning:

Equestrian Organizations

Get involved with other students who share your interests through the several equestrian organizations on campus, open to all students, regardless of major. There is a club for each seat: Dressage, Hunter/Jumper, Saddle Seat, and Western. Each of these clubs has its own personality and activities, and they all promote camaraderie and learning through horse shows, service events, and professional competitions. There is also an intercollegiate Competitive Judging Team, open to anyone who wants to learn more about horses and competitive judging. This team travels to regional judging competitions each fall and helps at regional clinics and judging contests each spring. This team won the U.S. Nationals Arabian/ Half-Arabian Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2015.

Equestrian Shows

William Woods participates in a number of national and international horse shows each year, in which all students are invited to participate. Showing at these events teaches poise, sportsmanship and responsibility and provides opportunities to come in contact with prospective employers. Shows range from local schooling shows to “A” rated national shows such as:

  • The American Royal in Kansas City
  • The St. Louis National Charity Horse Show
  • The Morgan Grand Nationals
  • Color Breed Congress
  • Pinto World Championships
  • Sport Horse Nationals
  • The Central State Regional Dressage Finals

We also host a variety of shows on campus throughout the year.

Equestrian Clinics and seminars

In addition to instruction from our own nationally renowned faculty members, you will learn from top industry professionals in various clinics and seminars. Clinicians include Smith Lilly, Richard Shrake, Ann Judge, Jeff Cook, Melanie Smith-Taylor, Betsy Steiner, and Pierre St. Jacque.

Regional, national, and international field trips

Field trips include visits to area professional horse training facilities, the Veterinary School at the University of Missouri, horse shows, and museums. Special courses have given students the opportunity to tour show horse barns in Kentucky and Missouri, ride with professional horse trainers in Oregon and Hawaii, and tour and ride in famous horse facilities in England and France. Faculty have taken students to volunteer at horse shows including the U.S. Dressage Finals at the Kentucky Horse Park.


On-campus equine complex: an optimal learning environment

  • 150 show-quality horses
  • Four heated barns with a total of 150 box stalls
  • Eight tack rooms
  • Two heated indoor arenas
  • Lighted outdoor ring
  • Outdoor round pen
  • Four turnout paddocks
  • Two fully equipped, technology-enhanced classrooms
  • 40-acre cross-country course
  • Six wash stalls
  • USEF regulation jumps
  • USEF regulation Dressage area
  • Student lockers and laundry

Few educational institutions can match William Woods University for its on-campus equine facilities that accommodate riding, care and study at all levels and seats. Our classrooms include an extensive video library and viewing equipment, and our dedicated library includes more than 1,000 books on all aspects of the field, from history and physiology to behavior, training, law, and competition. Our more than 150 horses represent the most popular breeds and are cared for by William Woods University students and our full-time, on-site veterinarian.

The Center for Equine Medicine

Our large, modern equestrian complex that will provide you with an excellent educational experience in both classroom and the field.

The center includes:

  • A full-time doctor of veterinary medicine who has an extensive background in sports medicine, reproduction as well as general equine medicine and surgery
  • A 17-acre property located within blocks of the university — ideally suited for continued equine research and care
  • A facility that includes classroom space, a large indoor riding facility, six horse stalls, an isolation area for ill and contagious horses and a home for the veterinarian and his family, which allows him to be on-site in case of an emergency
  • The unique opportunity to participate in a hands-on classroom environment that will enhance your education, including the opportunity to assist with emergency care and treatment, perform research and gain hands-on clinical experience

Our Equestrian degree at work

Our graduates can be found working in a wide array of careers across the country.

Trot, canter or gallop into a rewarding career as a:

  • Professional horse trainer
  • Professional riding instructor
  • Professional clinician
  • Professional horse show judge
  • Equine sales representative
  • College or University professor
  • Recreational riding program instructor, trainer or manager
  • Boarding facility owner or employee
  • Breed Association Employee
  • And more
  • Or, pursue graduate school in education or business

Recent Employers

Our students are highly sought after by distinguished employers across the country, including:

Equestrian Employer Logos

Other employers of our recent alumni include:

  • Appaloosa Horse Club
  • Kirkwood Community College
  • Virginia Intermont
  • Sweetbriar College
  • United States Dressage Federation
  • Chronicle of the Horse
  • Betsy Steiner Dressage
  • Lyndon Rife Dressage
  • Liz Austin Dressage
  • SmartPak
  • Golden Horseshoe Tack Store
  • University of WI - River Falls
  • American Quarter Horse Association
  • Pony of the Americas
  • American Saddlebred Association
  • La Cense Montana Professional School of Horsemanship
  • Howard Schatzberg Photography
  • Castle Forbes Stud, County Longford, Ireland
  • County Line Equine Practice
  • The American Saddlebred Museum
  • St. Louis Carriage Company
  • Kansas City Carriages, Kansas City, MO
  • American Royal Museum & Visitors Center
  • Miller & Associates, Equine Veterinarians, Brewster, NY
  • The Blood Horse
  • Stephens College, Equestrian Studies
  • Kirkwood Community College, Equine Science
  • Virginia Intermont College
  • Tina M. Konyot Dressage
  • Sidelines Magazine (Art Director/Assistant Production Manager - Alex Moritz-Long)
  • Bruce Davidson 1976 Olympic Gold Medal Winner Eventing
  • Jan Ebeling, The Acres Dressage
  • Peeper Ranch, Lenexa, KS
  • The National Horseman Magazine
  • Menlo Circus Club Stables, Menlo, CA
  • Arabian Horse Times
  • Robert Battaglia Arabian Horses
  • Murray State University, Equine Science, Murray, KY
  • Equine Medical Services

Alumni Perspectives

My proudest moment while working in this program has been the development of hands-on clinical education opportunities and the introduction of a collaborative program with the Biology Department focusing on regenerative medicine in horses.

— Dr. Paul Schiltz, Staff Veterinarian

I am often struck by how significant even small moments feel when a student is achieving success. I always feel a tremendous sense of pride watching a rider earn their first major title at a national level show, but feel the same about a rider who has overcome even a small difficulty in their riding or training or just mastered a concept in the classroom.

— Jennie Petterson, Division Chair

Of course, I’m quite proud of my students’ many competitive accomplishments, including strong placings in Regional Championships and inclusion on the Region 4 Junior/Young Rider Championship team. But I’m most proud of the compliments I hear from other professionals and employers in the field, who make a point of telling me how pleased they are with work ethic and willingness to learn of their William Woods University employees.

— Karen Pautz

I have so much respect for Linda McClaren as my teacher and mentor. I have enjoyed every class and all of the amazing horses I have been given the chance to learn from and work with. The Mentor-Mentee program was an incredible honor to participate in and I am thankful for the dedication and time put into the program by the faculty.

— Alison Gay, equestrian science graduate, Ireland

William Woods put my equine career on the fast track to success. I would not be where I am today as a dressage trainer and instructor, without The Woods Way.

— Erin Ackley, equestrian science graduate Kentwood, Mich.


The Bachelor of Science in Equestrian Science degree at William Woods University consists of 122 distinct credit hours for graduation—including 45 core major credits and 8 credits of riding courses.

Courses you may take

EQS 212

Theory of Teaching Techniques I


EQS 306

Practical Equine Anatomy & Conditng


EQS 328

Equine Evaluation


EQS 404

Veterinary Medicine & Reproduction


EQU 101

Equestrian First Year Seminar


EQU 111

Introduction to the Horse Industry


EQU 117

Theory of Performance Hrs Hlth Mgmt


EQU 118

Theory Prfrmnc Horse Hlth Mngmt II


EQU 201

Horse Management Practicum I


EQU 202

Foundations of Equestrian Teaching and Learning


EQU 206

Introduction to Equine Entrepreneurship


EQU 221

Stable Management


EQU 391

Horse Management Practicum II


EQU 403

Equestrian Senior Seminar


EQU 405

Equine Business Practices


EQU 415

Equestrian Senior Portfolio


EXS 104

First Aid and CPR



Admissions Information

Learn more about undergraduate admissions requirements, deadlines, tuition and financial aid available to you.

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