Isothermal Community College

Polk Center

Equine Programs

trainer working with a horse adjusting saddle.

Shouldn't your love for horses lead you to a career that starts in Horse Country?

Why not turn your passion for horses into a career?

Wouldn't you like to start your career with horses in the center of one of the most energized equestrian areas in the country? Would you like to be close to the action such as three competition venues, a nationally respected equine surgical hospital and some of the best horse farms around?

Tryon Horse Country has it all. Opportunities abound for hands on instruction. We can boast world class riders, horses, trainers and The Tryon International Equine Center. We have a multitude of recreational and commercial horse farms. We have 25 equine organizations. 

Historically, Polk County is the birthplace of the modern Equestrian Olympic team and as such, has a long record of attracting the country’s best trainers and riders. Today, equine professionals settle here for the year round climate, good footing, excellent industry infrastructure (noted vets, farriers, equine construction, two equine ambulances and nationally rated shows). We are on the north-south corridor for competition schedules.  

Equine Programs

Faculty: Bette Mann, Allison Rhyne

Introduction to Equine Management Level l
Formerly known as Groom Elite 99, this course will introduce students to horse handling, horse behavior and basic care. This class is a prerequisite for Equine Management Level ll. This class takes regular field trips to barn locations in the greater foothills area. 

*Financial aid opportunities may be available for qualifying students, contact (828) 894-3092 for more information.

#58972
Mon/Wed, 1-5 PM 
September 14-21
Polk Center, Room 112, $70

Equine Management Level ll
Formerly known as Groom Elite 101, this flagship 40-hour course focuses on important horse equine management skills including: stable management, basic first aid, nutrition, and anatomy and physiology. This course is geared to horse care workers and horse owners with some experience who desire to have a deeper more comprehensive knowledge of the horse and working with horses. Training will combine lecture and hands-on learning in the barn. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Equine management l. This class takes regular field trips to barn locations in the greater foothills area. 

*Financial aid opportunities may be available for qualifying students, contact (828) 894-3092 for more information.

#58973
Mon/Wed, 1-5 PM
October 5 - November 4 
Polk Center, Room 112, $125

Advanced Equine Management Level lll
Formerly known as Groom Elite 201, this course offers a more in-depth study of stable management, first aid, nutrition, and grooming. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Introduction to Equine management Level l and Equine Management Level ll. This class takes regular field trips to barn locations in the greater foothills area.

*Financial aid opportunities may be available for qualifying students, contact (828) 894-3092 for more information

*Dates are TBD

Introduction To Equine Assisted Activities And Therapies (EAAT)
This course introduces a variety of equine assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) used to benefit persons with disabilities. The class will provide an overview of activities and therapies such as therapeutic horseback riding, Hippotherapy, therapeutic driving, and equine facilitated therapies. The history of equine assisted therapy, an overview of common physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities, careers with equine assisted activities and information on therapeutic riding instructor certification will be presented. The class combines classroom lecture with hands-on experience at a barn facility. Students will receive volunteer training by assisting in a therapeutic horsemanship class.
Next classes:   Thurs, 6-9 p.m. February 7 - March 7, *Saturday, 12-3 p.m. March 2, $70.

Intro to Equine Braiding & Competition Prep
Introduction to the core skills needed to create beautiful, professional braided manes for competition! Topics covered include: mane pulling, different tools and techniques for different manes, clipping and trimming for horse shows. Class size is limited. Groom Elite 99 or experience around horses is a prerequisite.
Next classes:  TBA

Advanced Equine Braiding & Competition Prep
The hands-on class builds on the skills learned in Intro to Equine Braiding & Competition Prep. Michelle will provide an overview of braiding, different trimming & braid needs for different disciplines and breeds (wet lab/ hunter braids/ dressage braids). She will also cover Tail Braids and Tail Ribbon Colors, wet lab Jumper Braids, Mane Banding Tail braids, Pinwheel, wrap around, mud braids, attaching a fake tail and more. Class size is limited. Intro to Equine Braiding & Competition Prep class is a prerequisite.
Next classes:   TBA

Limited financial aid is available to qualified students.

Coming Soon:

  • Equine Massage Therapy
  • Barn Management
  • Vet Assistant
  • Equine Nutrition
  • Equine Videography and Photography

Karen Marshall
Coordinator, Polk Center
828-395-1163
kmarshall@isothermal.edu