Person smiles beside a horse.

Associate Diploma in Equine Care and Management Co-op Student Information

About The Program

The Associate Diploma in Equine Care and Management (DEQN) program provides students with the theoretical expertise, applied technical skills, and hands-on experience required by equine industry employers. It is well suited to individuals who are motivated to expand their knowledge and abilities in horse care and management of an equine-related business. You’ll begin your studies at the Regional Equine & Agricultural Centre of Huron (REACH Huron), in Clinton, ON, a national-level competition facility where you will be fully immersed in both hands-on and theoretical equine learning. Year two of the program is completed on the Ridgetown Campus with a focus on theory and business. This program will prepare you for a variety of career opportunities in equine facilities management and equine care and handling.

Why Co-op?

As a co-op student, you will gain relevant work experience, build professional networks, and develop essential interpersonal skills needed to succeed in the workplace, all while getting paid and earning your university degree. Guelph’s co-op program is unique due to the exceptional level of support provided throughout the co-op experience. Students will complete a comprehensive course preparing them for the co-op employment process, and will receive guidance from a knowledgeable team of staff dedicated to their development and success.

Course Sequencing

In the DEQN co-op program, you will participate in one co-op work term in addition to four academic semesters throughout your two years at the University of Guelph.

ONE Academic Academic Work Term One
TWO Academic Academic

Acquired Knowledge & Skills

Equine Care and Management co-op students exhibit strengths in the following key areas, developed through the combination of educational, extra-curricular, and work experiences:


Theoretical expertise in managing an equine-related business.


Applied technical skills, equine management practices, and hands-on experience in horse care.

Sample Jobs

Show Groom

This job is suitable for a driven student with or without previous experience working in the industry. Student will be responsible for the care, grooming, and upkeep of international-level performance horses for 5-6 days per week. Opportunities to travel to top shows, learn from the best in the business, and make valuable connections. Meticulous attention to detail is required: maintaining biosecurity; keeping a clean and organized barn; care in pre-and post-workout care to equine athletes; grooming horses; ability to handle challenging horses. Assets include: experience clipping; braiding; and driving a truck/trailer.

Stablehand at Western Performance Facility

Feeding, turning in/out, and cleaning stalls are primary responsibilities. Student will also support trainer/assistant trainer with tasks like grooming horses, saddling, lunging, wrapping legs, etc. Opportunity to teach beginner lessons for the right individual. Great work opportunity for someone looking to break into the horse industry as a trainer or coach - we are happy to teach and help someone gain experience if they are willing to learn! 

Technical/Barn Staff For Veterinary Hospital

Veterinary hospital providing advanced lameness, diagnostics, and preventative care to performance and pleasure horses. Student will provide hands on care of the horses living on site as well as assistance with veterinary procedures both on site and at client farms. Student must be able to handle horses in a safe and effective manner, both in performance and hospital settings. For the right candidate the position may also include some riding of horses for rehabilitation and training. The student must be reliable, self-motivated and professional. 20-50 horses at any given time on site for breeding, training, injury rehabilitation and basic care. We provide a friendly environment where we strive to care for our patients and clients with excellence and compassion and are looking to find team members who will do the same.

Sample Employers*

  • Woodbine Entertainment
  • Angelstone Tournaments Inc.
  • Greenhawk Equestrian Sport
  • Sprucehaven Farm
  • Terre Bleu Lavender Farm

*This shows a sample of recent co-op employers and will vary depending on employer recruitment needs. During a job search, students are encouraged to be actively engaged and are supported in establishing and maintaining their own personal contacts.

Salary Information

Students receive compensation from their employer for co-op work terms. The rate of pay will vary depending on a number of factors including the industry, the student’s program of study, and work term level. For your reference, a Co-operative Education Salary Guide is available on our website, which provides hourly rates (averages and ranges) for each degree program.