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15 Best Equine Internships

Are you interested in working with horses?  The equine industry places a high value on hands on experience, so the best way to position yourself for success is to participate in equine internships.  Here are 15 of our favorite equine internships (listed alphabetically):

American Horse Publications Internship

American Horse Publications (AHP) offers internship programs at dozens of its member publications across the United States.  Opportunities are posted on the AHP website.  Depending on the publication, interns may receive hourly wages, college credit, or stipends.  Commonly offered options include editorial internships, marketing internships, social media internships, and graphic design internships.

American Quarter Horse Association Internships

The American Quarter Horse Association offers spring, summer, and fall internships at association headquarters in Amarillo, Texas.  The opportunities include a marketing and publicity internship, a communications and digital marketing internship, and a media internship.  There is also an international internship each summer (June to August) where students travel throughout Europe to conduct horsemanship camps.  All AQHA internships are paid opportunities but housing is not provided.

Colorado State University Internship

Colorado State University offers a breeding farm internship program at its Equine Reproduction Laboratory in Fort Collins, Colorado.  The internship is designed for recent graduates with a B.S. degree in Animal Science, Equine Science, or a related field.  Interns handle and collect stallions, perform artificial inseminations, assist with embryo transfers, operate lab equipment, and care for broodmares and foals.  The program runs for one year and can be started either January 1 (with an October application deadline) or July 1 (with an April application deadline).  This is a paid internship and students are able to rent on-site housing.

Four Sixes Ranch Internship

Four Sixes Ranch (6666 Ranch) offers an internship for undergraduate students at its Guthrie, Texas location.  The ranch boats a herd of more than 1,000 horses, an on-site surgical suite, and a lab that performs embryo transfer and semen freezing.  There are two internship options: a breeding/foaling internship from January to June (late August application deadline) and a sales prep internship with race-bred Quarter Horse yearlings from May to August (late December application deadline).  The internships are both paid opportunities.

Godolphin Flying Start Internship

The recently rebranded Godolphin Flying Start program (for years known as Darley Flying Start) is one of the premiere opportunities for equine interns with an interest in Thoroughbred breeding and racing.  A group of twelve students travels for two years to leading racing and breeding farms in Ireland, England, Australia, Dubai, and the United States.  Students also complete coursework at the University of Kentucky, University of Sydney, and University College Dublin.  The program covers living expenses, travel costs, course related costs, health insurance, and also gives students a monthly spending allowance.

Hagyard Equine Medical Institute Internships

Hagyard Equine Medical Institute offers several internships in central Kentucky including a medicine veterinary assistant internship and an ambulatory veterinary assistant internship.  Medicine interns work at the McGee Medicine Center, while ambulatory interns travel with a veterinarian as they provide care in the field.  Both internships run from January to June, with applications due in early October, and they are both paid opportunities.

Kentucky Equine Management Internship

The Kentucky Equine Management Internship (KEMI) is one of the best known and most popular equine internships in the Thoroughbred industry.  The 22 week internship places students at dozens of leading farms in central Kentucky for either the breeding season (Jan-June) or the sales prep season (July-December).  In addition to their usual hands on work with the horses, students also attend lectures, go on field trips, and complete projects.  The total tuition cost to attend the internship is $2500.  Students are paid an hourly wage ($7.25/hr) and housing is often provided for free at the host farm.

Kentucky Equine Research Internship

Kentucky Equine Research (KER) offers an equine nutrition and exercise physiology internship in central Kentucky that trains students to conduct clinical research trials.  Tasks include monitoring horses on a high speed treadmill, collecting data, utilizing lab equipment, analyzing results, providing daily care, and more.  Students work 6 days per week.  The summer internship application deadline is in mid-February, and the year long internship application deadline is in mid-March (applicants must have completed at least 2 years of undergraduate study to be eligible).  The year long internship is a paid opportunity with free housing, cable, internet, and admission to conferences.  The summer internship is unpaid and does not offer housing or benefits.

KESMARC Internship

The Kentucky Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Center (KESMARC) offers internships at its Versailles, Kentucky location.  Internships are offered in all four seasons and may run from three to twelve months.  Internships are unpaid but a furnished apartment is provided on site for up to four interns.

Kentucky Horse Park Internships

The Kentucky Horse Park offers a variety of different internship options at its location in Lexington, Kentucky.  Internships run for a minimum of 8 weeks and are available in the spring and the fall.  There are several different internship options: draft horse, equine education, general equine, marketing, mounted police, museum education, special events, volunteer management, and more.  Internships are unpaid but college credit is possible.

New Vocations Internship

The New Vocations racehorse adoption center offers the five month Olivia M. Saylor Internship at its Lexington, Kentucky facility.  The internship allows local college students to gain experience working with off the track Thoroughbreds and managing a Thoroughbred aftercare facility.  The Saylor internship is paid; housing is not provided but applicants must live in the Lexington area.  There are also unpaid opportunities with New Vocations such as a communications internship and a horse care and training internship.

Peterson & Smith Equine Hospital Working Student Program

The Peterson & Smith Equine Hospital Working Student Program accepts about 20 students a year to its spring and summer internships in Ocala, Florida.  Spring internships run from mid-January to mid-May and summer internships run from mid-May to mid-July.  Students may work in the hospital, the equine reproduction center, or in the ambulatory department.  Applicants should be enrolled in an animal science or agricultural program (or recent graduates).  Students receive a weekly salary of $250 as well as accommodations in a fully furnished house with laundry facilities.

Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital Internship

Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital offers a nursing staff technician internship opportunity for undergraduate students at its Lexington, Kentucky clinic.  The internship runs from January to June.  (A separate ambulatory internship is also available, though the dates may vary for that opportunity).  The pay for the internship is $10 per hour plus overtime.

Virginia Tech MARE Center Internship

Virginia Tech offers an equine internship for undergraduate students each summer.  The program operates out of the 420 acre MARE Center (Middleburg Agricultural Research & Extension Center).  Each student completes an individual project in an area of interest such as equine nutrition, equine reproduction, or pasture management.  Rising junior and senior students from any college in the U.S. and Canada are eligible to apply.  The internship runs from mid-May to mid-August, with an application deadline in mid-February.  Shared housing and utilities are provided, and college credit is also a possibility.

W.H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute Internship

The W.H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute’s Summer Experience in Equine Management (SEEM) is a comprehensive equine internship in upstate New York.  Students are involved with riding and training (in several different disciplines), stallion handling and semen collection, broodmare management, research, and educational events.  The farm is particularly known for its Morgan horses.  Rising junior and senior undergraduate students are eligible to apply.  The program runs from mid-May to mid-August.  Students are paid $3,000; housing and breakfast/lunch are provided at a cost of $300 per student for the entire summer.  They also have a dairy internship.

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