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Equine at WKU

Horses on Pasture at WKU

Western Kentucky University's Equine Unit has state-of-the-art facilities including two horse barns with over 60 stalls, an indoor riding arena, laboratories, classrooms, and 80 acres of horse pasture.

Our herd consists of 30-40 hand-selected horses. Our students participate in the day-to-day operations of the equine barn, providing care by handling, feeding, and tending to the herd in our equine co-op class or by assisting as equine student workers. A student boarding program allows students to bring their personal horse to college and affordably utilize the equine facilities.


Western Kentucky University is proud to offer exciting extracurricular equine opportunities to our students.  The WKU Equestrian Team competes in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) and is an affordable option for students wishing to compete at the collegiate level, improve their horsemanship skills, and be part of an equestrian community. The teams show within the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association Zone 5 Region 1. Horses are furnished by WKU and other colleges within the region so you do not need your own horse to participate. Practices are required twice weekly at the WKU Farm.

Horses at WKU's Farm


Tryouts are held the second week of classes of the fall semester of each academic year.  Tryout horses will be provided.  Riders will be required to demonstrate competent horse handling and control at the walk and trot/jog.  Intermediate and advanced riders will demonstrate the canter/lope.  Appropriate footwear (close-toed with a heel) and a helmet (provided) are required.  All interested students are encouraged to try out, and all majors are welcome on the Equestrian Team.


  • Must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours to participate
  • Must be an undergraduate student 
  • Must maintain a minimum 2.5-grade point average
  • Must enroll in Basic Equitation (ANSC 232) during first year on the team


  • Twice weekly practices are free of charge for members 
  • Members are responsible for local and national IHSA member dues, show class fees, room and board at shows, and their show outfit
  • Horses and tack will be furnished by WKU for practices and participating universities at shows
  • The Equestrian Team holds fundraisers throughout the year to lessen show costs

Styles and Classes:

  • IHSA Western Team – Western Team riders practice for and compete in divisions ranging from beginner through open. Class types include rail, pattern work, ranch riding, and reining for advanced riders.
  • IHSA English Team – English Team riders practice for and compete in divisions ranging from beginner through open.  Class types include Hunt Seat Equitation on the Flat and Hunt Seat Equitation over Fences.
  • NEW – NIRSHA Stock Horse Team – Stock Team riders practice for and compete in Ranch Pleasure, Trail, Reining, and Cow Horse events at ASHA- and ARHA-sanctioned shows in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama. Riders on the Stock Horse Team must also be on the Western IHSA team.


Riders from all discipline backgrounds make up the WKU Equestrian Team.  We are an inclusive equine community that strives to improve horsemanship, no matter the riding discipline.

Mrs. Creste Jean, M.S.
Mrs. Creste Jean, M.S.
- Equine Technician

Mrs. Paige Smith, M.S.
Mrs. Paige Smith, M.S.
- Equine Instructor


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 Last Modified 5/31/23