Intensive, horse-centered curriculum
Department of Equine Science
The Department of Equine Science prides itself on experiential learning opportunities and individualized attention. Students are immersed in their own living laboratory and can expand their passion for horses into a competitive career path.
Students interested in riding have the opportunity to take lessons from our accomplished instructors and participate on our highly competitive equestrian teams. Our dressage team is the reigning three-time national champion team, and our hunt seat team consistently places at nationals.
This intensive horse centered curriculum expands your traditional thinking of the equine industry. Explore the multifaceted, 112-billion-dollar industry and take your equine passion beyond the barn. Our graduates are working at major equine organizations and companies, veterinary clinics, universities, and equine facilities across the nation.
Take a virtual tour of our beautiful facility and learn more about our majors and lessons in this video.
Follow our department and equestrian teams on social media!
Programs of Study in Equine Sciences
Student, Faculty, & Alumni Spotlights
Having the opportunity to conduct an independent project with the choice of an expert mentor was one of the reasons I initially chose Otterbein four years ago, as it is a unique and valuable experience. Instead of just learning the scientific method and processes of research in the classroom, I was able to execute them and investigate my own hypotheses.
Megan Leclerc ’20
Equine Pre-Veterinary/Pre-Graduate Studies Major
With the assistance and support of the equine department’s faculty, I conducted a thesis project, completed the honors program, competed on the equestrian team, and held leadership roles in on-campus clubs throughout my college career; experiences that helped me build a strong veterinary school application. The academic knowledge and relationships I gained from this program not only helped me get accepted to my top choice veterinary school, but also helped me become more confident and mature as an individual.
Grace Simpson ’20
Now a graduate student at Colorado State College of Veterinary Medicine
Prior to becoming an Otterbein student, I had only a year of equine experience from volunteering at a horse rescue. Through this program, my confidence with working with horses has increased significantly while continuing my volunteer work.
Lindsey Payton ’23
Equine Pre-Veterinary/Pre-Graduate Studies alum, student at Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
Is Equine Pre-Veterinary/Pre-Graduate Studies a good fit for you?
- No equine experience? Or, only interested in small animals? No problem! The hands-on experience at Otterbein will take you further then you ever imagined and is applicable across species.
- Don’t want to go to veterinary school? This major provides you with other options! You will have a strong background in the sciences and opportunities for student research, preparing you for graduate school and other careers.
- Experienced with horses? – Great! There’s always more to learn.
Situated on 70 acres in a pristine setting in the heart of Westerville, the Knowlton Center is only two miles from Otterbein’s main campus. Visit our state-of-the-art facilities to see why the Knowlton Center is recognized for “best practices” in equine management techniques.
No matter your experience or your goals — there’s a place for you here. You don’t have to be a major to ride with our nationally recognized team. In fact, about half of our team members are non-majors. You also don’t have to ride to be an equine major at Otterbein.
Mattie Boyd ’16
Biology major, equestrian team member, and now Inside Sales Manager at FarmVet
Passion is the lifeblood of creativity and drive. Our program fuels students’ equine passion, with equine welfare taking center stage.
Bruce Mandeville, Associate Professor
The hands-on experience our students gain in the pre-veterinary courses is second to none.
Sheri Birmingham, Professor
Professor & Department Chair, Equine Science
I enjoy how faculty can work closely with students through hands-on courses, research, and travel opportunities.
Steffanie Burk, Associate Professor
News - July 31, 2023Otterbein University is using an innovative approach to grow enrollment and revenue by “crowd sourcing” ideas from its own community and investing in the best ideas with $1 million approved by the Board of Trustees. Under the Fast Track Innovation Fund initiative, seven projects proposed by Otterbein faculty and staff in May have been funded and are already being implemented on campus. “This investment in Otterbein’s future demonstrates our trustees’ commitment to allowing every member of our community to be heard…
News - June 23, 2023What does a student need to learn to work in therapeutic riding? It turns out, A LOT! From paperwork to training, horse selection to teaching, and even managing volunteers. Luckily, Associate Professor Steffanie Burk, Department of Equine Science, has developed the perfect course to teach Otterbein students how to manage all of that, and do some good in the community by working with Special Olympics athletes. Let’s find out more about the course! Therapeutic Riding This course provides theory and…
Posts - May 17, 2023After a riveting day of team competition and impressive performances from riders across the board, the Otterbein University Dressage Team was named the 2023 Diller Equine IDA National Champion — the third consecutive national title for the team, which also took home the title in 2019 and 2022. (Competition was suspended in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.) Concluding on April 23 at the Virginia Horse Center, the National Championships saw 26 schools from around the nation compete in…
Posts - May 17, 2023The Hunt Seat Team finished their season 10th out of 16 competing schools at the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) National Championship on May 7, 2023. IHSA has over 400 members schools and boasts a student membership of over 10,000. The Hunt Seat Team won its zone and regional championships in order to qualify for nationals. This year, the team took its largest contingent to nationals yet. Here are the full team results: Team Open Equitation Over Fences: Lizzie Orosz,…
Austin E. Knowlton Center for Equine Science
600 N. Spring Rd
Westerville, OH 43082
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Otterbein and the Equine department will support you, help you build important connections, and give you opportunities you simply will not have at any other university.