Saddle Up

Equine studies minor opens new opportunities for horse enthusiasts.

Students minoring in equine studies work directly with horses while also taking courses in economics, business,and biology.

Students minoring in equine studies work directly with horses while also taking courses in economics, business,and biology.

When Amanda Rumore was a college student, she earned some of her best grades during the semesters when she made time to ride horses. She believes the joy of riding, coupled with the responsibility of caring for a horse, helped her focus.

Now a professor of biology at Randolph College, Rumore is helping her own students foster a connection between horses and academics through the equine studies minor.

“For a lot of students, riding is something that they want to continue for the remainder of their college careers or even their lives,” Rumore said. “They also want a way to integrate that into their academic pursuits.”

Randolph College added the equine studies minor in 2013, and Rumore serves as its coordinator. In just three semesters, more than two dozen students have taken the program’s introductory courses, which cover basic horse care, equine facility management, and veterinary science.

Chris Mitchell, the College’s director of riding, has been pleased to see a high degree of interest in his introductory equine studies class. “It’s a little bit of a different course,” he said. “They’re out at the barn with the horses. That’s a big draw for them. The students are not in a classroom, but they’re still learning.”

Randolph’s equine studies program is interdisciplinary and includes classes in economics, biology, and business, as well as horse-specific classes. It also includes an experiential learning requirement.

Mitchell said the equine industry is much larger than most students realize. Someone with an interest in the equine field can find opportunities in marketing, barn management, grooming, training, insurance, nutrition, and more. The equine studies minor gives students exposure to many of those aspects of working with horses.

“There are so many different avenues that you can use to go into the industry,” Mitchell added. “That’s what the equine studies minor will help students with.”

But the minor is also well-suited for those who just enjoy horses and want to learn how to better care for them. “If you’re not interested in doing it for a career, it will still prepare you to be a lifelong equestrian,” Rumore said.

Learn more about the Equine Studies program at Randolph College > > >