The equine science programme

Last changed: 26 February 2024
Horse back riding at one of SLU's educational locations

The programme offers three main professional profile options: riding horses, trotter horses and Icelandic horses and gives a solid theoretical an practical foundation for those who wish to work professionally within the horsesector.

The equine science programme, started in 1994, was a two-year program but has evolved into a three-year bachelor's program. The three-year program began in the fall of 2010. The development has occurred in consultation with the horse industry and with input from students, teachers, and researchers. The program provides you, as a student, with broad and in-depth knowledge about horses and prepares you to enter the workforce in the horse industry, both nationally and internationally. What's unique about the programme is the integration of theory and practice; what you learn in lectures, you then apply in practical work with horses.

The education with specializations in riding horses, trotting horses, and Icelandic horses takes place at the National Equestrian Centers: Flyinge, Strömsholm, and Wången. These centers provide everything needed for high-quality education, both theoretical and practical. Additionally, you have access to professional expertise and the latest findings from Swedish and international horse research. Some opportunities for international exchanges may also be included within your three years in the program.

Photo: Carin Wrange

In the first year, you will acquire in-depth knowledge of horse anatomy and function, care and feeding, both for healthy and sick horses, young and old, their immediate environment, and the basics of pedagogy. Your first year also includes practical studies dedicated to horses, including riding, driving, young horses, training trotting horses, and horse and facility management, depending on your chosen specialization. If you're studying the riding horse specialization, your first year is at Flyinge, while those studying trotting horses or Icelandic horses will be at Wången.

In the second year, you will delve into entrepreneurship and pedagogy/leadership. For riding horse and Icelandic horse students, year two also includes equestrian art. If you are in the trotting horse specialization, you will develop your knowledge in sports, entrepreneurship, and leadership. All three specializations include practical work experience where you have the opportunity to be part of an operation and experience the working life. In the second year, riding horse specialization is at Ridskolan Strömsholm, while trotting horse and Icelandic horse students remain at Wången.

In the final year, you have the opportunity to tailor your education to prepare for the profession you envision in the industry. Riding horse and Icelandic horse specializations include pedagogy with a coaching focus and further riding training. The trotting horse specialization includes courses in handling, training, and sports.

Photo: Carin Wrange

In addition to the above courses, you will write a thesis in hippology where you can choose the area of study, and you will also study business economics. There is also a course in work-integrated learning where you get to experience the real world and make contacts within the industry. The riding horse specialization is based at Strömsholm in the third year, while trotting horse and Icelandic horse specializations remain at Wången.
The courses in the program are given in Swedish.

SLU's adjunct professors Kyra Kyrklund (equestrian art with a focus on dressage) and Eyjolfur Isolfsson (equestrian art with a focus on Icelandic horses) are involved in the ongoing development of the education. For the trotting horse specialization, Torbjörn Jansson and Nils Ronéus contribute their extensive knowledge and support.