Equine Short Courses

Continuing Your Equine Education

Rider on horse, jumping double rail gate, low angle
Mike Powell/Stone/Getty Images

There are several short courses that can provide advanced instruction (plus continuing education credit hours) to equine professionals. Courses are offered in many areas including equine reproduction, nutrition, genetics, and management. Several top equine educational facilities offer these programs, which can run from a day or two in length to a week or more. Here are some of the best equine short course programs that could advance your equine career prospects.

Colorado State University

Colorado State University was one of the very first institutions to offer short courses (in 1971), and its equine reproduction courses are quite highly regarded within the horse industry.  A few courses are restricted to veterinarians only, but most are open to horse owners, breeders, and other equine management personnel.  Courses include embryo transfer (for vets only), equine reproductive management, frozen semen management, and a foaling course.  Each program involves both classroom instruction and hands-on experiential learning.  Most tuition fees range from $350 to $1,500.

New Bolton Center (University of Pennsylvania)

The New Bolton Center, a part of the University of Pennsylvania, is another highly respected short course provider.  Short course offerings (for both vets and owners) include stallion handling, equine behavior, breeding management for mares, mare and foal behavior and management, a natural behavior field study (5 days), and an annual equine reproduction symposium.

  Most courses run for 2 days and are priced at $500 for one day of attendance, or $900 for both days.  Discounts are available for those booking more than one short course at New Bolton.

Kansas State University

Kansas State University offers a two day equine short course in equine reproduction that is designed for horse owners.

  The short course offers an even mix of lectures and hands-on learning with resident horses at the facility.  Techniques covered include handling and collecting stallions, performing artificial insemination, drug administration, mare evaluation, and more.  The fee is $300 per student and includes all materials, lunch, beverages, and a certificate of completion.  A frozen semen lab course is also offered ($150 for a one day wet lab).

North Carolina State University

North Carolina State University has offered a short course series since 1986, and the school says that it has enjoyed both national and international recognition.  The judging program is particularly well known in the horse showing community.  Current short course offerings include horse judging, nutrition, and youth judging education.  Most two day courses at NC State are in the $75 range for tuition fees.

Texas A&M University

Texas A&M University offers an equine reproductive management short course that includes 3 days of classroom lectures and hands-on laboratory instruction.  The course covers many topics including anatomy and physiology of the mare and stallion, foaling, equine nutrition, and estrous cycle manipulation in mares.

  The course is priced at $600 and the fee includes all printed materials, lunches, snacks, and a certificate of completion at the conclusion of the course.

Final Word

There are many other short course options focused on areas such as equine massage therapy, training techniques, nutritional or reproductive management, behavior, farrier work, and various other niches of the equine industry.  Some options have a stronger foundation in the lecture or classroom format, while others integrate more lab work and hands-on experiential learning.  It is important that you consider your own best learning style when selecting a short course to attend.

You should also be sure to document any short courses that could count for continuing education credit hours, particularly if you work in a field that has CE credit quotas that must be met each year (as is the case with a career path like veterinary medicine).


Short courses can enhance your resume, so always be sure to list your recently completed coursework in the education section.  Attendance at these events demonstrates your commitment to keeping your education current and makes you a more attractive candidate.