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Therapeutic Horsemanship

Program Highlights

Degree Option

Bachelor of Technology (BT)



The practice of therapeutic horsemanship uses the horse as a motivational tool to help people with special needs improve listening skills, focus, sequencing, and coordination, and develop greater self-confidence, patience, and control. The Bachelor of Technology Degree in Therapeutic Horsemanship is designed to provide in-depth study and practice in the foundations of equine-assisted therapy, drawing on the subjects of equine science, education, psychology, sociology, recreation and sport.

Students enrolled in the Therapeutic Horsemanship program will receive course work in therapeutic riding instruction in a hands-on, client-based setting every semester. The program offers the range and depth of course work to enter directly into the field of therapeutic horsemanship or to pursue graduate studies. Successful students may complete the teaching hours required to apply for instructor certification through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International.

Sample courses include:

  • Equine Science
  • Intro to Equine Training
  • Equine Assisted Activities
  • Equine Health
  • Intro to Riding Instruction
  • Therapeutic Riding Instruction
  • Light Horse Management
  • Equine Nutrition
  • Equine Business Management
  • American Sign Language
  • Exceptional Children
  • Psychology & Sociology of Sport & Exercise
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Child Growth & Development
  • Intro to Community Agencies
  • Motor Learning & Behavior
  • First Aid/CPR
  • Teaching & Learning in Ag Education

The Therapeutic Horsemanship program is conducted on campus at the SUNY Cobleskill Equine Center. The equine center has stabling for 60 horses, a 100 x 200 indoor arena, and two 100 x 200 outdoor riding rings. Students enrolled in Therapeutic Horsemanship have the opportunity to enhance their riding and horsemanship skills through a variety of riding and training courses and through participation in the Varsity Hunt Seat and Western IHSA Riding Teams.

The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) is an international non-profit organization that promotes safety and optimal outcomes in equine-assisted therapy for people with special needs. The Therapeutic Horsemanship program at SUNY Cobleskill provides the student a depth of knowledge vital to exceeding PATH standards for therapeutic riding instruction certification. SUNY Cobleskill faculty will guide and assist students in obtaining “Instructor in Training” status through PATH, completion of PATH-required mentoring hours on campus, and will accompany students to off-site PATH Certification Examinations.