The gentle, enriching philosophy of the Montana Center for Horsemanship, along with the University of Montana Western partnership to provide academic degrees in Natural Horsemanship, have caught the attention of student riders and practitioners throughout the US—which, in turn, has created a significant demand for The Program. As a result of its own success, in the fall of 2015 UMW had to turn away many qualified students who were denied enrollment into the program because the facility and staff could not accommodate additional students.
Four years after the Natural Horsemanship degree was added to the UMW curriculum, The Program partners—The Center and UMW—find themselves in the position to make another significant contribution to the Natural Horsemanship world and Montana’s culture as a whole.
In addition to furthering the mission and supporting our community, the vision of the partners is to develop the Montana Center for Horsemanship into a destination conference and research center, attracting visitors, scholars, horsemen and horsewomen, as well as those who wish to learn about horses, Dillon and Beaverhead County.
To achieve this vision, additional programs need to be developed and the training and boarding facilities need to expand and grow. Based on demand, the logical program addition is a new degree in Natural Horsemanship Instruction. There is a clear need in the equine industry for graduates in this field, and the lack of instructors is one of the top five concerns hampering industry growth based on a 2015 survey of the AQHA Board of Directors. Further investment with direct impact will be needed to help these programs grow.
The Board of Directors of the Montana Center for Horsemanship has already begun moving forward to attain these goals by developing the new core curriculum for the B.S. in Natural Horsemanship Instruction, and by starting the process to develop the larger infrastructure required to accommodate current and future demand for The Program—as well as enhancing the ability to host future complimentary activities including clinics and conferences. Infrastructure expansion includes 48 additional 20’ x 60’ indoor/outdoor pens and a 200' x 300' Arena Building with a 135’ x 300’ indoor arena.
To accomplish these goals and fulfill the vision, the non-profit MCH has identified the following fund raising objectives:
· Infrastructure: $2.5M
· University Chair: Research & Development
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