For further information please contact:

Lynn Dunn, PhD
Professor, Animal Science
Department Chair

Therapeutic Horsemanship (B.T.)

riding the horse backwards white horse

Program Highlights

>> Study in a variety of academic areas, all vital to successful delivery of equine-assisted activities and therapies.

 Learn equine care and management, riding skills and instruction, and equine behavior.

>> Prepare for certification by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International.

>> Work with carefully selected horses while interacting with college students, community volunteers, parents, teachers, and therapists in an enriching environment.

>> Make a difference in the lives of a wide range of clients, including young children, at-risk adolescents, adults with special needs, and veterans.

>>  Learn to select, manage and train horses for use in therapeutic horsemanship.

>> Work in collaboration with pre-schools for children with special needs, the ARC, on-campus veteran affairs office, and the community at large.

Horse close-up
Brushing horse

Program Overview

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.


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.

Petting Horse
Petting Horse

PATH Therapeutic Riding Instructor Certification

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.