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Bachelor of Science (BS) in Equine Administration

equine administration degree.

Excel in the company of giants.

The $112 billion equine industry is booming. William Woods University makes you a marketable and prepared candidate for a multitude of careers within this industry.

A successful manager not only manages horses in a superior manner, but is an effective leader and manager of people. Equine administration students learn equestrian business skills such as entrepreneurship, business communications, and managerial strategies. These are combined with our traditional approach to horsemanship in the four disciplines of Dressage, Hunter/Jumper, Saddle Seat, and Western.

Essential skills you will learn include:

  • Communicating with clientele, professionals and peers
  • An exceptional ability to solve problems and think creatively
  • Effective communication through social media and other marketing platforms
  • Understanding the inherent differences between disciplines and the ability to communicate effectively with riders from all the seats
  • Understanding issues in the horse industry from both the livestock and companion animal viewpoints
  • Knowledge of current political issues involving the horse
  • General and specialized care of competition horses
  • Managing equine medical emergencies and therapies

Extracurricular learning:


Get involved with other students who share your interests through the five 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.


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.

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 equestrian facilities: 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 ringv
  • 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 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 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 Equine Administration degree at work

The list of opportunities within equine industries and business organizations is endless. 

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

  • Barn manager/owner
  • Tack store manager/owner
  • Breed Association employee
  • College or University professor
  • Small business owner
  • Equine supply sales representative
  • Feed company sales representative
  • Social media manager
  • And more
  • Or, pursue graduate school in equestrian education, business and more.

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 moments are when our students graduate and go onto jobs within the industry. I am proud that I had some small part in their future.

— Michele Smith, Adjunct Professor of Equine Studies

My proudest moment working in this program would have to be seeing my graduates go out in the industry and make a difference. I have graduates that own their own facilities and train show horses for amateurs of all ages. It is such a proud moment when the students walk across the stage at graduation to see how much they have matured since they came to William Woods University … and then to see them succeed in the business is just incredible.

— Sarah Track, Clinical Instructor, Equestrian Studies


The Bachelor of Science in Equine Administration degree at William Woods University consists of 122 distinct credit hours for graduation—including 49 core major credits and 3 required riding elective credits.

Courses you may take


Admissions Information

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

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