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.

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Austin E. Knowlton Center for Equine Science Gala

Celebrate 15 Years of Excellence with us!

Saturday, September 21, 2024
6:00-9:30 p.m., The Point, 60 Collegeview Road, Westerville, OH 43081

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Follow our department and equestrian teams on social media!

Programs of Study in Equine Sciences

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Equine Pre-Veterinary/Pre-Graduate Studies

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Equine Veterinary Technology

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Equine Business Management​

Special Olympics


Equine-Assisted Activities & Therapies

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Equine Business Management

Student, Faculty, & Alumni Spotlights


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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


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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

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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.

Learn More >

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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.

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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

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Passion is the lifeblood of creativity and drive. Our program fuels students’ equine passion, with equine welfare taking center stage.

Bruce Mandeville, Associate Professor



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The hands-on experience our students gain in the pre-veterinary courses is second to none.

Sheri Birmingham, Professor

Professor & Department Chair, Equine Science


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I enjoy how faculty can work closely with students through hands-on courses, research, and travel opportunities.

Steffanie Burk, Associate Professor


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Otterbein Dressage Team is Reserve National Champion; Hunt Seat Finishes Seventh in Nation  

News - June 5, 2024
Otterbein University’s equine teams continue to dominate on the national stage, wrapping up their respective seasons with strong finishes. Students of any major are welcome to ride and compete on Otterbein’s equine teams.  Otterbein Dressage Team is 2024 Reserve Champion  The Otterbein Dressage Team won its region to qualify for the Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) national championships, where it was the defending three-time champion. Facing fierce competition, Otterbein’s riders gave impressive performances across the board, and the Otterbein University Dressage…

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Otterbein Equestrian Team Competition Schedule 2023 – 24

News - January 29, 2024
September 22-23, 2023: TOC @ St. Mary’s Terre Haute, IN  October 7-8, 2023: IDA show @ Miami University  October 21-22, 2023: IHSA show @ Kenyon College @ Brave Horse  October 28-29, 2023: IDA show @ Lake Erie College Nov 4, 2023: IDA show @ Otterbein  Nov 18-19, 2023: IHSA show @ Otterbein  January 27-28, 2024: Hosting IEA Dressage Regionals @ Otterbein Feb 3-4, 2024: IHSA @ OSU  Feb 10-11, 2024: IDA @ Otterbein   Feb 17-18, 2024: IHSA @ Ohio University March…

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National Media Recognize Otterbein University for Programs and Values

News - September 18, 2023
Otterbein University has been collecting honors this fall, as it is recognized in national publications for its programs and values, including U.S. News & World Report, Colleges of Distinction, and Washington Monthly. US News & World Report Otterbein University has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report for its academic excellence, commitment to undergraduate teaching, and focus on affordability, student success outcomes, and experiential learning. In the 2024 Best Colleges rankings by U.S. News & World Report, Otterbein has…

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Fast Track Innovation Fund Lets Community Shape Otterbein’s Growth

News - July 31, 2023
Otterbein 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…

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Contact Us

Austin E. Knowlton Center for Equine Science
600 N. Spring Rd
Westerville, OH 43082

Administrative Assistant

Jane Kidder

Follow Equine Science

Note: Equine Science has multiple
Facebook and Instagram accounts.

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.

Meg Heller '20 Equine Pre-Veterinary Pre-Graduate Major