The program uses an innovative experiential approach to working with horses, turning a student’s passion for horses into a rewarding and successful career.
Equine studies majors also have the unique benefit of working with horses on a daily basis at a brand new facility, the Montana Center for Horsemanship, located just minutes from campus.
Natural Horsemanship majors must be admitted to the university and apply to the program. For more info click to download the application.
This four-year degree program gives students the opportunity to learn the skills of natural horsemanship and obtain a career in the many equine-related fields. Majors include:
This degree provides the information needed to start or manage an equestrian-related business.
This two-year degree is designed to provide students with a background for pursuing a career that draws on their passion for horses.
This two-year degree program gives students the opportunity to learn some of the skills of natural horsemanship and obtain a career in many equine-related fields.
Here are just two great examples of equine studies courses at Montana Western. For a full course selection, please see the current catalog.
This course brings together the skills and knowledge gained in all previous natural horsemanship courses. The student and horse are now achieving a solid level of communication both on-the-ground and in the saddle. This communication continues to be more refined, and the high level of confidence and respect between the horse and the student becomes evident. Upon completion of this course, the student and horse have all the ingredients of mental, emotional, and physical collection that is the foundation of horsemanship. The solid foundation will enable the student and horse to progress into whatever facet of horsemanship is desired. In addition to mastery of the theory and ideology of natural horsemanship, students must also demonstrate their competency and mastery of covered techniques by their correct application of skills sets with their horse, both on-the-ground and under saddle.
In this course students will learn to apply the integrated business skills gained during their academic classes, along with knowledge of contemporary issues and current affairs in the equine industry, to an equine business setting. Some of the topics to be covered may include strategic vision, ranch or equine facility management, ethics and issues of breeding, buying or selling, or competing with horses, contemporary or current political issues regarding horses or their use, sales and marketing, and client and public relations. Students will have the opportunity to do research on a current or contemporary issue regarding horses and their management and then compile that research into an evaluated presentation detailing how that issue will affect the ownership of horses or the management of an equine business. Further student evaluation will be obtained through written assessments, participation in lab, lecture or internet discussions, and a final exam.
A degree in equine studies will prepare you for a career as:
Eric Hoffmann is the head instructor at LaCense Montana. He has taught the natural horsemanship classes at Montana Western since 2008. In the classes Hoffmann teaches you can learn the importance of getting your horses to work more willingly in order to accomplish a task or job. As a student of Hoffmann's you will gain the confidence and knowledge that will give you readiness for a future career in the equine industry.
Hoffmann holds an A.A.S. in Equine Management and Training from Laramie County Community College. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Education from the University of Wyoming and is currently working on a master’s degree in agriculture education from Montana State University.
Iola Else, Montana Western‘s accomplished rodeo coach, also brings her lifelong knowledge of and experience with horses to Montana Western‘s equine studies program. In addition to supervising natural horsemanship courses, Else teaches facilities management and young-horse starting and development. She is the campus’ liaison to the LaCense Montana ranch where the courses in natural horsemanship are conducted.
Layne Carlson is the newest member of the equine studies department. Carlson has been a mixed-animal practitioner for the past 30 years in Idaho and Montana. He recently sold his practice in Twin Bridges, Mont., which he started in 1983. Carlson teaches a variety of classes and enjoys the challenge of the classroom.
He received a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Colorado State University in 1979.
To Support Montana Western's thriving equine programs, the university has established a partnership with the private, non-profit Montana Center for Horsemanship (MCH), a new equine facility for program instruction and boarding. Located only 1.5 miles from the main campus, the facility offers a comfortable, friendly and secure place for students and their horses.
Amenities offered at the center include:
Natural horsemanship majors must board their horses at MCH. This will reduce the need for a truck and trailer, help students to maintain class attendance in poor weather, and foster a communal environment where the lessons taught in class can be discussed and practiced.
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