What is Equitation Science?

Equitation science promotes an objective, evidence-based understanding of how horses learn, and how to train them accordingly. It promotes the welfare of horses during training and competition by applying valid, quantitative evidence based methods.

Equitation = the art & practice of horsemanship & riding.

Science = knowledge

Why study Equitation Science?

The Diploma of Equitation Science offers new and exciting career opportunities in the growing field of equitation science, both in Australia and internationally.

Providing students with highly practical skills and in-depth knowledge of all aspects of horse handling, coaching and training, graduates are equipped with increasingly sought after skills in equine management, and are well placed at the forefront of evidence-based and ethical equine training practices.

A broad, multi-discipline course, the Diploma of Equitation Science is suitable for anyone who handles horses, including:

  • Trainers and coaches
  • Equine veterinarians
  • Chiropractors
  • Physiotherapists
  • Complementary therapists
  • Farriers and barefoot trimmers
  • Horse property owners
  • Horse managers
  • Equestrian clubs and centres
  • Pony clubs and members
  • Racing stables and trainers
  • General horse enthusiasts, including parents


Graduate Insurance

ESI is partnered with Aon Insurance offering diploma graduates up to 25% off Public and Products Liability insurance! Download the Aon flyer for cover details Aon Insurance flyer

What You Learn

The Diploma of Equitation Science is a nationally recognised qualification with theoretical and practical components to ensure our graduates are highly competent in all areas of horse handling, coaching and training. The course units include:

Subject areas include:


  • Ethology
  • Behaviour
  • Learning
  • Biomechanics
  • In-hand training
  • Under-saddle training
  • Jumping
  • Breaking-in
  • Behavioural problem resolution
  • Coaching
  • First Aid
  • OH&S
  • Risk management
  • Work health & Safety


For a list of the units and their codes, download the course brochure.

Continued Support

As a student of the Diploma of Equitation Science, you join a growing community of like-minded horse professionals and enthusiasts. Students are automatically enrolled in a discussion forum to share in and contribute ideas during their study.

After completing their Diploma, graduates are invited to join a private group to stay in touch with fellow students, former graduates and the team at Equitation Science International. Graduates are also invited to attend bi-ennial trainers conferences. The inaugural conference will be held at the Australian Equine Behaviour Centre in 2017.


Student Feedback

“The ESI diploma courses have been such an influence on my life and direction with horses and I am so grateful that it found me when I so desperately needed it” – Audrey Siewert, ESI Diploma Graduate, Canada

“Thank you so much to the team at ESI for making this opportunity available and teaching me all about the world of equitation science. I will do my best to help change the horse world one horse at a time!” – Bec Kerr, ESI Diploma Graduate, Dunedin NZ

equine course

Entry Requirements

The ability to ride a horse in all four gaits demonstrating control and balance. Students are also required to be able to jump small obstacles.

Enrolment and Payment

The cost of the entire course is AU$8,900.00. Pay per unit and payment plans are also available.  Fee help will be available in the near future for Australian students only.

Recognised Prior Learning

For students who have completed or partially completed the course within the unaccredited system (pre 2016), they can be transferred into the current comparable units via Recognised Prior Learning for a fee of 10% per unit (ESI units only). This offer will only be available until June 2019. Beyond June 2019 students who completed / started within the old system will be required to pay full unit fees.

All additional units are available to complete via RPL. Full unit fee applies.

Preview our Online Learning Portal:

More Information

To find out more about the Diploma of Equitation Science, please download our Course Information Pack and Student Handbook. To learn more about the experience of studying at Equitation Science International, get in touch with the ESI team.

2019 workshop dates*

For each of the following units, students need to attend one workshop. Practical training workshop dates for 2018 are as follows:


  • February 19-20
  • May 12-13
  • October 1-2


  • February 21-22
  • May 14-15
  • October 3-4

*Australian workshops only. For international workshops (UK, CA) contact ESI.

AEBC Working Pupil offer 

Australian Equine Behaviour Centre working pupils are offered a 20% discount on all units in the Diploma of Equitation Science. For more details on working pupil positions at AEBC, visit www.aebc.com.au

Students must enrol with ESI and have completed ESIHTP501A, and ESIHTP502A (theory only) prior to arrival. During their first week of stay, students will complete the practical component of ESIHTP502A, and the remaining ESI units (ESIHTP503A, ESIHTP504A) need to be completed before the end of their placement (minimum 3 months). Students must bring their own laptop computer and be prepared to continue their online study whilst working at AEBC. The remaining additional units can be completed whilst at AEBC, or online at home.

Applications for working pupil positions must be submitted prior to enrolment.

Applications: [email protected]

Enrolments: [email protected]