Houghton equestrian student Cassidy Kuhlmann standing with horse in front of equestrian center.

Equestrian Studies

Prepare for a career as a professional coach, trainer, equine studies professor, riding program director, equine entrepreneur, and so much more.

Known for academic excellence, professionalism and experiential learning, Equestrian Studies at Houghton University will prepare you to ride, teach and train using the principles of classical dressage through a high-quality equine program in a Christian college setting—part of the Sport, Recreation and Wellness Management major at Houghton.

Specialize Your Studies

Choose between equine performance or equine management. These tracks give a solid foundation for students preparing to enter the equestrian venue as professionals in teaching, training, facility management and related careers. Along the way, you will get involved in five disciplines:

  • Dressage
  • Hunter/Jumper
  • Eventing
  • Western
  • Trail Riding

What will I learn?

Through Houghton’s program in Equestrian Studies, you will:

  • Earn your Certified Horsemanship Association certification.
  • Compete in open and United States Equestrian Federation/United States Dressage Federation-recognized competitions.
  • Get hands-on by teaching lessons to children and adults in the community.
  • Learn and train under Certified Horsemanship Association-certified professors and Fédération Equestre Internationale level clinicians.
  • Enjoy first-class facilities on 386 acres of farmland, trails and cross-country.
  • Work with 30 school horses trained in multiple disciplines, or board your own horse.
  • Belong to a thriving community of Christians who are living, learning and experiencing life together.

124 Credits


Required Courses


Elective Courses and General Education

Hands-on Learning through Leadership

Have opportunities to practice what you are learning in the classroom by stepping into positions of leadership including managing shows, clinics and other events, becoming a teaching assistant for riding classes, teaching riding lessons to the community (after receiving Certified Horsemanship Association certification), serving as a club officer with the Equestrian Society and more!

Equestrian Center Events

Houghton Equestrian Center hosts public events including multiple schooling and USEF/USDF recognized competitions, clinics, conferences, and educational workshops and during the summer, a regularly sold-out, multi-week equestrian summer camp.

View Upcoming Events

Equine Assisted Therapy

Earn a minor in equine-assisted therapy to help individuals with disabilities in various settings using horses and a variety of facilitation techniques. You can pursue certification from the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship through an internship field placement.

Aerial view of Houghton University's equestrian center.

First-Class Facilities in an Idyllic Rural Setting

Named one of the 20 Most Amazing College Equestrian Centers in the country by Best Value Schools, Houghton's Equestrian Center includes:

  • Event Center with geothermal heating and cooling, 100’x 220’ indoor arena, bleacher seating for 200, classroom, concession stand, restrooms, changing rooms, two wash racks and 12 box stalls
  • Five barns with 51 box stalls
  • A full cross-country course and a variety of riding trails
  • Multiple pastures ranging from three to seven acres
  • 60’ × 145’ indoor arena with heated viewing/classroom attached
  • 100’ × 240’ outdoor stadium jumping ring
  • 20 m × 60 m dressage arena
Explore the Equestrian Center

Program Outcomes

Students graduating from Equestrian Studies at Houghton University are prepared for careers in many areas of the equestrian industry, including but not limited to:

Employment Expected to Grow 28%

for Animal Trainers
Equine CareersSource

Meet a Faculty Member

Application Requirements


Start Your Application

Complete the application here
Apply Now

Documents and Supporting Materials

You’ll be asked to provide your official high school transcript and your test scores (can be waived)
Testing Policy

Personal Essay

The personal essay portion of our application for admission is perhaps the best place to truly tell your story, to tell who you are and what is important to you.
Personal Essay

Have Questions?

Discover if Equestrian Studies at Houghton University is right for you.