Equine Studies


Equine studies combines the scientific study of horses with practical aspects such as business models, herd management, equine nutrition, equine anatomy, physiology and first aid, and the fundamentals of riding.

Two tracks are available: equine assisted therapy and equine business management. Students will gain equestrian knowledge through hands-on experiences with horses and lecture courses. Equine studies students will graduate with a solid foundation in equine management and welfare in order to combine their passion for horses with a career path. This major can also serve as an equine knowledge base for students applying to veterinary school for large animal and equine specialties.

Equine assisted therapy allows students to explore a growing field in which mental health professionals use horses in a therapy setting. Equine assisted therapies differ from therapeutic riding in that the therapy setting is conducted on the ground rather than in the saddle and the horse is part of a three-pronged therapy team involving a mental health specialist, an equine specialist, and the horse. This program takes an interdisciplinary approach to therapy giving students additional tools and experiences to carry into their professional roles upon graduation. Students will have the option to become EAGALA certified through the program. 

Equine business management provides students with a broad understanding of business principles so they are prepared to work in the business side of the equine industry. Students will take classes in accounting, finance, marketing, and management. Internship opportunities will be available at Wesleyan’s Nancy Ellis Knox Equestrian Center, conveniently located on campus, as well as other major equine facilities. Students will have key roles in managing horse shows.

Major: Equine Studies
Minor: Equine Assisted Therapy
Related Majors: Veterinary Medicine, Biology, Psychology, Business Administration
Related Minors: Sport Management, Organizational Behavior, Psychology
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Wesleyan offers 23 majors and 30 minors, as well as eight pre-professional programs. Students also have the opportunity to self-design their own major, combining two or more interdisciplinary major programs.

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Student walks with horse on dirt road to equestrian center

Equine facilities

Wesleyan College’s Nancy Ellis Knox Equestrian Center is located on main campus, allowing easy student access to the horses and teaching faculty. The facility houses the College-owned equine herd used by degree-seeking students, our IHSA Hunt Seat and Western and IDA Dressage teams, and a community riding program. The center boasts two riding arenas. The large arena is complete with jumps, lights, and an automatic watering system allowing for student practice, lessons, and labs throughout the day and evening. 

Wesleyan has operated a successful equestrian program for 25 years. The College currently owns 12 horses and several more are on care-lease for school use. Additionally, horses that are boarded are often used in equestrian programs. Our equestrian staff is headed by Catherine Baker, an experienced coach, riding instructor, and trainer. Baker has an extensive background in IHSA, USEF rated Hunter/Jumper/Equitation, USDF and IDA dressage, and USEA eventing. She is a FEI licensed steward and officiates at several international events each year. She also is an IEA steward and officiates at shows across the country. The College hosts a hunt seat team and a western team, both of which have successfully competed in Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) regional and semi-final events. Recently Wesleyan joined the Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA).



Wesleyan is one of only tHREE colleges in georgia to offer the equine studies major, and one of SEVEN women's colleges in america to offer an equestrian program.



Equine Therapist

A mental health professional who uses horses in a therapy setting conducted on the ground. The horse is part of a team that includes mental health and equine specialists.

Barn/Stable ManageR

Oversees the proper care of horses, supervises employees, and maintains buildings and grounds. May work in many facets of the equine industry.

Extension Agent

Works with farmers, ranchers, and communities to improve productivity while protecting the environment. Often offers advice on animal feed, breeding, and diseases.

Care Technician

In a clinical setting you might clean wounds, administer medications, and handle emergencies. On a farm, you might be feeding and taking care of horses.

Horse Trainer

Responsibilities might include caring for the animals’ physical needs, teaching submissive behaviors, and coaching for competitions and other riding purposes.

Nutrition Consultant

Maintains a horse’s health by addressing health concerns like allergies, missing teeth, cushings, insulin resistance, etc. This field might require advanced degree.


A rehabilitation therapist combines a variety of healing modalities to treat horses needing recovery from injury, muscular issues, or other physical problems.

Riding Teacher

A person who teaches methods of horse riding and horse care to beginners and helps to improve the intermediate and advanced rider’s style and technique.

Equine Manager

Maintains the overall health and happiness of horses in areas of equine businesses such as events and shows, stables, tack shops, breeding, and sales.


A person qualified to treat diseased or injured animals. An advanced degree is required to become a veterinarian.

Catherine Baker
Head Equestrian Coach, Director of Equestrian Center (478) 757-5111 Profile
Brooke Bennett-Day
Professor of Psychology (478) 757-3749 Profile


Of the student population at Wesleyan is international


Number of majors we offer including the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree


Of full time faculty members hold the highest degree in their fields

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