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

“This has been an incredibly interesting experience and in all honesty, completely life-changing. I’m excited to move forward and continue working with it all! Thank you especially for all your support and your help during my studies” – Lisa V, ESI Diploma Graduate

“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

“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

Fee Help: VET Student Loans

Equitation Science International is an approved VET Student Loans provider for Australian students enrolling into 10070NAT Diploma of Equitation Science.

What is a VET Student Loan?

The VET Student Loans program (otherwise known as VSL) offers greater protection for students and focuses on courses that address industry needs, creating better opportunities for employment. VET Student Loans offers income contingent loan support to eligible students studying certain diploma level and above vocational education and training qualifications.

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.  VET Student Loans are now available for Australian Students. Check your eligibility here.

Recognised Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is the acknowledgment of skills and knowledge obtained through formal training, work experience and/or life experience. The purpose of this process is to identify and assess previously acquired skills and knowledge against the required competency standards. Course participants applying for RPL must provide evidence to the satisfaction of ESI. This evidence must clearly indicate that the applicant is able to demonstrate all of the required skills and knowledge for the unit in question. Information and documentation regarding the application procedure for RPL and/or Credit Transfers will be made available to all participants upon request.

ESI units (ESIHTP501A – 504A) are not available for RPL.

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, please contact the ESI Team on enrolments@esi-education.com

2019 workshop dates*

For each of the following units, students need to attend one workshop. Practical training workshop dates for 2019 are as follows:


  • February 19-20
  • October 8-9


  • February 21-22
  • October 10-11


2020 workshop dates*


  • April 28-29
  • August 18-19
  • December 8-9


  • April 30-May 1
  • August 20-21
  • December 10-11

*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: rikke@aebc.com.au

Enrolments: enrolments@esi-education.com