Bachelor of Science in Equestrian Science

The first university in the United States to offer a four-year degree in equestrian science, William Woods has been the name to know in equestrian studies since 1924. The William Woods University Equestrian Bachelor of Science in Equestrian Science combines a strong theoretical foundation with the riding, teaching, training and business skills you will need for a successful equine career as a trainer, teacher or stable manager in the booming $112 billion equine industry.

Our large, modern equestrian complex will provide you with an excellent educational experience in both classroom and field. Our traditional approach to horsemanship involves the four disciplines of dressage, hunter/jumper, saddle seat and western.

Essential skills you will learn include:

  • Small business fundamentals
  • The anatomy of movement
  • Digestive physiology and feeding programs
  • Proper farrier methods and variations of shoeing
  • Breed/type evaluation for performance and conformation
  • Logistics of teaching and managing a lesson program
  • Overview of the horse industry and employment opportunities
  • Equine health and first aid
  • Day-to-day care of horses
  • Designing and managing a stable
  • Advanced business practices for a horse opetion
  • Riding and teaching techniques for the four disciplines: dressage, hunter/jumper, saddle seat and western.


Get more involved with other students who share your interests through the five equestrian organizations on campus, open to all students regardless of major. There is a club for each seat: dressage, hunter/jumper, saddle seat and western. Each of these clubs has its own personality and activities, and they all promote camaraderie and learning through horse shows, service events and competitions. There is also a competitive William Woods Judging Team, open to anyone who wants to learn more about horses and competitive judging. This team travels to regional judging competitions each fall and helps at regional clinics and judging contests each spring.


William Woods participates in a number of national and international horse shows each year, in which all students are invited to participate. Showing at these events teaches poise, sportsmanship and responsibility and provides opportunities to come in contact with prospective employers. Shows range from local schooling shows to “A” rated national shows such as:

  • The American Royal in Kansas City
  • The St. Louis National Charity Horse Show
  • The Morgan Grand Nationals
  • The All American Quarter Horse Congress
  • The Central State Regional Dressage Finals.
  • We also host a variety of shows on campus throughout the year.

Regional, national and international field trips

Field trips include visits to area professional horse training facilities, the Veterinary School at the University of Missouri, horse shows and museums. Special courses have given students the opportunity to tour show horse barns in Kentucky and Missouri, ride with professional horse trainers in Oregon and Hawaii, and tour and ride in famous horse facilities in England and France.

On-campus equine complex: an optimal learning environment

  • 150 show-quality horses
  • Four heated barns with a total of 150 box stalls
  • Eight tack rooms
  • Two heated indoor arenas
  • Lighted outdoor ring
  • Outdoor round pen
  • Four turnout paddocks
  • Two fully equipped, technology-enhanced classrooms
  • 40-acre cross-country course
  • Six wash stalls
  • USEF regulation jumps
  • USEF regulation dressage area
  • Student lockers and laundry

Few educational institutions can match William Woods University for its on-campus equine facilities that accommodate riding, care and study at all levels and seats. Our classrooms include an extensive video library and viewing equipment, and our dedicated library includes more than 1,000 books on all aspects of the field, from history and physiology to behavior, training, law and competition. Our more than 150 horses represent the most popular breeds and are cared for by William Woods students.

Clinics and seminars

In addition to instruction from our own nationally renowned faculty members, you will learn from top industry professionals in various clinics and seminars. Past instructors have included actor William Shatner, Linda Zang, Fern Bittner, Otis Brown, Jr. and Rita Mae Brown.


This degree comprises 53 credit hours including a Capstone Course.

Major Checklist

  • BUS206 Entrepreneurship
  • EQS212 Theory of Teaching Techniques I
  • EQS306 Practical Equine Anatomy & Conditioning
  • EQS328 Equine Evaluation
  • EQS404 Veterinary Medicine and Reproduction
  • EQS411 Teaching Techniques Seminar
  • EQU111 Introduction to the Horse Industry
  • EQU117 Theory of Performance Horse Health Management
  • EQU201 Horse Management Practicum I
  • EQU221 Stable Management
  • EQU391 Horse Management Practicum II
  • EQU405 Equine Business Practices
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This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 2019
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