Equine Science Program


Equine Science Overview

RCTC Equine Science program offers programs to prepare you for careers in the horse industry including starting your own business.  Students can either take course work to become a riding instructor or horse trainer OR they can pursue a certificate in horse husbandry that prepares them to care for a herd of horses.

We offer riding courses in both English Equitation and Western Horsemanship.  In addition, we have a colt starting course where students each start a horse from scratch.

Lecture classes include topics such as horse nutrition, anatomy, diseases, breeds, equine business development, careers involving horses, and teaching riding lessons.

We lease an equestrian facility (Silver Springs Equestrian Center) which includes a  large indoor arena, comfortable lounge, and the entire facility is fully heated. 

New Students

If you have been accepted to RCTC and indicated an interest in equine science, you will receive a communication explaining that you need to participate in an equine science orientation.  Please visit the Equine Science Program Admission page for further information or email Eric Sime (eric.sime@rctc.edu) about the orientations.

Programs of Study

Equine Science

RCTC offers three major options in Equine Science:  Horse Husbandry, Riding/Training, and Equine Studies.

The purpose of the Horse Husbandry major is to prepare students for careers in stable management, horse breeding, and horse care.  Students will have the skills to manage their own home business, work for other professionals or pursue advanced training.

The purpose of the Riding/Training major is to prepare students to work as horse trainers, riding instructors, and show coaches.  Students will have the skills to manage their own business, work for other professionals or pursue advanced training.

The purpose of the Certificate in Equine Studies is to provide an equine curriculum that can be tailored to the individual needs of students.  The certificate can be used to improve the current employment status, an existing business, skills or knowledge related to equine science.  In addition, students may choose to use this certificate in order to pursue a lifelong learning experience in equine science.  Students taking this certificate should work closely with a faculty member or advisor in selecting courses.


Depending on the option selected coursework may include:  Introduction to Equine Science, Equine Nutrition, Western Horsemanship, English Equitation, Colt Starting, Equine Anatomy and Physiology, and Equine Business Practices.

Program/Degree Options

RCTC offers several credential options in Equine Science.  There are two year and one year options.  In addition, an AS Degree is pending approval.

Program Start Date(s)

Students can enroll on a part-time or full-time basis.  Some courses are prerequisites to advanced level coursework so preplanning is encouraged.  Students are encouraged to start in the fall semester.

Career Opportunities/Information

According to the American Horse Council study released in 2005, the horse industry involves 4.6 million Americans, has a direct economic impact of $39 billion annually, and provides 460,000 full-time equivalent jobs.  These numbers are likely growing and the industry is constantly looking for educated people to employ.  Many of the jobs in the horse industry are self-employment opportunities, especially training and teaching jobs.  There are also many business owners who come to RCTC looking to hire graduates from the Equine Program.  The opportunities in the horse industry include horse training, teaching riding lessons, grooming, stable management, saddle making, nutritional consulting, breeding farm management, research, and extension work.


The Higher Learning Commission accredits Rochester Community and Technical College.

Students may consider additional transfer options by working closely with a four-year institution of their choice.

For additional information on the most current list of RCTC program articulations see us at: www.rctc.edu/catalog/articulations.

Additional Information

Program Plan: www.rctc.edu/academics/programs

More Information: www.rctc.edu/contact

Program Award Credits Gainful
Equine Science Horse Husbandry Cert 20 Equine Science Riding/Training Dipl 35 Overview content updated: 2017-09-07