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Wilderness Horsemanship

Wilderness Horsemanship Program Description

When Hocking College heard there was a need by the horse industry for graduates, the Wilderness Horsemanship Degree Program was created. 

In this program, graduates will gain practical experience in working with horses, mules, and people in wilderness settings. In addition, they will learn how to drive wagons through various terrain, how to teach new students riding techniques, and how to properly use and repair riding equipment.

Hocking College students can also opt to take elective courses such as equine health care, equine massage, and farrier courses.

The Hocking College Equine Program observes the CHA national standards for equine welfare and rider safety. Therefore, a weight limit of 225 pounds will be observed for all mounted riding classes. Alternative hands-on non-riding exercises can be provided to those who may exceed this limit.

Hocking College offers all-inclusive pricing and works with students to assure they have complete college funding, including financial aid, before they start classes. Please reference the course curriculum tab for program costs.

All-inclusive pricing includes the following:


$300......Learning Fee

$20........Health Center Services

$75........Career Center Services



$275....Smart Start*

Pricing for housing and meal plans can be found here.

*Recommended for all first-year college students.

A Career in Wilderness Horsemanship is One Wild Ride:

Many students who graduate Hocking College's Wilderness Horsemanship Program will find jobs as a riding instructor, stable or barn manager, an Outfitter/Packer, a Guide/Wrangler, a Leather worker, a Teamster, or a Groomer. 

View the occupational profile

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) are statements of what a student will be able to do when they have completed a program. They represent the knowledge and skills a program has determined are most important for students to gain from that program and include both the Success Skills (institutional outcomes) and Program Outcomes. SLOs are specific and measurable so the program can accurately assess the degree to which students have achieved each outcome, and they align with college and institution mission and values. Data on the achievement of SLOs is used to make improvements in the program and increase student success. 

Success Skills

  • CE - Communicates Effectively
  • PA - Maintains Professional Skills and Attitudes
  • CT - Demonstrates Learning Critical Thinking, and Problem Solving Skills
  • ET - Maintains a Code of Ethics
  • HR - Practices Human Relations Skills
  • MS - Demonstrates Math Skills
  • GA - Demonstrates Community, Cultural and Global Awareness
  • IT - Implements Career-Appropriate Technology

To learn more about each of these, click here.

Program Outcomes

The following outcomes are skills, behaviors, and attitudes cultivated in students seeking the Associate of Applied Science in Wilderness Horsemanship:

  • Perform proper shoeing techniques.
  • Apply business skills as they pertain to the equine industry.
  • Identify, maintain, and use safety procedures with horses, tack and related equipment.
  • Perform safety inspection procedures in daily operations.
  • Properly feed/water horses, groom/bathe horses, and clean stalls.
  • Provide basic horse health care including preventive health care.
  • Properly identify feeds and feeding requirements of equine at all ages and levels of performance.
  • Apply knowledge of horse anatomy, teeth identification, conformation and color, and health care.
  • Manage horses unmounted, to include leading, tying, trailer loading, transporting, approaching catching, and haltering.
  • Manage horses without assistance while mounting/dismounting.
  • Tack and untack properly, to include fit and adjustment.
  • Use wilderness riding skills including ponying.
  • Operate and maintain basic maintenance equipment, including chain saw, basic farm equipment, and primitive hand tools.
  • Handle horses at walk, trot, canter, and in varying terrain.
  • Demonstrate competency in leathercraft and leather repair related to tack.
  • Demonstrates proper care and handling of pack stock, and use of packing equipment.

Retention Rates

Retention rates are determined by the office of Institutional Research utilizing the following criteria:
  • All registered fall/autumn students with registration status for the following fall/autumn.
  • Excludes special populations - College Credit Plus, Non Degree, Online Military and University Center.
  • Potential for upcoming fall/autumn excludes graduates from that fall/autumn, spring and summer terms.
Academic Year Retention Rate
2016 - 2017 38%
2015 - 2016 43%
2014 - 2015 64%


Graduation Rates 

Graduation rates are determined by the office of Institutional Research. To ensure appropriate time for data collection, this report will be run and posted annually in the last week of September for the previous academic year. It should be noted that annual graduation rates may change as students continue to graduate. The following criteria will be utilized for the calculation of graduation rates:

  • Overall Program Completion Rate is defined as a percentage of the ratio: 

    All graduates of the program
    All students with the program in their history of programs of study

  • For the purposes of reporting, the program completion rates are aggregated by academic year of entry.
  • A student is considered to have completed or graduated from a program or certificate by virtue of having been awarded the degree or certificate.
  • A student is considered to be undertaking activity in a program of study for the duration of time that they are in an active status in a program or certificate. This is defined by having a Program of Study with a status of ‘A’ during the duration of time they are taking coursework.  Should a student move in and out of active status in a program of study while continuing to take coursework, we only take into account the student’s activity while the program has an active status for that particular program of study.
Academic Year Graduation Rate
2016 - 2017 47.83%
2015 - 2016 22.73%
2014 - 2015 29.41%

We consistently need sound, capable horses to teach our students on a daily basis. Horses should be discipline-appropriate with suitable prior experience. Our programs serve students of all experience levels, from the complete beginner through the most advanced.

In order to ensure a good fit between donated horses and our needs, we ask that prospective horses be of the appropriate breed type and training level for our disciplines of wilderness riding, western horsemanship, and reining.

We ask that donated horses meet the following qualifications;

  1. Between the ages of 2-16 
  2. Reach a mature height of at least 15.2hh
  3. Be serviceably sound for its intended purpose

To learn more about our donation process, please visit  www.hocking.edu/horse-donation.

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