Horses are utilized in numerous higher education programs in United States. However, there is limited information on horse use, especially in university and college programs. Due to increasing enrollment, greater demand is placed on horse use while institutions are experiencing reduced funding and smaller herd numbers. Thus, this project was conducted to evaluate horse use and management in university and college programs. It was hypothesized that most equine programs over used their horses. A pilot study was conducted to validate the instrument used for the overall study. The survey instrument was created on SurveyMonkey® and released to equine programs (n = 9) in Kentucky for the pilot study in September 2016. After revision, it was released to equine programs in United States for the overall study in March 2017. A total of 19 responses were received from the overall study, and descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. Based on the results, respondents had some similarities in how horses were used. For instance, most institutions used more than half of their horses in riding and teaching programs; lameness was the most apparent health issue; and most respondents used joint supplements. There were also some differences: pasture acreage varied; horses left programs for different reasons; and the number of students who came in contact with horses was different. However, with the low incidence of health issues and management practices in place, our conclusion was that horses in these programs were not overused.
Year manuscript completed
Year degree awarded
horse use, horse health, higher education, equine management
Dissertation Committee Chair
Co-Director of Dissertation
Zhao, Hui, "HORSE USE AND MANAGEMENT IN UNIVERSITY EQUINE PROGRAMS" (2017). Murray State Theses and Dissertations. 67.