ANSC 402: Horsemanship

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 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.
  • ALL students taking ANSC 402 MUST simultaneously enroll in ANSC 522 or ANSC 622.  NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • Lecture covers principles and theory of horsemanship, dressage, jumping and cross-country and includes homework, tests, and papers.
  • Lab sections are divided by rider level.  Most sections are dressage and jumping but a few are dressage only.  May be repeated for credit.
  • 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.
  • Lab fee of $930.00 per semester.  This fee covers horse care, feed, bedding, shoeing, etc.
  • Thanks to generous donors who participated in the 603 Challenge, the UNH Equine Program has the ability to offer lab fee support to one student per semester.  The intention of this award is to allow a student to enroll in ANSC 402 when they would otherwise be unable to participate in the course for financial reasons.  All majors are welcome to apply.  
  • Students are responsible for taking care of their horse before and after class.  Students who do not already know how to do this will receive instruction in this area as part of class time.  Students should allow 20-40 minutes before and after lab to be sure they have adequate time to appropriately care for their horse.   
  • Long pants and shoes or boots with a ½” heel (riding boots, hiking boots, work boots, etc.) are required.  All students must wear ASTM/SEI approved safety helmets while mounted. 

ANSC 402: Horsemanship Lab

For beginning, intermediate, and advanced riders. Lecture and lab (lesson) format. All levels will work on correct position for dressage and combined training with the integration 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. May be repeated for a maximum of 15 credits. Lab. Prereq: permission.

ANSC 522 – Ethical Horsemanship - Considerations & Theory  

For riders of all levels who are enrolled in ANSC 402 for the first time AND for students wishing to learn the concepts of ethical horsemanship theory and practices without enrolling in horsemanship (riding) lab. Hybrid format, includes weekly face-to-face and online lectures/content with optional lab (ANSC 402). Use of an animal for purposes of sport and recreation is a privileged and optional activity, which is not necessary to human survival as the horse's traditional roles once were. Ethical use of the animal in such a context requires thorough knowledge and analysis of the horse's physical and psychological traits, as well as critical evaluation of the rider’s goals and techniques in relation to the animal's needs and well-being. Writing Intensive.  Hybrid format includes required face-to-face and online content.  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

  • 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? (If you have never ridden, you do not have to answer any other questions below.)
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 style of riding do you participate in?
Have you ever competed? If so, at what level?
Please describe in detail what you were working on in your most recent flatwork and jumping experiences?

Have you ridden regularly (at least once per week) for more than 1 year?
Have you been riding regularly (at least once per week) within the last year?
Can you trot without assistance from the instructor while controlling the horse?
Can you canter without assistance from the instructor while controlling the horse?
Can you post at the trot & do you know your posting diagonals?
Can you control the horse while cantering in a group of cantering horses?

Have you ridden consistently (at least once per week) over the last 2 years?
Can you keep a steady contact with the reins?
Can you bend most horses on circles or turns?
Are you comfortable riding horses that may occasionally spook, buck, or otherwise behave in an unexpected manner?
Can you safely and comfortably ride in a group of 6-8 horses at the trot and canter?
Have you achieved a USPC rating of C1 or higher in HSE or Eventing or Dressage?

Can you keep most horses round and “on the aids” or “in a frame” most of the time? (If you don’t know what this means the answer is “no”.)
Have you competed in a recognized dressage show at Second Level or above?
Have you achieved a USPC rating of C2 or higher in HSE or Eventing or Dressage?
Have you competed at Novice level or higher in eventing?

Have you ever received riding instruction for jumping?
Have you received jumping instruction during the last 6 months?
Are you comfortable jumping at the canter?
Are you comfortable jumping verticals and oxers?
Are you comfortable jumping horses that may get fast or strong, that may refuse or otherwise behave in an unexpected manner?
Can you comfortably canter a course of verticals and oxers at 2’3” to 2’6” on a horse that you warmed up yourself?

Have you achieved a USPC rating of C1 or higher in HSE or Eventing?
Have you competed in IEA at Open Fences?
Have you competed in Equitation Medal circuits where fences are at 3’ in height or greater?
Have you competed at Novice level or higher in eventing?
Have you competed in hunter classes or jumper classes where fences were 3’ in height or greater?

  • 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. (Students 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.

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 (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 via: .
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 SAS 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, Sarah Rigg at