ANSC 402: Horsemanship

Horsemanship is offered during Spring and Fall semester and is open to all majors.

General information:

Riding classes at UNH consist of two credit-bearing co-requisite courses, which must be taken simultaneously:  ANSC 402 – Horsemanship Lab is a 1 credit, credit/fail class which is the actual riding time.  All students enrolled in ANSC 402 must be simultaneously enrolled in either ANSC 422, ANSC 522, or ANSC 622, which are graded 2- or 3-credit courses covering horsemanship theory. 

  • Horsemanship classes are taught every semester. 
  • Students receive 3 hours of mounted instruction each week, in addition to lecture and academic assignments.
  • Students taking ANSC 402 receive three hours of riding instruction per week in dressage and eventing.
    • Instruction is offered at the Beginner through Advanced levels.
    • Instruction is given in group lessons (by level) of 6-8 riders.
    • Students ride UNH School Horses in class.
    • Most sections include dressage and jumping.  A few sections are Dressage only.
    • Students must be enrolled in ANSC 402 in order to try out for the equestrian teams.
    • Priority for enrollment is given to equine majors.
    • When appropriate, students are able to use school horses for on-site competitions and clinics.
    • ANSC 402 may be repeated for credit.
  • ALL students taking ANSC 402 MUST simultaneously enroll in ANSC 422, ANSC 522, or ANSC 622.  NO EXCEPTIONS.
    • ANSC 422 and 522 are 3 credits each.  Both are hybrid courses which include face-to-face class meetings and online content.
    • ANSC 622 is 2 credits and is online only.  ANSC 622 may be repeated for credit.
    • These courses cover varying levels of the principles and theory of horsemanship, dressage, jumping and cross-country.
    • These courses include lecture content, homework, tests, papers, and quizzes.
  • Students care for their horses before and after class.
    • Students will receive instruction in this area as needed.
    • Students should allow 20-40 minutes before and after riding class to have time to appropriately care for their horse.
  • Lab fee of $930.00 per semester.  This fee covers horse care, feed, bedding, shoeing, etc.
  • Required attire/equipment:
    • Long pants and shoes or boots with a ½” heel (riding boots, hiking boots, work boots, etc.) are required.  Full chaps are not allowed.
    • Students must wear ASTM/SEI approved safety helmets. (may borrow one if they do not own their own).
    • Students must wear a shirt with long or short sleeves.  Sleeveless tops/tank tops are not allowed.
    • Long hair must be neatly contained in a bun, braid, ponytail, or hairnet.
    • Gloves are strongly recommended.
    • All horses have and use their own tack and grooming equipment.  Students do not need to provide saddles and grooming equipment.  Students may not use their own saddles on UNH horses.

Course Description: 

ANSC 402 - For beginning, intermediate, and advanced riders. Lab (lesson) format with required co-requisite (hybrid or on-line). All levels will work on correct position and technique for dressage and combined training with application of appropriate theory. All students are required to perform the following tasks independently: properly groom, tack and cool out their horses. Students should allow time before and after lab to do so. For the safety of horse and rider, there is a rider weight limit of 200 pounds for all mounted activities in the UNH Equine Program, including ANSC 402. There are other courses that provide students with opportunities for hands-on experience with horses. Students who exceed the weight limit for ANSC 402 are encouraged to contact Sarah Rigg at to discuss other alternative courses. Special fee. Lab. Prereq: permission. Co-requisite: all students must be simultaneously enrolled in the appropriate section of Horsemanship Theory (ANSC 422, ANSC 522, or ANSC 622).

ANSC 422 – Introduction to Horsemanship Theory:  For beginning and intermediate riders enrolled in ANSC 402. Hybrid-format, includes face-to-face and on-line content, with required lab co-requisite (ANSC 402). Correct theory of basic horsemanship skills, including safe handling practices, introduction to equipment and horse sports, overview of equine senses and behavior, and correct rider position and technique for dressage and jumping. See ANSC 402 (co-requisite) for details on required lab activities. Permission required.

ANSC 522 – Intermediate Horsemanship Theory:  For intermediate and advanced riders, and beginners who have completed ANSC 422. Hybrid-format, includes face-to-face and online lectures/content with required lab (ANSC 402) as co-requisite. Correct theory of more advanced horsemanship skills and concepts, including equine behavior and learning, horse and rider biomechanics, correct rider techniques for dressage and combined training, and systematic athletic development of the horse for dressage and jumping. Permission required.

ANSC 622 – Further Explorations in Horsemanship Theory:  For intermediate and advanced riders who have already completed ANSC 522. Online format, with required lab (ANSC 402) as a co-requisite. Students will use online content and independent study projects for in-depth explorations of more advanced topics related to the theory of dressage, jumping, and horsemanship, with particular attention to the application of correct theory to the individual rider's current skills, goals, and lab activities. May be repeated, with a different focus in subsequent semesters. Prereq: ANSC 522 and Permission.


  • CURRENT STUDENTS:  Preregistration is held for current students during undergraduate registration (which takes place in the previous semester – typically April for fall semester, November for Spring semester.) Priority is given to equine majors. 
    • First year students who are equine majors will be contacted by the COLSA Dean’s Office and asked to fill out a survey for placement in ANSC 402 for fall semester.  If you are an equine major starting in the fall semester, and you have not received this survey by May 10, please email
    • First year students in any other major should email after they have committed to attending UNH, preferably no later than May 20.  They will be added to classes (pending availability) once equine majors have been assigned to classes.
  • TRANSFER STUDENTS:  Transfer students will have the opportunity to add ANSC 402 at Transfer Student Orientation.  Students not able to attend transfer student orientation should email

Students are put into classes based on the answers to the following questions:

  • How long have you been riding? How long have you been taking lessons?
  • Have you ever owned or leased a horse?
  • Are you riding now? If so, how frequently? If not, when was the last time you rode/rode regularly?
  • What seats/styles of riding have you participated in? At what level?
  • Have you ever competed? If so, in which discipline and at what level?
  • What types/breeds/ages of horses have you ridden?
  • Are you comfortable on speedy, sensitive or unfamiliar horses?
  • Do you know your posting diagonals?
  • Are you comfortable cantering in a group?
  • Do you jump? What height?
  • Have you jumped cross-country? What level?
  • Are you comfortable jumping challenging horses?
  • Have you received dressage instruction? What level?
  • What types of things are/were you working on in your most recent riding experiences?

Accommodations: Students needing assistance or reasonable accommodations, academic or otherwise, with any issue should let their instructor know in a timely fashion so that needs can be addressed, and arrangements made as expediently as possible.  Students who have a disability and feel they will need accommodations for any aspect of this course, including but not limited to mounting, riding (walk, trot, canter, jump, etc.) are asked to please contact DSS in a timely manner.  The University is committed to providing students with documented disabilities equal access to all university programs and facilities.  Any students who think they have a disability requiring accommodations must register with Student Accessibility Services for Students (SAS).  Contact SAS at (603) 862-2607 or  Students who have been approved for accommodations via SAS, are asked to please provide the course instructor with that information. After you have requested your Accommodation Letters be sent to your instructor, you are to meet with them privately, in the instructor’s office, so that the instructor and student can review accommodations and develop a working agreement on how the accommodations will be implemented. For safety, any student who may need an accommodation for horse-related or riding-related activities is asked to notify DSS and/or the program director at or before the time of registration. Please remember that this is a riding course. As a result, the following expectations are required of all students in ANSC 402: All students are responsible for performing the following tasks independently: properly getting their horse ready and putting their horse away. All students must be able to or must be able to learn to ride independently in an English saddle. All students must be able to or be able to learn to control the horse at the walk, trot and canter in a group environment. Please be aware that horses vary in size and temperament. The population of school horses changes periodically and as a result the ability to fulfill specific accommodations may vary from semester to semester.

Horseback riding and other horse-related activities may pose particular concerns for the safety of mother and child during pregnancy. Pregnant students are encouraged to discuss these concerns with their health care provider. Riding and horse-related activities may pose greater risk for individuals with certain medical conditions.Students with concerns should consult their health care provider.

Questions or concerns: Students with questions or concerns are encouraged to contact the program director, Sarah Rigg at