Meredith Manor vs. other equine colleges
We realize there are many colleges with equine studies programs and it can be difficult to determine which school is best for you. Meredith Manor is an accredited equine vocational school with programs ranging from 3 to 18 months designed for students who are serious about becoming horse professionals. If you want to continue to ride in college but aren't sure you want to have a hands-on career with horses, a 4-year college with a show team or an equine studies department may be a better fit. If you are serious about having a career with horses, here are a few reasons we feel our program may be the one for you:
All Horses, All the Time
Meredith Manor is a school dedicated entirely to producing professional riders, trainers, and instructors for the horse industry. All programs and courses are designed specifically to prepare you for a successful equine career. Our students spend 6 hours a day in primarily hands-on, skill based classes with additional time spent in the barns and with the horses. Students don't have to excel in academic, classroom based classes to be successful in our programs, but they must have a passion for horses and a dedication to having a successful equine career.
Because we are such a specialized school, Meredith Manor has a very small yet diverse student population. We generally have between 80 and 100 students of various ages from all over the globe. Because our enrollment is so small, students don't get lost in the shuffle and are able to receive the individualized attention necessary in a skill based education.
The key ingredient to producing horse professionals is the instructor and Meredith Manor maintains a staff of ten exceptionally dedicated, experienced, and trained instructors. Ron Meredith has over forty-five years' experience as president of the school and has developed it from its humble beginnings of six students in 1963 to its current world class level. He has received numerous distinctive recognitions including an Honorary Doctorate of Equestrian Studies Degree, the only degree of this kind in the world. Dr. Meredith has held seven AHSA judges' cards and has trained top level horses and riders in the cutting and reining world. Faith Meredith has over thirty years' experience as a professional in the horse industry. She has successfully competed and trained horses and riders through FEI levels of Dressage, and holds a BS Degree in education. For detailed information about all of our instructors, visit the Staff page.
Time in the Saddle
At Meredith Manor we understand that developing a professional rider and trainer takes more than a few hours of instruction per week. Our students have 8 hours of instructed riding classes per week, and those electing to take our training courses have an additional 8 hours per week of instructed time on the horse. Over the course of our full program this adds up to over 1150 hours in the saddle under world class instructors, and, more importantly, the time and experience necessary to develop the skills required to become a professional rider and trainer.
In order to give our students the best foundation possible, we have developed methodologies to provide students the maximum value from their instruction time. The Riding Tree, developed by the Meredith Manor staff, provides a systematic approach to the development of the rider from beginning levels through the advanced stages of riding including the development of an independent seat. Heeding, developed by Dr. Meredith, uses methodically applied pressures to create shapes that the horse can understand. It is a horse communication system that proceeds in small, horse-logical steps that never create fear or antagonism in the horse. For more information about the Riding Tree or Heeding, see our Feature Articles. Faith Meredith has a series of articles focusing on riding including several articles which explain the Riding Tree in more detail. Ron Meredith has a series of articles on training including several articles which explain Heeding in more detail.
Quality, Quantity, and Accessibility of Horses
A horse professional needs experience with a wide variety of horses. Meredith Manor has approximately 145 horses for use in their programs including many different breeds trained in several different disciplines including dressage, jumping, eventing, and reining. Access to our school horses offers our students many advantages including:
- Experience riding and working with horses of various training levels and personalities. Our students work with all types of horses from training colts all the way up to top level show horses.
- Experience riding and working with horses in different disciplines including Dressage, Jumping, Eventing, and Reining.
- Experience riding and working with many different breeds of horses including Quarter Horses, Paints, warmbloods, Thoroughbreds, Arabians, Morgans, Drafts, Fresians, Halflingers, various pony breeds, and many more.
- Riding horses best suited to aid in the student's learning process. Our instructors do horse assignments every week. Because of our variety of horses, each student can be assigned to the horses that are best suited to their needs at every point in their development as a rider. Students will ride two different horses each day and will often ride 10-12 different horses each quarter.
- Training a wide variety of horses. Students taking our full training track will have the opportunity to train up to 12 different training colts over the course of their education.
Well Rounded Program
Having a successful career in the horse industry requires much more than the ability to ride a horse. In addition to riding classes, our students will participate in the following classes:
- Theory Theory classes provide an understanding of the underlying riding principles.
- Showing Each week the students take part in a program of horse showing designed to familiarize them with all aspects of competition.
- Horse and Barn Care Students are responsible for complete care of the horses including: cleaning the stall, grooming, scheduling and accompanying the horse(s) to the farrier, alerting the barn manager of any health problems, and routine health care.
- Career Emphasis Area Electives The Career Emphasis Area courses have been developed to give the student practical experience and knowledge in the key areas where people are needed in the horse industry.
- Teaching The Teaching courses cover all aspects of effective skill based teaching including concepts of educational psychology and philosophy, communication skills, organization, planning for instruction, and understanding of rider development. Students work closely with Meredith Manor instructors to further develop skills and competencies and are actively involved in all aspects of the teaching process. Meredith Manor offers 3 levels of teaching certification.
- Training The Training courses cover work from basic ground handling through advanced training in individual disciplines. The student trainer works with horses at all levels of training and has the opportunity to take a training colt that has never been handled to the specialized areas leading to a higher level of performance.
- Horse Health Horse Health introduces the student to the practical skills necessary to administer basic first aid and to identify common illnesses associated with the horse.
- Equine Massage Therapy This course teaches massage strokes and techniques, causes of muscular fatigue and soreness, skeletal structure of the horse and muscles of the horse. Upon successful completion of Equine Massage Therapy, students can take an examination for certification in equine massage.
- Farrier The farrier courses cover all aspects needed for a career in farrier including evaluating farrier jobs, learning proper trimming and shoeing, shaping factory shoes, shoe bending, leveling, and fitting. Farrier students do all the trimming and shoeing of the schools 145 horses.
- Equine Business Management This course is intended to acquaint students with the concepts and methods of successful management of a Horse Business.
- Equine Breeding The Breeding Course is intended to acquaint students with the basic anatomy and physiology of the male and female reproductive systems of the horse, the care and preparation of mare and stallions for breeding, breeding techniques, and post breeding examinations and considerations relating to pregnancy and foaling.
Our students choose Meredith Manor based on the quality of our programs, instructors, and the education they will receive. Our 130-acre campus is a horse friendly, working facility which provides an environment conducive to acquiring that education. It is geared toward functionality not appearance, and was designed with the following priorities:
- The safety of our students and staff
- The safety of our horses
- The comfort of our horses
Our seven barns provide a safe, comfortable place to care for our 145 school horses and our seven indoor arenas provide a place teach up to 35 (1 hour) riding classes per day - never exceeding 7 students in a class.
- Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET)
- Licensed by the State College System of West Virginia
- Approved for Veterans Benefits
- Approved by the US dept of Immigration to enroll nonimmigrant alien students
Not only do our accreditations provide credibility to our programs and our graduates, our ACCET accreditation enables students enrolled in 36-week or longer programs to apply for federal financial aid including: Pell Grants, Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans, Stafford Loans, and Plus Loans for those who qualify.
Meredith Manor provides a lifetime job placement service to our graduates. We receive requests for employment from a variety of businesses searching for qualified applicants – our graduates! In their final quarter, our graduating students may begin contacting prospective employers through our Job Book listings. We assist in preparing resumes, giving references, and with the initial call or letter. Although Meredith Manor cannot guarantee employment, our most recent statistics show that over 85% of our graduates gain employment within ninety days of graduation.
Following graduation, Meredith Manor alumni continue to have access to our job book listings, we post links to their business website, etc. For an idea of the types of initial jobs our graduates get immediately following graduation visit our Graduate Job Placement page. For an idea of what our graduates are currently doing in the industry, see our Feature Alumni and our Graduate Website Links.
Meredith Manor has continuously researched the horse industry, designed the facilities, and developed the educational programs that will give our students the training, experience, and confidence needed for their future careers. If you share our passion for horses and dream of a career in the equine industry, fill out our Catalog Request Form and take the first step in turning your dreams into a reality.