This introductory course focuses on the care and maintenance of horses in a safe and secure environment. Students acquire an overview of all fundamental aspects associated with the care and the provisions necessary for the equestrian professional. Fundamental skills, including food and nutrition, proper use of equipment and common preventative measures for equine ailments, are introduced.
EQST 115 Advanced Horse Care and Management
This course introduces advanced horse care concepts, including infectious disease control and emergency care. Students gain experience caring for horses as individuals and athletes with respect to their specific discipline orientation and prepare horses for the competition arena. Additionally, students are introduced to the concepts and principles of stable/herd management and record keeping. Proper assessment, response and management of emergency situations are emphasized. Prerequisite(s): EQST 110.
EQST 205 Principles and Theories of Riding and Training Horses
Students receive a strong foundation in the basic theories of riding as well as the fundamental principles of horses in sport. In this lecture setting, students discuss the evolution of the horse from worker to athlete and the physical capabilities of horses, such as longitudinal and lateral work, jumping, driving and dressage, and their strengths and weaknesses. Students also explore the rider’s aids, position, balance, control and learning methodologies as they relate to the horse and rider and the respective disciplines.
EQST 215 Principles and Applications of Training Horses
Students apply the practices of modern-day trainers and their techniques as well as the methods and use of various training tools and equipment. Emphasis is placed upon working horses from the ground and learning to influence the horse through an increased understanding of the horse’s psychology and physiology. In addition, students develop a personal philosophy toward training and gain practical experience in applying these principles through conditioning, timing, lunging, long-lining, working in the round pen and learning to start a young horse correctly. Prerequisite(s): EQST 205.
EQST 220 Barn Construction, Design and Facility Layout
In this course, students explore the design and construction of barns, indoor and outdoor arenas and other barn-related structures with attention given to the layout of an equine property and the proper use of available acreage as it relates to the goals of that facility and the needs of the horse. The course includes discussion of land selection, site consideration, topography and natural amenities, financial considerations, permits and building code regulation requirements and potential environmental issues. In addition, students gather a basic understanding of the various types of structures, materials, foundations and fencing needs and options.
EQST 305 Principles of Equine Anatomy
A thorough understanding of equine anatomy is crucial for the proper care and training of the performance horse. By examining the complex interaction of bones, muscle groups and internal organs in the equine athlete, students understand the importance of maintaining the delicate balance of internal and external structure while at the same time enabling the horse to achieve the peak of its performance abilities. Prerequisite(s): EQST 115.
EQST 315 Equine Business Management
This course is a vital component in understanding professional practices in equestrian management, with the focus on the student learning effective skills to manage clients, regulatory bodies and legal offices. Students learn about contracts and understand the major legal implications throughout the industry. Students also develop a small business plan appropriate to the equestrian industry and use small business tools to create an effective marketing campaign in the equestrian business. Prerequisite(s): EQST 110.
EQST 330 Equine Systems, Disorders and Lameness
Students study the systems of the horse including cardiovascular, respiratory, nervous, endocrine, gastrointestinal, etc. Normal signs of health and body function are discussed so that the student can begin to recognize abnormalities as they relate to these body functions. Advanced first-aid techniques are also introduced. In-depth discussions include a study of bone structure, tendons, ligaments, circulation and related lameness. Students discuss the importance and administration of the proper medications for basic lameness and other disorders. Emphasis is placed on detection and early treatment of ailments. Prerequisite(s): EQST 110.
EQST 340 Rules and Regulations for Competition Horses
This course is designed to expose students to organizations such as the United States Equestrian Federation, the United States Hunter Jumper Association and the Fédération Équestre Internationale that organize and govern the world of the sport horse. Students are exposed to the philosophies, rules and regulations that govern the various aspects of showing horses, from licensing to violations and penalties, to drugs and medications, to conduct and sportsmanship and to the class specifications of various disciplines and divisions. This course prepares students to understand their potential role as a trainer, rider, barn manager, exhibitor, licensed official or show manager in the horse industry. Prerequisite(s): EQST 205.
EQST 350 Contracts and Equine Law/Liability
This course provides students with a basic understanding of the principles of equine law necessary to own horses and/or operate an equine business. Students review statutes, case law and readings discussing legal issues faced by equine businesses, including liability laws as they relate to horses; contracts associated with equine business; business organization taxes; ethical issues; equine care requirements; infectious disease regulation law; transport; manure management; and equine insurance. Prerequisite(s): EQST 205.
EQST 400 Judging and Selection of the Performance Horse
This course provides the student with an understanding of how to evaluate and select horses for sale and performance and judge the horse and/or rider’s performance in competition. Students develop criteria for judging in the disciplines of hunters including conformation, hunter seat equitation and jumpers. The criteria are based upon a formulation of a subjective ideal model for use in rating performance and quality based upon the rules outlined by the United States Equestrian Federation or other appropriate governing bodies. The technical rules and regulations for judging different classes and divisions also are determined. Students are made aware of the procedure and the requirements necessary to become a licensed official and are expected to spend a minimum of two divisions at a recognized horse show “learner” judging. Prerequisite(s): EQST 340.
EQST 410 Course Design
In this course, the artistry of designing courses for competition horses in the disciplines of hunters, jumpers and hunter seat equitation is explored in terms of potentialities, limitations and hazards. Students discuss the technical regulations that govern course design in the United States as well as in some international (FEI) venues. Emphasis is placed on designing and setting level-appropriate courses that result in a safe and dynamic jumping environment for the horse. In the context of each discipline, students learn about the various types and sizes of obstacles, striding and related distances, combinations, appropriate tracks, footing, site evaluation and arena size as well as the impact of weather and safety concerns. Prerequisite(s): EQST 205.
EQST 425 Capstone Seminar in Equestrian Studies
This seminar is designed to guide students through their professional development as they refine aspects of their specializations and prepare for successful lifelong careers. Emphasis is placed on such topics as self-management, teamwork, time management and learning styles that are necessary for success in the workplace. Students concentrate on career options, building a quality résumé and interviewing techniques. Prerequisite(s): EQST 215.
RIDE 119 Introduction to Horsemanship
This course is designed for those students who have limited or no experience working with or riding horses and require extra assistance and supervision. Students learn about basic barn etiquette and interaction with horses for the purpose of riding safely. The course involves instruction in preparation for riding and basic position on the horse (1 credit hour). Prerequisite(s): EQST 110.
RIDE 120 Basic Horsemanship
Students who have limited experience riding and caring for horses are introduced to proper horse care, both in preparation to ride in a group lesson and to provide appropriate post-lesson care. Introductions to basic balanced seat and hunt seat positions at the walk, trot and canter are covered. Students are introduced to the concept of the natural and artificial aids used in horsemanship (1 credit hour). Prerequisite(s): RIDE 119.
RIDE 121 Position and Control I
The focus of this course is to offer less experienced students an opportunity to continue to strengthen their equestrian base of knowledge by addressing the fundamentals of an effective position and its impact on the control of the horse. Emphasis is placed on the implementation of correct position as it relates to the physiology of the horse in order to create a more effective and compassionate rider (1 credit hour). Prerequisite(s): RIDE 120.
RIDE 122 Position and Control II
This course provides students with the opportunity to evaluate different disciplines including dressage, hunters, jumpers and hunt seat equitation by introducing the student to small jumps and simple gymnastic exercises in an effort to enhance the association between flat work and jumping. The degree of technical difficulty increases with the introduction of lateral movements, basic dressage and simple jumping obstacles (1 credit hour). Prerequisite(s): RIDE 121.
RIDE 150 Fundamentals of Flat Work
This course exists to provide the student with a clear understanding of how classical, elementary principles of flat work are critical for the proper training of both the horse and rider. Students establish proper position, balance, control and the use of aids. Emphasis is placed upon security, non-interference and a developing understanding of the horse through basic schooling figures, pace and fundamental longitudinal and lateral exercises (1 credit hour). Prerequisite(s): RIDE 122.
RIDE 200 Developing the Horse’s Balance
In this course, flat work skills are further developed as students learn to strengthen the horse in accordance to his natural abilities. A better understanding of the concepts of contact, bending, transitions and improving the horse’s balance is emphasized. These elements are necessary as they increase rideability and promote good health and soundness. Students in this course gain a better respect for the horse as an individual and learn to work with him rather than against him (1 credit hour). Prerequisite(s): RIDE 150.
RIDE 225 Advanced Flat Work
Students are exposed to a more intensive study of the art of riding. Each student should develop a heightened understanding of the relationship between the horse and rider and of how many of the physical problems and/or limitations of the horse can be traced back to incorrect riding. To benefit the horse’s further development, the student utilizes more advanced flat work techniques such as haunches in, haunches out, half-passes, flying changes and cantering on the counter lead. Riders in this course should be able to recognize and maintain true impulsion, contact and rhythm (1 credit hour). Prerequisite(s): RIDE 200.
RIDE 230 Applied Dressage I
Classical dressage has evolved from the training of the ancient war horse and has since developed into the modern and competitive dressage seen today. Students investigate the classical dressage concepts of impulsion, straightness, balance and rhythm. Correct use of the natural and artificial aids to enhance contact, bit placement and connection is emphasized. The identification and methodology of the half-halt as applied to lateral and longitudinal movements are discussed (1 credit hour). Prerequisite(s): RIDE 225.
RIDE 235 Cavalletti, Gymnastics and Jumping Exercises I
This course exists to bridge training theories and flat work learned in previous courses with the basic principles of jumping. Students continue to develop their skills with regard to flat work as they seek to understand suppleness, rhythm, impulsion, straightness and contact. Cavalletti exercises, jumping grids and gymnastic exercises are employed to learn how to influence and improve the horse’s way of going over the jumps and to promote the horse’s athletic development (1 credit hour). Prerequisite(s): RIDE 225.
RIDE 240 Jumping Exercises II
This course provides the student the opportunity to enhance the skills and concepts learned in Cavalletti, gymnastics and jumping exercises and apply them to more complex exercises that lead to successful show ring riding. Students in this course are exposed to a systematic program of riding lines, related distances, bending lines, types and styles of jumps and jumps set off the turns. They further explore and learn to differentiate between hunters, jumpers and hunter seat equitation. Additionally, they develop a sense of how to work with a horse’s abilities and decide which discipline best suits the horse as an individual (1 credit hour). Prerequisite(s): RIDE 235.
RIDE 300 Applied Dressage II
Students build upon technical dressage concepts and movements. Focus is placed upon working, medium, collected and extended paces within the gaits as applied to established schooling movements. Students in this course investigate more difficult movements found in the higher levels of dressage. Students in this course are required to perform a Second Level dressage test (1 credit hour). Prerequisite(s): RIDE 230.
RIDE 301 Riding the Show Hunter
In this course, students further develop their ability to ride, train and prepare horses for the hunter ring. With an understanding of the history and tradition behind riding hunters, students explore more complicated schooling and conditioning techniques and different uses and varieties of individual jumps, lines and combinations. Students learn to walk and analyze the courses with regard to footing and degree of difficulty to ensure that the horse’s performance is maximized (1 credit hour). Prerequisite(s): RIDE 240.
RIDE 302 Concepts in Equitation
Students in this course explore the general requirements and class routines that are necessary for riding in the hunter seat equitation divisions. The riders concentrate on how to analyze and ride particular courses and learn how to properly execute additional tests. Skills are further developed so that riders are competent and can positively influence the horse’s jumping style. Students also develop a better understanding of style, balance and grace in this course (1 credit hour). Prerequisite(s): RIDE 240.
RIDE 303 Riding the Show Jumper
In this course, riders are introduced to the concepts of showing jumpers. Students become familiar with the strategies of and learn to differentiate between the tables that are employed in the USEF Jumper Divisions at recognized competitions, and learn about the elements of a jump-off course. More complicated courses are walked, analyzed and presented. Emphasis is placed on the use of track, pace and rhythm and on how various types of jumps and combinations of jumps influence the horse while on course (1 credit hour). Prerequisite(s): RIDE 240.
RIDE 405 Advanced Concepts in Show Jumping
Students continue to develop the concepts and skills learned in previous courses and further enhance them so that they can be incorporated into riding at the international level. A more effective position capable of influencing a horse’s effort off the ground and in the air is defined and refined. Students attempt to jump bigger, more substantial obstacles, ride more complicated courses with more technically difficult questions and learn the necessary skills to effectively ride against the clock without becoming dangerous. The ability to turn well and jump safely from a variety of distances is emphasized. Students in this course are required to become familiar with the international (FEI) governing bodies and are expected to know and follow the rules and regulations for such competitions (1 credit hour). Prerequisite(s): RIDE 303.
RIDE 415 Starting the Green Horse
In this course, students focus on starting a young horse properly and/or restarting a horse that has had a shaky foundation. Although this is primarily a riding course, students may be asked to utilize various other training techniques and equipment such as lunging, long-lining, the European Walker and the round pen as deemed appropriate. The student develops an understanding of when an individual horse is ready to progress and how to recognize signs that the training may be going in the wrong direction. The horse’s physical and mental development are explored as it relates to the student's ability to train them (1 credit hour). Prerequisite(s): RIDE 240.