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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

ACC 240 - Principles of Accounting I - 3.00

An introduction to the principles underlying accounting information. The course will focus on the role that accounting information plays in planning, evaluating, and recording operating activities of businesses. An introduction to financial statements is also included. In this course students will summarize financial data and construct basic financial statements using various software tools such as Excel and QuickBooks.

COM 324 - Equine Video Production - 3.00

This hands-on digital video production course is designed for beginning level students. Students will be introduced to basic equipment, techniques, and theories of digital filmmaking. Students will gain a fundamental understanding of the pre-production, production, and post-production skills associated with digital filmmaking.

EQA 205 - Facility Management Practicum I - 2.00

This course will look at the daily operation, methodology and practice of equine facility management. It will introduce the student to how equine facilities are organized, how they operate and give the student hands-on experience in these areas. Topics related to the equine facility operations will be covered. This course will introduce the student to developing the techniques, working skills and habits of a professional equestrian. Managerial positions require the individual to be a self starter, to have the self discipline to establish and maintain their own work schedule and the perseverance to see the job to its completion. Those skills will be practiced in this class.

EQA 312 - Equestrian Communication - 3.00

Students will evaluate and develop a variety of communication techniques for the equine industry. The course includes exposure to innovative communication methods in the field. Prerequisite: ENG102

EQA 320 - Equine Event Management - 3.00

A theoretical and practical approach to managing horse shows, clinics, equine expositions, or events. Students obtain applied experience managing campus horse shows and clinics during the semester.

EQA 395 - Facility Management Practicum II - 3.00

This course will further the students understanding of the mechanics and techniques of running of a successful equestrian facility. Students will practice hands on application of a variety of facility management skills in several areas. Prerequisite: EQA205

EQU 101 - Equestrian First Year Seminar - 1.00

Students will explore the equestrian majors and minors offered at WWU as they relate to employment, graduate school, and other career goals. Developing an equestrian program plan will be a focus of the course with emphasis on identifying suitable careers for each program. An introduction to the required proficiency test sequence and senior portfolio will be presented.

EQU 111 - Introduction to the Horse Industry - 3.00

This course is an introduction to equestrians and horse organizations and their objectives including the extent of horse sport on the national and international level. The role of the horse in today’s society will be explored. The four WWU disciplines of Dressage, Hunter/Jumper, Saddle Seat and Western along with their respective practices will be surveyed. Points concerning horse behavior, care of the domesticated horse, developing a professional lexicon and the importance of proper fitting and uses of basic tack will be covered. The course will also explore employment opportunities and practices in the industry.

EQU 117 - Theory of Performance Hrs Hlth Mgmt - 3.00

Students will explore management and treatment protocols for performance horses. Identification and administration methods and dosage for equine drugs and medications associated with the competition or working horse will also be addressed. Equine infectious diseases, injuries, illnesses and complications are a primary focus of the course.

EQU 118 - Theory Prfrmnc Horse Hlth Mngmt II - 3.00

Students will further explore more elements of practical management skills, the normal horse, health issues, lameness, drugs and medications and competitive drug rules. Prerequisite: EQU117

EQU 201 - Horse Management Practicum I - 3.00

An introduction to applied horse management emphasizing the day to day care of horses. All aspects of the daily care and health management of a string of horses will be practiced. (Required grade of C or higher to satisfy major requirements). Prerequisites: EQU111 & EQU 118

EQU 202 - Foundations of Equestrian Teaching and Learning - 2.00

This course is a comprehensive overview and introduction to teaching methods and learning styles as they apply to an equestrian program and learning environment.

EQU 206 - Introduction to Equine Entrepreneurship - 3.00

Students will explore the many opportunities within the equestrian world for a start-up business. They will learn how to research and collect the data and then turn that into a plan for a startup business focusing on organization, management and the financial requirements.

EQU 221 - Stable Management - 3.00

This course focuses on the design and management of safe working equestrian facilities that provide healthy environments for horses and their caretakers. Topics include the behavioral needs of horses and how they influence management methods as well as the design and maintenance of stables and layouts of complete equestrian facilities. Developing management routines for all aspects of the care of the stabled/pastured horse. Identifying skills needed for dealing with machinery, animal waste, emergencies and security. Evaluation of record keeping, hiring of competent employees, and the importance of professionalism in all aspects of your management methods including the working relationship needed with skilled professionals such as your farrier/veterinarian. Prerequisite - EQU111 (or EQU 112) , EQU 113 and EQU 118

EQU 391 - Horse Management Practicum II - 4.00

An applied management course emphasizing the further development of the skills necessary for the day to day care of horses. All aspects of the daily care and health management of a larger string of horses will be practiced. (Required grade of C or higher to satisfy major requirements - must be taken before student accumulates 90 credit hours.) Prerequisites: EQU 201; passed with C grade or higher.

EQU 402 - Equestrian Leadership Strategies - 3.00

Emphasis upon equipping current and prospective leaders in the horse industry with the background and skills to achieve their potential while focusing on the specific nuances of the equine industry. Development, application and reflection of personal leadership capabilities through self-assessments and experiential learning activities. Prerequisites: EQU 111, EQU 117, EQU 118

EQU 403 - Equestrian Senior Seminar - 3.00

Students will engage in the application of the skills and techniques acquired through their equestrian program in a seminar format. Analysis of the industry, characteristics for successful employment and strategies for advancing in the field are a focus of the course. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the proficiency examinations for all declared Equestrian majors

EQU 405 - Equine Business Practices - 3.00

This lecture course is designed to provide an overview of equine business practices. Three main course elements include: horse transactions (buying, selling, leasing, donating, contracts, etc.), and business management (business plans, personnel management, customer relations, advertising, marketing, legal issues, taxation, insurance, record keeping, book keeping, leadership principles, etc.). Prerequisites: Senior Standing

EQU 415 - Equestrian Senior Portfolio - 1.00

Students will complete their required EQA, EQS, and EQGS portfolio during the class. Reflective writing and a through understanding of program objectives for the equestrian studies major are a focus of this course. Corequisites: EQU403


Admissions Information

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

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