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School of Equine Studies

Every year, the United States horse industry generates a total economic impact of $122 billion, supports 1.74 million jobs, and provides $79 billion in total salaries, wages, and benefits. In 2017-2018, the US government awarded over $700 million in grants to therapeutic horsemanship programs offering treatment for veterans.

Yes, you can have a career working with horses.

The demand for qualified equine professionals is insatiable, and we specialize in getting our graduates noticed. In 2018 alone, the Lake Erie College School of Equine Studies achieved a 100 percent employment rate within one year of graduation.

Turning Passion into Profession

We combine a rigorous academic curriculum with experiential learning. Classes including Accounting, Marketing, and Business Law prepare you to enter an industry that rewards business sense. Equine Anatomy and Physiology, Equine Health, Nutrition, and Equine Lameness develop your love of the horse into a marketable trade. We offer extensive riding opportunities in academic classes, private lessons, and intercollegiate riding teams on a variety of horses including upper-level Hunter Derby horses, FEI-level dressage schoolmasters, green-broke horses, and everything in between. Showing opportunities exist on school horses in rated dressage shows, locally rated H/J shows, and other venues. Upon graduation, you will hit the market with a substantial resume that stands out in a crowd.

What makes an LEC graduate successful?

Our faculty come from the business. Practicing veterinarians, FEI rated judges, professional large-scale facility managers, grooms for Olympic gold medalists, PATH Int’l certified instructors, and trainers with their own clientele draw on their vast wealth of experiences to teach you the hands-on skills crucial to success in the horse world. Additionally, the diversity of experiences taught by our faculty help you learn the flexibility valued by employers. 

Yes, you can have a career working with horses, and we are dedicated to helping you get there.

Equine Studies Majors


Certificate in Equine Massage Therapy

The care of many performance horses includes alternative therapies such as equine therapeutic massage. Certified massage practitioners provide complementary care to regular veterinary services, and the field offers plenty of opportunities for those with the proper education, experience, and certification.  Lake Erie College is the only four-year college in the nation to offer instruction and certification in equine massage therapy for academic credit. Students in either Equestrian Facility Management, Equestrian Teacher/Trainer (English), Equine Business Administration, and/or Equine Therapeutic Horsemanship may earn a Certificate in Equine Massage Therapy.

Coursework includes 50 hours of classroom and laboratory instruction in both the scientific and experiential study of Equine Massage. Students learn and practice therapeutic massage on school horses as part of the experiential curriculum taught by the professional equine massage therapist, Laura Gentile.

Prerequisites for the courses are Equine Anatomy & Physiology I and II, giving Lake Erie College certified equine massage therapists an in-depth education upon which to build their business and clientele.


Equine Studies Minor

When combined with various majors such as communication, biology, marketing, and education, the equine studies minor enhances the scientific and technical knowledge of your chosen field of study with the hands-on practices of horsemanship. Many graduates choose careers in breed or riding discipline associations, equine nutrition and nutraceutical companies, equine specialty marketing firms, and the equine retail market. Students preparing for veterinary medicine often add a minor in equine studies to complement their studies in biology and chemistry.

Therapeutic Horsemanship Concentration

The concentration in Therapeutic Horsemanship gives you theoretical knowledge of and practical experience with teaching horsemanship to people with disabilities. Gain insight into the physical, psychosocial, cognitive, and emotional effects of horses on human beings, particularly those people who have special needs or challenges. A 50-hour practical internship under the supervision of a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International, (PATH Intl.) certified therapeutic riding instructor is required.