Skip to main content

Equine Science (CLOSED)

The Equine Science program is a two-week intensive program for motivated young adults seeking to explore what it takes to succeed in the horse industry, and in doing so, challenge themselves to become better horsemen and future leaders in the equine profession. 

Each day, students will join a small group of their peers for hands-on practicums and workshops at the university’s Hadley Farm Equine Center. UMass faculty, visiting equine professionals, and of course, the horses themselves will all play a role in the learning experience. The program will begin with instruction on horse behavior and safety training. Students will explore topics in equine reproduction, stable management, nutrition basics, and farrier science.

In addition, each student will adopt one of the farm’s horses for the duration of the program and work intensively with that horse on a variety of equine care, ground-work training, and management topics. The equine science summer pre-college experience concludes with presentation of student case studies. The purpose of this final assignment is to tie together all of the knowledge and skills students have gained and synthesize it into a reflective project that looks at the scientific and practical applications of caring for horses. Students will focus on their adopted horse from the different perspectives of stable manager, veterinarian, and trainer.

Students will:

  • Gain an understanding of how to manage horses based on scientific evidence.
  • Recognize how the principles of equine behavior, anatomy, nutrition and reproduction are applied to the daily management of an equine facility.
  • Develop their horsemanship skills through daily work with horses.
  • Explore educational opportunities and career pathways in the equine profession.
  • Complete an intensive case-study on their adopted horse, incorporating the knowledge they gained during the course and scientific research on equine husbandry, behavior, and veterinary medicine.

Important Safety Information

  • Every student must wear an ASTM/SEI approved helmet, gloves, and boots when working with our young horses in training workshops. There are a limited number of helmets to borrow at the farm. All students must bring boots and gloves.
  • All students must sign an equine liability release form and attend a safety training session on the first day.
  • Pants and boots must be worn when working with horses.

*In your letter of interest, please describe your interest in the equine industry, and explain what you hope to gain from the Equine Science Summer Pre-College Program. We invite applications from all and hope to gather students with diverse backgrounds and experiences.

This course is offered at the UMass Amherst campus as a residential program. Local students may apply to attend as a commuter.