Equestrian Center

One of the most innovative and distinctive academic departments at Houghton College is Equestrian Studies, which prepares students to ride, teach and train using the principles of classic dressage. Five equine disciplines (dressage, hunter/jumper, eventing, Western and trail riding) are offered to Houghton students by outstanding professors who bring years of experience and achievement. Students can train under Olympic- and FEI-credentialed clinicians and compete in open and United States Equestrian Federation-recognized events. The rapid growth and popularity of Houghton’s equine offerings in recent years have inspired the need for expanded facilities to accommodate students and events.

At the end of 2016, Houghton College received an anonymous $2.4 million lead gift to construct a new indoor riding arena, which will enhance and grow our nationally recognized Equestrian Studies program. This arena, along with attached amenities and upgrades to current facilities, will allow Houghton College to expand our academic offerings and to host major equestrian events and activities, both of which significantly impact our students in their education and future careers.

In response to the need for expanded and upgraded facilities, a $3.5 million Equestrian Center campaign has been proposed that includes the following:

  • 100’ x 240’ Indoor Arena
  • 12 Stalls
  • Classroom
  • Welcome Center, Concessions & Bleachers
  • Arena Equipment
  • Laundry
  • Parking, Landscaping
  • Upgrading Existing Facilities
  • Sustaining Endowment

Krista (Gunsalus ’14) Stephenson

Together, the Psychology and Equestrian departments at Houghton College provided me with an integrative educational experience that fostered academic excellence. That personalized education equipped me to go on and pursue a graduate degree in Marriage and Family Therapy where I can continue to research the connection between the equine experience and therapeutic care.

NOTHING I AM CURRENTLY PURSUING IN MY GRADUATE STUDIES OR RESEARCH WOULD BE POSSIBLE WITHOUT THE ACADEMIC AND PERSONAL FOUNDATION THAT WAS PROVIDED TO ME BY HOUGHTON COLLEGE.

Wes Dunham ’87

THE HOUGHTON EXPERIENCE IS A ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY.

The equestrian program was a huge part of my life. My liberal arts degree gave me a broad understanding that there is more than my own limited worldview.

Wes holds a Bachelor of Science in physical education and a minor in Bible. He is the owner/trainer at Woodstock Stables in Millbrook, New York, and trains Paralympic riders who placed in the top ten at London 2012 and Rio 2016.

Anna Adams ’10

Without a doubt, I would not be able to do what I do without the education I received at the Houghton College Equestrian Center (HCEC). The standards taught and the results of this education are a step above. It is clear that the success of the HCEC and its students is due to the principles of stewardship instilled in every willing student.

Anna holds a Bachelor of Science in equestrian studies and a minor in psychology. She teaches riding lessons and trains horses.

Jo-Anne Young ’69, Director of Equestrian Studies

The Houghton College Equestrian Program has had a tremendous impact on students and the local equine community over the years. We have done much with current facilities and resources to prepare our students to be inspired and inspiring equestrians with a positive impact on their clients and the horses they train. Now, we have outgrown the capacity of the current facilities. With the new indoor arena, we will be able to provide the space necessary to host events of both academic and national importance, which will, in turn, give our students wider exposure to top professionals in the field as well as draw more future students and those interested in investing in excellence.