If you are someone who is passionate about equines (read: horses), and you want to use your time in college to learn more about them, then you might want to check out the various Equestrian college programs available today. Many colleges offer such programs. However, picking a single program over all of the choices can be a bit confusing.
In order to help you choose the best program, here are a few things that you might want to look for:
A) Focus – you need to see if the programs offered by a specific college are appropriate to help you get a career doing what you love and working with horses. There are various skills that you can learn and a focus on these learning areas shows you what the college can do for you. Here are the areas of focus:
1) Horseback riding and training – an equestrian is often defined by his or her ability to ride horses. Riding is a skill that will forever be attached to the title “equestrian”. However, riding is just the tip of the iceberg. In order to learn how to be a true equestrian, you need to learn how to work with your horse, training it and shaping it until it can respond to your slightest command. Remember that Equestrian studies is not just about you; It’s about both you and your horse.
2) Horse care – you also need to learn how to take care of your horses. A lot of people assume that the hardest part of being an equestrian is getting your horse to jump. This is a fantasy. In order to become a true equestrian, you need to learn how to take care of your mount. You need to understand horses inside and out. You will study the horse’s anatomy, how to fee it, how to groom it, and other essentials in horse care.
3) Horse Businesses – once you have acquired the skills, you need to learn how to use those skills to help you in the real world. In other words, you should learn the appropriate techniques to turn your skills into money. A good program will teach you to run horse-related businesses, such as stables, riding schools, and others.
B) Hands-on learning – a good program will always allow the students to learn about horses hands-on. You cannot be a “classroom equestrian”. There is not such thing. You need to actually work with horses in order to become an equestrian.
The best way to judge a college equestrian program would be to see if there are any stables in the campus. This shows you just how extensive the training of the students is going to be. You should also check to see if the program includes internships. This is the best way to learn how to apply “classroom” skills in the “real” world.
C) Extracurricular activities – in order to see just how much you will learn from a college’s equestrian program, you might want to check out if they have a great equestrian or polo team. This will show you just how much you will be able to learn. It will also give you a glimpse on how much the school prides itself on this field.
Those are just some of the things you need to check out in choosing a college equestrian program. Remember: you can always check how much the teacher can give before you start taking classes.