Horses are beautiful, intelligent animals that people enjoy interacting with and watching in competition. Horses also are big business. The equine industry generates nearly $40 billion per year for the nation's economy and employs about 1.5 million people, according to a study by The American Horse Council. Among those employees are stable managers, bloodstock agents, race track administrators and other professionals with a background in equine business. Several colleges offer degrees in equine business or offer equine business as a concentration within other business majors.

The University of Louisville

Located in the heart of horse country, The University of Louisville in Kentucky offers a Bachelor of Science in business administration with a major in equine business. Study in the major constitutes 30 credit hours of the 126-credit-hour business program. Classroom instruction is supplemented by field trips, guest lectures and internships. The school also offers a one-year post-graduate certificate to students who have already completed a bachelor's degree and seek to specialize in equine business.

Purdue University, Calumet

The equine business management academic program at Purdue University, Calumet, was honored by the Academy of Educational Leadership with a Distinguished Education Award for creative and innovative education. The school, located in Hammond, Indiana, offers equine business management as a major within the Bachelor of Arts in business degree and as an 18-credit-hour professional certificate. The degree program features a strong emphasis on business combined with study of topics such as equine event management. The online certificate program offers four specializations and is open to anyone with a high school diploma.

Johnson and Wales University

Located in Providence, Rhode Island, the Center for Equine Studies at Johnson and Wales University offers a Bachelor of Science degree in equine business management. The comprehensive program combines courses of study specific to the equine industry with hands-on equine experience and business and general studies coursework. Students study science-based equine topics such as genetics, nutrition and physiology. They also learn how to design a herd health program and structure a farm management plan. The school also offers a degree in equine business management and riding that combines academics with riding and training at the school's 31-acre equine facility.

West Texas A & M University

West Texas A&M University in Canyon offers an agribusiness-based Bachelor of Science degree in equine industry and business. The program is designed to provide students with a balanced study of business and science integrated with practical and technical knowledge as it applies to the equine industry. Students study the care, behavior, and evaluation of horses as well as how to plan and manage an equine business. The curriculum requirements include 24 credit hours in business, 16 credit hours in agriculture and 19 credit hours in equine studies.

Centenary College

Centenary College in Hackettstown, New Jersey offers a Bachelor of Science degree in equine studies with several concentrations including equine business management and communication for the equine industry. The business concentration includes coursework in accounting, marketing and management. The communication concentration is designed for students pursuing a career in equine journalism or equine public relations. The degree program also offers a concentration in riding instruction and training which includes coursework in horse show management. (See Reference 7)