Equine Center Education

Clemson Equestrian Rider


Clemson University offers an Equine Business Concentration in the Animal and Veterinary Science Major. Classes conducted by Kristine Vernon and Rebecca Shirley offer instruction for students to gain a more in-depth understanding of equine nutrition, reproduction, management, horsemanship, and training. Students also have the opportunity to work at the Equine Center to obtain valuable hands-on experience, which will aid them in future jobs in the horse industry.


Some of the feature courses offered in the Equine Business Concentration include:

AVS 2040 - Horse Care Techniques  Basic principles of equine behavior, handling, and management are discussed and demonstrated. Students receive hands-on experience with various management techniques, including handling and all aspects of health care. Students may take only one techniques course per semester.

AVS 2050 - Horsemanship I Designed for beginner to intermediate riders. The mechanics of safety, longeing, basic position, cues, and rider's aids for both Western and English disciplines are covered. Preq: AVS 1510.

AVS 3850 - Equine Behavior and Training Introduces students to the initial processes in gentling and riding young horses. Students work with two- and three-year-old horses to desensitize them to stimuli in preparation for riding. Students do groundwork and put the initial rides on the horses. Preq: AVS 2050

AVS 4120 - Advanced Equine Management Further discussion of special considerations of the equine regarding housing, manure management, nutrition, reproduction, transportation and behavior. Students gain insight into how horses differ from other livestock species and their unique requirements for the above systems. Preq: AVS 370.

AVS 4160 - Equine Exercise Physiology Integration of muscle, bone, cartilage, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems as related to the equine athlete. Encompasses biomechanics, kinetics and kinesiology related concepts specific to the horse. Further discussion of diseases related to specific systems is covered. Preq: AVS 3010.


Recent research conducted at Clemson University Equine Center:

  • S. Headley, J.A. Coverdale, T.C. Jenkins, C.M. Klein, J.L. Sharp, and K. L. Vernon. 2012.  Dietary supplementation of CLA in horses increases plasma CLA and decreases plasma arachidonic acid, but does not alter body fat.  J. Anim. Sci. 90(13):4876-82.
  • R. L. Smith, K. L. Vernon, D. E. Kelley, J.R. Gibbons, C. J. Mortenson. 2012.  Impact of moderate exercise on ovarian blood flow and embryonic outcomes in mares. J. Anim. Sci. 90(11):3770-7.
  • DE Kelley, JR Gibbons, R Smith, KL Vernon, SE Pratt-Phillip, CJ Mortenson. 2011.  Exercise affects both ovarian follicular dynamics and hormone concentrations in mares.  Theriogenology 76:615-622.

Clemson was instrumental in the development and testing of Domperidone, a drug that helps alleviate the problems in pregnant mares grazing fescue. Domperidone, developed at Clemson by Dr. Dee L. Cross, minimizes fescue-induced foaling complications in mares. For more information on Domperidone, contact Dr. Cross at (864) 646-6443 or visit www.equitox.com.