altSince the early 1970’s Olds College has been a center for equine education in Canada. Now with the opening of the Canadian Center of Innovation (CECI) in 2009, the college has new facilities including a new arena, stabling, reproduction center and penning, and new programming to expand on the opportunities for people to obtain equine related education either in preparation for a career in the industry or to increase their own knowledge and skills for recreational purposes. 
The two year Equine Science diploma program which prepares students for a career in the equine industry, is the oldest component of the CECI. It has traditionally offered training in Production and Breeding, Western and English Horsemanship and Business Management. In 2008 two additions were added to improve this program. The Business Management major was expanded to become the Business and Event Management major which, in addition to teaching business management practices to students to prepare them to successfully operate an equine related business, gives them the knowledge and skills to plan and produce an equine event. As well, a fifth major called Equestrian Coaching was added to the program. This major focuses on meeting an increasing need in the industry by preparing students to instruct and coach either English or Western riders and to meet the necessary criteria for certification by Equine Canada. 
 
altContinuing Education has always been a popular component of equine educational opportunities at Olds College. Every year there are between 20 and 30 different 1-3 day short courses offered, covering a variety of subjects from foaling to photography to driving. In addition, two very successful 15-week certificate programs are offered in partnership with Horse Racing Alberta; the Race Horse Groom Training Program and the Exercise Rider/Jockey Training Program. For the last two years the college was also proud to offer a credit course for high school students called “So You Love Horses” through video conferencing to as many as six different schools in Central Alberta.
 
The most recent addition to equine educational opportunities at Olds College is an exciting new program geared toward the recreational rider that is being offered for the first time in 2011. It is called the Western Recreational Rider program and is a blended program taught in partnership with Equine Guelph. For the first eight weeks, students will be at Olds College in July and August where they take three courses: Stable Management, Basic Equitation and Ground Training Techniques. From September to April, students will take four on-line courses through Equine Guelph; Management of the Equine Environment, Functional Anatomy, Equine Nutrition and Health and Disease Prevention. They will finish up in May and June with a further eight weeks at Olds College taking Stable Management II, Equitation II and Wilderness Wrangler. The program will finish with a 3-day mountain pack trip.
 
For more information on any of these equine educational opportunities at Olds College, please go the college website at www.oldscollege.ca or contact Dr. Marion Anderson, Coordinator at 403 556-8369 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .