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 have the opportunity to expand their passion for horses into a competitive career path.​

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. Learn how you can let your passion for horses guide you to an interesting and competitive career.​

Take a look at this video produced entirely by Department of Equine Science to learn more about what they value about their department.

Student, Faculty, & Alumni Spotlights

Megan Leclerc


Quote RedHaving 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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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.

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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

Grace Simpson

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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.​

Lindsay Payton ’23

Equine Pre-Veterinary/Pre-Graduate Studies major

Is Equine Pre-Veterinary/Pre-Graduate Studies a good fit for you?

  • No equine experience? – No problem! ​
  • Only interested in small animals? – No problem! The hands-on experience at Otterbein will take you farther then you ever imagined and is applicable across species.
  • Experienced with horses? – Great! There’s always more to learn.

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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


Department Features & Student Opportunities

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Equestrian scholarships are available for students interested in Otterbein’s nationally-recognized equestrian team.

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Boarding for Horses

Boarding for students’ horses is available at the Knowlton Equine Center, located only two miles from campus.

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Our students expand their professional experiences through valuable internship opportunites.

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Knowlton Center for Equine Science

Situated on 70 acres this state of the art facility is home to the Department of Equine Science and Otterbein’s Equestrain Team. ​

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Animal Health & Science Club

Join the Animal Health & Science Club to connect with fellow animal enthusiasts and enjoy other enrichment opportunities.

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Equestrian Team or Lessons

All levels of riders are welcomed to particpate in lessons and become members of Otterbein’s nationally competitive equestrian team.

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Horses Walking On Drive

Otterbein Marketing Major Pursues Passion on the Equestrian Team

News - February 12, 2021
By Harold Walston ’21Major: MarketingMinor: Race and ethnic studies I am in the home stretch of my senior year and I can’t believe that my flight is almost done. As I reflect back, my journey to becoming a Cardinal might not have been traditional, but it was worth it and I wouldn’t want to call any other school home. I am a marketing major with a minor in race and ethnic studies. I am also a member of the Otterbein…

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Equine Science student walks her horse

Otterbein Equine Students Benefit from In-Person Experience During Pandemic

News - November 23, 2020
Pre-veterinary students rely on hands-on learning to immediately apply what they learn in the classroom to qualify for competitive veterinary programs. Receiving complex and crucial equine knowledge from a computer screen would not fully train vet students for the rigors ahead in their careers. Despite the pandemic, Otterbein University’s pre-veterinary students were able to spend the fall semester getting that valuable in-person experience.  Otterbein’s phased approach to starting the semester, which prioritized courses with experiential components while implementing strict health and safety protocols, meant that students didn’t have to take a semester off from educational experiences that…

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Equine Business, Assisted Activities & Therapies Minors

New Otterbein Scholarship for Military Families Awarded to First Recipient

News - November 11, 2020
Otterbein recently announced the new Otterbein Honoring Service Scholarship for Folds of Honor and Ohio War Orphans recipients as part of Otterbein’s commitment to those who serve the nation. This scholarship will make an Otterbein education more affordable for the children of these families by providing $19,000 toward an undergraduate degree — a 58% discount off Otterbein’s 2020-21 tuition.  “It is truly an honor to provide the Otterbein Honoring Service Scholarship to students whose families have sacrificed so much. Supporting these students not…

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Programs of Study in Equine Sciences

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Equine Business Management​

Special Olympics


Equine-Assisted Activities & Therapies

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Equine Pre-Veterinary/Pre-Graduate Studies

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Equine Business Management

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Equine Veterinary Technology

The Knowlton Center is a PATH International Center Member. Two PATH International Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors. Otterbein’s Equestrian Program is proud to support the training of Westerville Special Olympics riders. We compete in three intercollegiate equestrian organizations. ​

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Contact Us

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

Administrative Assistant


Follow Equine Science

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