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ACC Equine Training and Management Program

This certificate program allows participants to gain academic, technical, and professional skills in the classic Spanish tradition of equine management, industry and training. They will also learn to establish safe, trusting, and responsive relationships with horses. Courses may be taken individually or as a series culminating in a professional certificate. Students that take the courses in a series complete the program in approximately two and half years. Graduates of this program go on to work in many facets of the equine industry such as farriers, horse trainers, riding instructors, reproduction, nutrition, and equine or barn managers.

Full-time students would participate in lectures that are held on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings for 7-week sessions; horse training and horsemanship labs (10 hours per week) for 14 weeks, as well as a special-topic seminar for 14 weeks that includes guest speakers. Students would be considered part-time when taking one or two courses of their choosing based on interest.

Register for Equine Training & Management CoursesRegister for Upcoming Equine Clinics and Open Houses

Want to Learn More About ACC's Equine Training & Management Program?

Would you like to learn about this unique & engaging program? Does the Spanish California/Nevada tradition spark your interest? If you would like to know more, please email WCP. If you’re interested in our Equine Scholarship, please click below.

Scholarship Application

Meet Our Instructor

Damian Ficca is a Denver native who has worked horses throughout the western United States. He is one of a select group of individuals who specialize in traditional western training, with roots in the Spanish-California/Nevada horse training methods. A former Animal and Agricultural Sciences teacher, Mr. Ficca combines extensive knowledge and experience with a love for horses.

What is the Spanish California/Nevada Tradition?

The Spanish California/Nevada tradition is not a pre-packaged program of horse training for someone to sell. It is a tradition that is taught through understanding and practice. The program will develop the horse into a trusted companion in its chosen discipline. That discipline can be ranching, trail riding, competition, driving, equine therapy or any direction you wish to take the horse. To be “One” with the horse is among the most rewarding feelings one can experience.

The tradition is over 2,000 years old and passed on from elders who learned by watching horses in the wild. Training teaches the mind of the horse, not the human. The welfare of the horse is first and foremost in this horse training tradition. If you take care of the horse, the horse will take care of you.

The training process follows simple guides:


For The Welfare Of The Horses

Looking to support this amazing program without taking a class? ACC Foundation has a specific fund for the Equine Training and Management Program to create scholarships for those in need and to support our local barns that do great work in the equine community.

Donate to ACC's Equine Training and Management Program

Check out the Full Program

  • Horses are started, not broken.
  • The training process follows a distinct formula.
  • Each piece of training can be taught in more than one way.
  • Every lesson is individualized for the horse.
  • A horse is always in the process of being finished.
  • See Full Course Program Course Descriptions
    Course Number Key Curriculum Hours
    HRSM1004 Public Speaking 21
    HRSM1001 Equine Industry and Careers 21
    HRSM1012 Teaching Methods and Riding Instruction I 21
    HRSM2012 Teaching Methods and Riding Instruction II 21
    HRSM1011 Arena Training Level I 21
    HRSM2012 Arena Training Level II 21
    Total Techniques, Training, & Practices 126
    HRSM1034 Nervous and Cardiovascular System 21
    HRSE1035 Respiratory System 21
    HRSM1032 Digestive System 21
    HRSM1033 Skeletal System 21
    HRSM1041 Nutrition and Feeding I 21
    HRSM2041 Nutrition and Feeding II 21
    HRSE1023 Equine Hair, Skin, Eyes and Ears 21
    HRSE1036 Pharmacology 21
    Total Anatomy, Nutrition, and Medical 168
    Course Number Key Curriculum Hours
    HRSM1013 Equine Management I - Facilities 21
    HRSM2013 Equine Management II - Behavior 21
    HRSM1050 Pasture Management 21
    HRSM2014 Ground Work 21
    HRSM1045 Bits and Bitting I 21
    HRSM2045 Bits and Bitting II 21
    Total Barn Management 126
    HRSM1003 Breed Evaluation I 21
    HRSM2003 Breed Evaluation II 21
    1031 Reproduction 21
    HRSM1037 Genetics 21
    HRSM1022 Hoof Anatomy and Physiology 21
    HRSM1021 Hoof Care I 21
    HRSM2021 Hoof Care II 21
    HRSM2022 Hoof Care III 21
    Total Equine Genetics & Hoof Care 168
    HRSM1010 7 Labs of Horse training & Horsemanship 140
    Total Equine Lab Hours 980

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