First Natural Horsemanship 4-Year Degree Offered

The University of Montana-Western will offer a bachelor of science in natural horsemanship program beginning this fall. The four-year degree is the first of its kind in the United States.

Dillon, Mont., March 23, 2005 — The Montana Board of Regents of Higher Education formally approved the University of Montana-Western (UM-Western) proposal to award a bachelor of science in natural horsemanship with two options, Natural Horsemanship Science and Natural Horsemanship Management. The unanimous decision was made at the Regent’s meeting in Helena on March 17. The degree will go into effect in the fall of 2005.

“This degree program builds on Western’s established expertise and associate level degrees in Natural Horsemanship and Equine Studies,” said UM-Western Chancellor Richard Storey, “The program is unique in the nation and will allow Western to attract students from across the United States and beyond.”

As is the case with its associate’s degree in natural horsemanship, UM-Western has developed a collaborative agreement with La Cense Montana, which provides the equipment, facilities and horse trainers for the field portions of this degree program.

“The partnership between La Cense Montana and UM-Western is very important,” said William Kriegel, owner of La Cense Montana. “For the first time in America, there will be a bachelor’s degree in natural horsemanship.”

This method of equestrianism incorporates an understanding of horse ethology (i.e. horse behavior) in order to create a more sophisticated working relationship between human and horse. The natural horsemanship method is quickly becoming the international standard by which horsemanship is judged.

The creation of a university-accredited program, developed in collaboration with industry, will ensure, for those who wish to pursue a career in natural horsemanship, the existence of an internationally recognizable credential. For more information, visit UM-Western Equine Studies or La Cense Montana.

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