Our vision for the Montana Center for Horsemanship is to develop it as one of the nation's leading equine education centers with natural horsemanship and education at its core. We envision a state-of-the-art learning, training and teacher center --- an event center, for conferences and symposiums, workshops, retreats, clinics, and research --- a special events and destination venue, attracting horsemen and horsemen from all over the nation and from around the world --- students and scholars, visitors and scientists, professionals and amateurs, and all those who want to learn about horses, horsemanship and experience the rich history, culture, western traditions and natural beauty of Dillon, Beaverhead County and all that Montana has to offer.
At the Montana Center for Horsemanship (MCH), we believe that every horse and person deserves a chance to make the most of their respective lives. Since its inception, the Montana Center has continued to offer a means for creating dynamic synergy among horsemen and horsewomen --- teachers, trainers, scientists and all riding disciplines, working together to develop and advance the unique relationship between horse and human.
As the nation's leading equine education center promoting Natural Horsemanship, MCH is also home to the first and only accredited, 4-year Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Horsemanship in the U.S. In partnership with the University of Montana Western, in historic, Dillon, Montana, this academic program provides real-world, hands-on experiences for students from across the U.S. and worldwide, with a special interest in horses. With its stables, arenas, riding areas, trails and highly qualified instructors, MCH serves as the primary facility and progressive teaching resource for the University of Montana Western’s (UMW) curriculum teaching Natural Horsemanship.
Education is at the heart of this partnership and students can pursue several degrees - a B.S. in Natural Horsemanship or an Assocate of Applied Science in Natural Horsemanship. Other new areas of specialized studies include agriculture, outfitting and business management. In fact, a high percentage of students have double majors in both Natural Horsemanship and Business Management and many pursue careers that combine these two fields. Our future vision is to support an even greater expansion of academic studies in a wide range of developing fields that may be related to horsemanship.
The core of the partnership is the goal of providing an exemplary education. Current programs combine traditional courses at the University, with extensive hands-on experiences at MCH. Students emerge with a world-class education poised for success in both natural horsemanship and the broader equine and related fields. Additionally, in partnership with our natural horsemanship center in France, Haras de la Cense, students can study abroad, with extensive opportunities for international educational exchange. There is simply no other program like this in the world.
The Montana Center for Horsemanship is set in the foothills of the Blacktail Mountain Range, a breathtaking natural setting in southwest Montana. The Center, located in the historic, thriving town of Dillon, is one of the region's top agricultural centers and offers some of the best outdoor recreational opportunities in Montana. Dillon is also sometimes known as the "horse capital of the Northwest." An important goal of the Center and its programs, is to support and enhance the equine community, as well as the community of Dillon, Montana, by helping to position the town as a business and recreation destination. Taking an active role in nurturing horsemanship and its long-standing western traditions, and encouraging young people to carry on those values, are important components of the Center's mission.