girl leading a horse

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: This nationally renowned program is offered at Canada’s premier equine educational center making it amongst the elite in North America. Allow your passion to become your career by applying to this one of a kind Equine Science program offered at Olds College. As home of the Canadian Equine Centre of Innovation (CECI), we provide instructional expertise and modern facilities with extensive technological and industrial support. We prepare our students to successfully enter the equine industry with curriculum that covers health care, nutrition, genetics and conformation, horse husbandry, horsemanship and equine facility management. Year one of our two year diploma program provides a general overview of Equine Science while year two provides students an opportunity to "pursue their Passion" through providing a number of course options to suit a variety of interests. Choose from exciting electives that specialize in Young Horse Training, Business Management, Coaching Techniques, Draft Horse Driving, and much more!


“Olds College was the only place I applied to after high school, I didn’t want to go anywhere else — I only applied to one college — because if I didn’t get in there, I didn’t want to go anywhere.” -- Stephanie Evans, Equine Science, English Horsemanship Major and Member of the Cavalia Show


“Olds College is the first place we contact. We have routinely hired Olds College students and graduates. The students are informed, aware of tasks that need to be performed and adapt quickly to our routine. The students have always been able to contribute new ideas and up-to-date information. We feel the instructors have always represented the students fairly and honestly, enabling us to hire with confidence.” -- Carol Schaffer, Sandy Ridge

This data comes from our academic database and is for the most current academic year.

Applications Now Open!

PROGRAM LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Communicate in a professional manner with multiple stakeholders within the equine industry.
  • Perform the on-going care of the horse.
  • Apply the knowledge of the structure and function of the horse's body to its care and use.
  • Apply the use of tack, tools, and equipment commonly associated with an equine enterprise.
  • Use equine conformation skills to select horses.
  • Maximize performance in horses based on identification and treatment of lameness conditions.
  • Implement health care programs for the prevention of diseases in horse.
  • Use treatment techniques and practices for disease, injury and lameness.
  • Develop feeding programs for horses.
  • Perform basic to advanced riding skills in either the English or the Western discipline.
  • Employ effective business and management procedures used to manage an equine enterprise and offer an equine event.
  • Apply basic equine breeding techniques.
  • Apply foaling and foal management procedures.
  • Start and train young horses.
  • Apply advanced horsemanship skills within competitive disciplines.
  • Coach beginner riders.
  • Apply skills associated with therapeutic riding.
  • Obtain therapies associated with injury presentation and rehabilitation.






METHOD OF DELIVERY: On Campus Delivery



  • Fall Intake – September program start



  • October 1 for the Fall Intake
  • DEADLINE: March 1 of Intake Year (All transcripts and required documentation must be submitted by this date to be eligible for admission).





  • Meet the English Language Proficiency Requirement (completed at minimum 3 years of formal education taught entirely in English or provide the results of a recognized English Language Proficiency exam)
  • 50% or better in English Language Arts 30-1 or 30-2
  • 50% or better in Biology 30
  • 50% or better in Math 20-1 or 20-2
  • valid Alberta Class 5 Driver's License or a Class 5 Graduated Driver's License or equivalent (Class 7 learner's licenses cannot be accepted) *new requirement, pending approval*
  • 80 Hours of Job Shadowing and/or Employment
    • Applicants must complete a minimum of 80 hours of paid and/or volunteer job shadowing and/or employment in an equine related business (may be completed on or outside of your family owned business/farm). We require these hours to be completed so the applicant is able to gain an understanding of the equine industry - the equine industry is both rewarding and challenging! Applicants to the Equine Science program should use this opportunity to generate an awareness of expectations, tasks, and responsibilities of individuals in the equine industry.
    • The hours may be gained from more than one equine related business.
    • The job shadowing and/or employment hours are not required to be completed through a school program/class.
    • The job shadowing and/or employment hours must be completed prior to submitting the Verification Form.
    • The required job shadowing and/or employment hours must be completed prior to the application deadline of March 1.
    • The hours should include, but are not limited to: handling, grooming and feeding horses; care of tack and equipment; and care and maintenance of an equine facility. Riding, training, or competing with an employer’s horse as part of the hours may also be included.
    • Common locations to obtain the job shadowing and/or employment hours are training, boarding or breeding facilities, racetracks, or summer camps.
    • Although being in a pony club, 4-H, taking equine or riding courses/lessons, working at a tack shop or western clothing business and pleasure riding will help prepare you for the on-campus riding and practical test, these activities will NOT be considered as job shadowing and/or employment hours.
  • Submit a Verification Form to verify the required 80 hours
    • The Verification Form must include the name and contact information of the supervisor/employer who most closely supervised the applicant in the location where the job shadowing and/or employment hours were gained. The applicant will need to submit one Verification Form for each job shadowing/employment that was used to gain the required hours.
    • The Verification Form must be completed and submitted on or before March 1.
  • Complete an On-Campus Riding Test and Practical Test
    • Applicants must have submitted an application form, appropriate transcripts/proof of enrolment, completed a minimum of 80 hours of job shadowing and/or employment and submitted a Verification Form on or before March 1 of the intake year to be eligible for testing.
    • Applications will be pre-screened and all applicants meeting the minimum requirements will be invited to Olds College for testing. The testing is conducted at Olds College campus only. An invite to test does not signify admission.
    • Applicants will be contacted by mid-March in regards to their application status and to select their test date.
    • Testing dates will be scheduled for late March and/or early April.
    • There will be a riding and practical test for all applicants.
    • Test days include a tour of the Olds College campus, introduction to program staff, program information/orientation, a riding test, and a practical test.
    • The riding test takes place in an indoor riding arena and will consist of following a basic pattern with evaluators scoring mounting from the ground, hands, legs and body position, balance, and the use of cues and aids. Applicants will be required to show a walk, trot, canter/lope and a simple lead change. No jumping is involved.
    • The practical test will consist of basic horse handling and husbandry practices with the applicant demonstrating their knowledge of and experience with horses to adequately cope with the program material. This is a verbal and hands-on test and does not have a written requirement.
    • Applicants should wear appropriate English or Western riding attire (including a heeled boot and helmet) for the riding test and appropriate horse handling attire for the practical test.
    • All horses and tack required for the test will be provided by Olds College. Horses will be in a snaffle bit, therefore riders will ride two handed.
    • Spurs and whips are not permitted for the on-campus testing.


APPLICATION PROCEDURE: Applicants are required to submit the following information:

  • An application and application fee of $78.75 ($75.00 + GST) online at
  • A High School and/or academic upgrading transcript of completed courses.
  • Proof of enrolment in any required course(s) not yet completed (e.g.: a timetable, list of courses signed by the counselor/principal, or letter from institution or staff/instructor)
  • Submit a Verification Form to verify the required 80 hours
  • Complete an On-Campus Riding Test and Practical Test


ACADEMIC UPGRADING AND HIGH SCHOOL APPLICANTS: Applicants currently in high school or who are completing academic upgrading must submit proof of enrolment and any available interim/midterm marks. Final marks must be submitted within one month following the completion of the course(s) and no later than one month prior to the program start date.




OUT OF PROVINCE APPLICANTS: Please refer to the Provincial Equivalency Chart for course equivalencies.


INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS: Olds College welcomes applications from international applicants and those who have completed their high school education outside of Canada. Please note, it is still necessary to meet all of the noted admission requirements, including English Language Proficiency. Further information can be found on our website under International Students.




TUITION, MANDATORY FEES, BOOKS, & SUPPLIES: Please refer to the current Fee Schedule for details.


CAREER OPPORTUNITIES: Olds College has a solid reputation working with employers in the industry! This directly translates into jobs for our graduates. Opportunities include, but are not limited to:

  • Breeding
  • Boarding or Training Farm Manager
  • Riding Instructor
  • Coaching
  • Training
  • Business Owner
  • Event Manager

Visit Career Coach to help you find the most current local data on wages, employment, job postings, and associated education and training.


STUDENT LIFE: Campus activities are an important part of your experience at Olds College. Check out all that the campus has to offer for Student Life and make the most of your time here!


COME VISIT: Take advantage of our many opportunities to come for a campus visit. Contact our Campus Visit Coordinator, Marvin Deitzer, or check out our VIRTUAL TOUR. Further information, including upcoming events and tour dates for both the Olds Campus and The Fashion Institute in Calgary, AB, are available on our website.


Ask Us or Visit Us

Still have questions? Ask Us. Or take advantage of our many opportunities to come for a campus visit. Register online or contact our Campus Visit Coordinator, or check out our VIRTUAL TOUR.

Cindy Orr
Admissions Officer

Phone: 403-507-7711
Toll Free: 1-800-661-6537
Fax: (403) 556-4711

Request an Information Package

Applications Now Open!

Enrolment Advisor

Cindy Orr
Admissions Officer

Phone: 403-507-7711
Toll Free: 1-800-661-6537
Fax: (403) 556-4711

Request an Information Package

Join us for our VIRTUAL TOUR!


Ask Us or Visit Us

Still have questions? Ask Us. Or take advantage of our many opportunities to come for a campus visit. Register online or contact our Campus Visit Coordinator, or check out our VIRTUAL TOUR.