Equine Studies Department

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Timothy Cleary, Department Chair,Associate Professor of Equine Studies and Equestrian Center Supervisor
Octavia Brown, Professor of Equine Studies and Director of TRAC
Heather Clark, Assistant Professor of Equine Studies and Assistant IHSA Coach
Tara Clausen, Associate Professor of Equine Studies and Hunter-Jumper Coach
Michael Dowling, Assistant Professor Equine Studies and IHSA Coach
Michael Fugaro, Professor of Equine Studies and Veterinarian
Kelly Martin Munz, Professor of Equine Studies
Sarah Simms, Assistant Professor of Equine Studies and IDA Coach
Lynn E. Taylor, Professor of Equine Science

About the Department

The Equine Studies Department offers the Bachelor of Science in Equine Studies. In addition, there are six concentrations: Riding Instruction, Training The Horse, Equine Business Management, Equine Science, Equine Science (Pre-Veterinary Track), and Communication for the Equine Industry. An Associate of Science in Equine Studies is also offered as well as an Equine Minor. Please visit www.centenarycollege.edu for the Equine Major fee.

The core of the equine program focuses on the development of professional technical skills. Students receive a comprehensive background in the care and management of the horse, riding theory and training concepts, farm facility design and management, equine systems and disorders, nutrition and the musculoskeletal system and their relationship to athletic performance, equine business management, and management of equestrian activities.

All students are required to take the same core courses in their freshman year. In their sophomore year, students will select one of the four degree tracks depending on career interests and goals: General Equine Studies, Riding Instruction,Training the Horse, Equine Business Management, Equine Science or Communication. Students can further expand their equine knowledge by selecting courses from a variety of electives.

The equestrian skills portion of the program develops each student's riding skills. Students are placed in classes appropriate to their levels of riding experience and capabilities. The overall goal is to develop graduates who are competent, knowledgeable riders. Students interested in competing can further their skills by joining one of the Department's teams: Intercollegiate, Dressage, or Hunter/Jumper teams.

Equine Department Policies and Procedures

Declaring a Concentration in Communication for the Equine Industry, Equine Business Management, and Equine Science

Any students majoring in an Equine Studies Concentration must complete an application for their concentration during their sophomore year. Students may major in more than one concentration, and should recognize that due to the increase in credits this endeavor may require an additional semester. All students majoring in Communications for the Equine Industry, Equine Science, or Equine Business Management will be automatically accepted. Students may get an application from their Equine advisor.

Equine Business Management

This concentration prepares students for business-related careers in the equine field. Courses include business administration, accounting, marketing, and principles of management.

Riding Instruction

Students interested in working as professional instructors in the disciplines of hunter seat equitation, hunters, jumpers, and dressage may want to pursue this concentration. Students will study methods of teaching, course design, and judging.

Training the Horse

Students looking to specialize in riding and training the horse in the disciplines of hunter seat equitation, hunters, jumpers and dressage may want to pursue this concentration. Students will study methods of training horses, course design, judging, and schooling the green or problem horse.

Communication for the Equine Industry

Students preparing to enter the fields of journalism, photography, mass media, advertising or public relations as they relate to an equestrian career goal will be interested in this concentration. Courses include introduction to journalism, non-fiction freelance writing, photojournalism, advertising and media news writing and public speaking.

Equine Science

Students interested in Equine Science may wish to work for a veterinarian or veterinarian clinic, on a breeding farm, or as a barn manager. They may also wish to move on to more advanced studies in veterinary technology upon completion of the program.

Equine Science (Pre-Veterinary Track)

This program is offered through the collaborative efforts of the Equine Studies and Mathematics and Natural Sciences Departments of Centenary College. Completion of this major will satisfy the stringent requirements of the accredited veterinary schools in the US, Canada, and abroad. While this curriculum is ideal for students focused on pursuing a career in the equine veterinary industry, individuals interested in other animal species would benefit from this major as well. Potential animal science careers include, but are not limited to, nutrition, physiology, technology, biomedical research, and the pharmaceutical industry.

This major is designed for the academically motivated student who is capable of maintaining a 20 credit semester course load over a four-year period. Riding is not required for this major but is optional if time, space, and resources permit. All of the riding requirements and protocols can be found within the Equine Studies Department majors.

Students will be provided expert advisors to assist in their career development. Additionally, internships or experiential learning is highly encouraged within this major. Students enrolled in this curriculum will be encouraged to participate in the Pre-Professionals Organization which provides extracurricular education into the science-based careers and graduate schools through meetings, guest speakers, and tutorials focused on graduate school applications.

Due to the academic rigor of this curriculum, students applying for acceptance into this major must satisfy the following requirements: (1) successful completion of Pre-Calculus or higher; (2) a cumulative high school or transfer academic GPA of 3.4/4.0; (3) a score of 580 or higher on each section of the SAT. (4) an interview with the Department Chair and/or faculty members of the Equine Department

Transfer students, both internal and external, are welcome to apply and must meet the requirements described above. Accepted transfer students are not guaranteed that all courses/credits will transfer into this curriculum and that graduation from this major may be delayed due to an off-cycle enrollment.

Minimum Academic Requirements to Ride or Horse Show

Students are expected to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 to participate in riding skills classes, intercollegiate competitions, or outside horse shows. This rule applies to all Equine Studies Majors, full or part-time students, and elective riders. Students who drop below a 2.0 GPA will be notified by the Department Chair in writing prior to the start of the next semester.

For a full description of the policy, please see “Academic Policies and Procedures: Eligibility Policy for Athletes/Student Activities and Academic Probation."

Boarding a Horse at the Equestrian Center

There are a limited number of stalls available for students interested in boarding a horse. Boarding a horse at Centenary is an earned privilege, and students must demonstrate an ongoing willingness to properly care for their horse and abide by the rules and regulations of the Equestrian Center.

Student boarders must maintain a semester average or a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or above. If the GPA falls below 2.5, the student will be considered on probation and may have boarding privileges revoked.

Students interested in boarding a horse must provide a videotape of themselves riding the horse. This tape will be evaluated by the Riding Coordinator to determine the suitability of the horse in the context of the Equestrian Studies program. The horse must be capable of being ridden in a group without being lunged first; it must be suitable physically for the student’s riding level; it must be fit enough to keep up with the demands of the class, and serviceably sound.

All boarder horses are subject to re-evaluation at any time due to: a violation of any of the terms of the Boarder Contract; the owner’s unwillingness or inability to care for and maintain the horse; the horse proving to be unsuitable to be ridden in a group format; the horse proving to be unsuitable for the student’s learning needs. For specific details of the Boarder Contract and fees, contact the Equestrian Center at 908-852-1400 ext.7221.

Equine Studies Internal Program Admission Policy

In order for a Centenary College student to seek admission to the Equine Studies Major, the following criteria will apply (this includes students who were either initially wait-listed for the Equine Studies Department or not accepted into the program).

  • Provide a current riding video
  • Provide an essay as to why they want to be an Equine Studies Major and what impact will they have on the Equine Industry with their degree
  • Previous semester grades
  • Space availability
  • Suitable mount (if required)
  • Interview with a panel of three Equine Studies Faculty members
  • Equine Studies Department approval

Fitness Guidelines for all Students Enrolled in Equestrian Skills Classes or Riding Teams:

Riding is a sport that requires physical fitness and stamina in order to achieve success. It is our goal to help produce riders that are physically able to handle the responsibilities of the equine job market. Whether it is riding, managing a facility or just working with horses in any way, students need to have some level of fitness to meet these demands.

In the Fall of each academic year all equine students will be required to take a fitness test in order to ride in the program. This will include any student who will be participating in Equine riding classes or on a team. This is for both the safety of the rider and for our horses. All students will be required to take the test in the first week of school. Times will be made available for sign-up during orientation. The test will be administered by a certified fitness trainer. If you pass the test you will be clear to ride for both fall and spring semester of this year. If you do not pass the test you will not be allowed to ride for the fall semester, and you will need to re-test before spring semester in order to ride for the spring.

The fitness test will be given annually to help insure the safety of both student and horses participating in the equine program. Centenary College will cover the cost of your first fitness test, however if you do not pass you will be responsible for the fee to re-take the test before registering for your spring riding class. It is our goal that all students will be able to pass the fitness test; if you do not pass the first time we will provide you with resources that if followed, will help you achieve success with your fitness goal.

If you have any medical conditions that would prevent you from performing any of the above mentioned tests, please have a doctor’s note (on office letterhead) available as to your limitations and the trainers will accommodate you with a different test. Requests for accommodation must be made prior to the actual fitness test and be turned into either Department Chair or Riding Coordinator with the accompanying doctor’s note. Prescription pads will not be accepted for exclusion of exercises. All fitness test scores and discussions with the Chair and Riding Coordinator regarding a student’s fitness are confidential.

Transportation to and from the Equestrian Center

On Mondays through Fridays during the academic year, the College provides van transportation for students to and from the Equestrian Center approximately once an hour each way from about 7 a.m. to about 7:30 p.m. Vans leave from main campus on the hour; from the barn on the half hour. The College is not responsible for providing transportation for students on weeknights, weekends, holidays, over breaks or during the summer.

Policies and Procedures for Handling Students' Physical Injuries

Students unable to ride in their riding skills class due to a physical injury or illness for more than two or three sessions must contact their instructor to explain the situation. In order to return to riding, the student must provide their instructor with a note from the treating professional permitting them to re-engage in all of the activities associated with riding. If they are not able to perform ALL related physical activities, the treating professional must state in the note specifically what the student can and cannot do and the time frame involved. If the problem persists for more than three weeks, the student may be required by the Instructor to drop their equestrian skills class unless other suitable arrangements can be made that allow them to make up all work missed. In this situation a withdrawal from class will be made for medical reasons and will have no bearing on their grade point average.

The equestrian skills courses must include one semester of dressage. Please note a special Equine fee per semester is charged for equine minors enrolled in equestrian skill classes. Visit www.centenarycollege.edu for current fees.

Riding As A Free Elective:

Students not participating in the Equine major or minor program may elect to take riding classes on a space available and riding level basis. A semester or cumulative G.P.A. of 2.000 or better is required. Interested students need to provide the Riding Coordinator with a 10-minute video demonstrating their riding ability prior to pre-registration. The Department's dress code must be adhered to and students must supply equipment as outlined in the Equine Studies Handbook. A special Equine fee per semester is charged for elective riders. Visit www.centenarycollege.edu for current fees.


Therapeutic Riding Instruction

This series of courses prepares students to take the Registered Instructor examination offered by the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA). Course work covers a variety of disabling conditions and the theory of how to adapt the riding situation for the individual needs of each client. A two-semester instruction practicum is required to gain the instructional skills needed to meet NARHA’s standards. Required courses are:

EST 3017-3018 Therapeutic Riding Instruction I & II 8 credits
EST 4017 Practicum in Therapeutic Riding I & II 2 credits

Equine Semester Abroad

The Equine Studies Department offers, in conjunction with the Office of Academic Affairs, a Semester Abroad for equine majors in either their Junior year or the first semester of their Senior year. Information on these programs may be obtained directly from the Equine Studies Department Chairperson. Students receiving Centenary scholarships or grants must contact the Financial Aid Office for the details on the limit of Centenary funds a student may receive while studying abroad. Students must complete a “letter of intent” and a Study Abroad/Off Campus Study application at least two semesters before their intended semester abroad, but no later than April 1, to be considered for the Equine Semester Abroad. Approval by the Equine Studies Department and all offices listed on the Study Abroad/Off Campus Study form is required. In order to be eligible to apply for the Equine Semester Abroad Program, it is recommended that students have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.000. This is a competitive application.


Every student is encouraged to undertake an internship in the industry during his/her Junior or Senior year and must have completed a minimum of 40 credits in the Equine program. These opportunities can lead to job offers for summer employment, or upon graduation, and carry a great deal of weight on a resume. Internships are available at breeding and training stables, veterinary clinics and hospitals, therapeutic riding programs, equine publications, equine organizations, and lesson facilities.

Minors Available

Equine Studies Minor

To undertake the Equine Studies Minor, students must maintain a semester or cumulative grade point average of 2.000 or 1.750 or better for second semester freshmen. Courses do not have to be taken in consecutive semesters, but they must be taken in sequence with the prerequisites observed. Twenty credits are required for this course of study:

Course # Title Credits Completed
EST 1010 Practical Horse Management I 4 _______
EST 1012 Practical Horse Management II 4 _______
EST 1011 Fundamental Theories of Riding 4 _______
EST 2010 Basic Concepts of Training the Horse 4 _______
EST 2012 Equine Health I 4 _______
Riding Skills 2 _______
Riding Skills 2 _______
Total: 20 Credits

Please Note: Choose either Equine Health 1, or two Riding Skills classes.

Associates Degrees Available

A.S. in Equine Studies Audit

Bachelor Degrees Available

B.S. in Equine Studies Audit

B.S. in Equine Studies: Communication for the Equine Industry Audit

B.S. in Equine Studies: Equine Business Management Audit

B.S. in Equine Studies: Equine Science Audit

B.S. in Equine Studies: Riding Instruction

B.S. in Equine Studies: Training The Horse

B.S. in Equine Studies:Equine Science (Pre-Veterinary Track)Audit

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