Equestrian Program
Academic Program

AU student grooming horseThe Alfred University Equestrian Studies Program is designed to offer students an opportunity to define their own needs and goals and create a career plan that facilitates their achievement.

Alfred University offers the opportunity for you to combine an Equestrian minor with one of our existing majors to prepare you for a wide variety of careers. Examples might include:

  • A combination of equestrian studies with a major in business might enable a student to run a training operation, open a tack shop or other small equine-related business, or handle accounting, marketing or sales for a large breeding operation.
  • Students who choose to combine psychology and equestrian studies might work towards certification in equine-assisted therapy.
  • Several of our students pair their equestrian minor with a major in biology to prepare for veterinary school.
  • Some students who are interested in careers in engineering or art & design take equestrian classes simply because it's a wonderful way to take advantage of all Alfred University has to offer, and because they want to stay involved with horses no matter what their career.

Courses are offered in English and Western riding, Draft Horse driving, and theory.

Equestrian Minor

For the 16 credits required for the equestrian studies minor, you must take a minimum of 8 credits in theory and 4 credits in activity courses. The remaining 4 credits are elective; they may be selected from either the activity and/or theory categories.

Feel free to download the Minor Course Enrollment Form.

Course Descriptions

EQUS 101 - English Riding I: 2 credit hours
Open to students with little or no riding experience for basic hunter seat equitation taught at the walk, trot and canter. Topics include horse grooming, hoof care, safety procedures (mounted and unmounted), care of riding equipment, and horse health. (PE requirement)

EQUS 102 - English Riding II: 2 credit hours
More advanced hunt seat riders are introduced to more complex flatwork and jumping x rails and small verticals. The course emphasizes safety and training riders to recognize their own abilities in the ring, on the trail, or in the barn. Topics include horse care and management of horses. Prerequisite: EQUS 101 or permission of instructor. (PE requirement)

EQUS 103 - English Riding III: 2 credit hours
Riders entering this course should have a secure hunt seat position at the walk, trot and canter and should exhibit good control over single fences (two feet). This course will strengthen the rider's position on the flat and over fences as the riders will progress into more complex flatwork and jumping small courses. Prerequisite: EQUS 102 or permission of instructor.

EQUS 104 - English Riding IV: 2 credit hours
Riders at this level should be competent to walk, trot, canter, and jump with good equitation. This course furthers the rider's ability on the flat and over fences as more complex work is introduced through higher fences and more complex courses. Riders will be introduced to basic course design and will be required to participate in a schooling show held at the Equestrian Center. Prerequisite: EQUS 103 or permission of instructor.

EQUS 105 - Introduction to Dressage: 2 credit hours
Open to students with intermediate experience in riding English. Basic flatwork for any discipline of riding will be covered both in theory and practice. Riders will be introduced to basic dressage training and entry level dressage tests. Prerequisite: EQUS 102 or permission of instructor.

EQUS 107 - Combined Training: 2 credit hours
Concentrating on three areas: Dressage, Cross Country and Stadium Jumping, students are given an introductory working and riding knowledge of Combined Training. Prerequisite: EQUS 103 or permission of instructor.

EQUS 110- Western Riding I: 2 credit hours
Open to students with little or no riding experience in the western disciplines. Skills taught include: western bridling, saddling, and horsemanship for the walk, jog and lope. Topics include grooming, hoof care, lungeing, safety procedures, care of horse and equipment.

EQUS 111 - Western Riding II: 2 credit hours
Open to students with beginning experience in the western disciplines. Skills taught include: western pleasure, horsemanship and showmanship patterns. Topics include safety procedures, proper tack, attire, equipment, and care of horse. Prerequisite: EQUS 110 or permission of instructor.

EQUS 112 - Western Riding III: 2 credit hours
Open to students with intermediate experience in the western disciplines. Skills taught include: western pleasure, horsemanship, showmanship and introductory trail obstacles found on trail course patterns. Topics include showing the all-around horse at breed shows, safety procedures, care of horse and equipment. Prerequisite: EQUS 111 or permission of instructor.

EQUS 113 - Western Riding IV: 2 credit hours
Open to students with intermediate or above experience in the western disciplines. Skills taught include: speed events including barrel racing, pole bending, stake race, and goat tying. Topics include: safety procedures, care of horse and equipment and introductory knowledge of team penning. Prerequisite: EQUS 112 or permission of instructor.

EQUS 115 - Dressage II: 2 credit hours
More advanced flatwork is introduced and riders learn movements required in training level and first level tests. Riding a dressage test is introduced and riders are encouraged to participate in a dressage schooling show if possible. Prerequisite: EQUS 103 or 105 or permission of instructor.

EQUS 120 - Draft Horse Driving I: 2 credit hours
Open to students with beginning experience on and around draft horses. Skills taught include: Origin and background on draft horse breeds, harnessing, ground driving and handling the lines while driving both single and doubles.

EQUS 121- Draft Horse Driving II: 2 credit hours
Lecture topics emphasize a survey of today's industry, breeds, history, conformation,principles of harnessing and hitching, and management of draft horses. Also included are showing procedures, breeding, foaling and training. Laboratory consists of hands-on experience in the handling, harnessing, hitching, driving, care and management of draft and driving horses. Prerequisite: EQUS 120 or permission of instructor.

EQUS 125 - Competition Show Jumping: 2 credit hours
Designed for the advanced rider who wants to further riding skills by jumping more technical and demanding courses. Riders are given the opportunity to participate in schooling shows in the jumper division. Prerequisite: EQUS 103 or permission of instructor.

Theory/Classroom Courses

EQUS 201 - Art and Theory of Equitation: 4 credit hours
This course emphasizes the philosophy and theory of equitation, producing a deeper understanding and strengthening a student's mental and physical approach to riding. Both the schooling and competitive frame of mind of horse and rider are included and the rider is expected to get the most out of his/her mount and know that particular horse's abilities, habits and limits. An asset to show preparation. Prerequisite: EQUS 105 or 113 or permission of instructor.

EQUS 205 - Introduction to Equine Science: 4 credit hours
This course covers classroom studies of evolution, history, anatomy, nutrition, disease, and veterinary aspects of the horse. Hands on assignments and demonstrations using the University horses are part of the class. Speakers from various professions in the industry are also part of the class.

EQUS 210 - Methods of Teaching English Riding: 4 credit hours
Students in this course are required to observe teaching of classes and to discuss objectives and methods with the instructor with safety being stressed. In time the student acts as an apprentice teacher under the instructor's supervision. When ready, the student assumes the role of instructor with the responsibility of setting up safety rules and class curriculum. The student's efforts are reflected in the riders' progress. Prerequisite: EQUS 103 or permission of instructor.

EQUS 211 - Methods of Teaching Western Riding: 4 credit hours
Open to students with advanced experience in the western disciplines. Students will learn to teach beginning western pleasure skills. The student will progress from observation to discussion of methods and teaching safety practices, to actually working with a beginner student in a supervised setting. Prerequisite: EQUS 112 or permission of instructor.

EQUS 215 - Equine Management: 4 credit hours
This course is designed to provide practical experience in barn management and equine care. Topics will include: stable management, general knowledge and observation of horse health, condition, dentistry, hoof care, internal and external parasites. Lab skills will include: bandaging, taking vital signs, clipping, fitting and showmanship.

EQUS 218 - Judging Horse Shows: 4 credit hours
Open to students with advanced riding skills in either English or Western riding. Students will learn how to evaluate and place conformation, halter and performance classes according to the standards set by various organizations and breeds of horses. Students will participate in the Intercollegiate Judging Contest held at Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio.

EQUS 220 - History of the Horse: 4 credit hours
Theoretical and practical experience in understanding the history and the evolution of the horse.

EQUS 223- Hunter and Jumper Course Design: 2 credit hours
Technical aspects and differences between hunter, jumper, equitation, and stadium jumping courses will be discussed. Hands on applications will be provided by assisting show managers with course design at shows held at the Equestrian Center along with assisting instructors with setting jumps for jumping classes.

EQUS 225 - Equine Nutrition: 2 credit hours
This course examines digestive physiology, involving carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins. Also, a practical approach to proper feedstuffs and use of quality feedstuffs to maintain health and productivity of horses.

EQUS 100 - Special Topics (activities): 1 - 4 credit hours
Various classes will be offered depending on student requests and availability of the staff. Topics to be covered will be: Starting a Young Horse Under Saddle, Starting a Young Horse Over Fences, Natural Horsemanship, etc.

EQUS 200 - Special Topics (lecture): 1-4 credit hours
Various classes will be offered depending on student requests and availability of the staff. Topics to be covered will be: Horse Show Management, Barn Design, and Equipment Safety and Handling.

EQUS 450 - Independent Study: 1 - 4 credit hours