Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Because of Horses

Jul 20, 2018

Elise’s guest today is Dr. Karen Waite, who has an astounding wealth of knowledge on all things horses, competing, and being an equestrian. She is the coordinator of Michigan State University’s Horse Management program and the director of undergraduate education in MSU’s Department of Animal Science. She also serves as the faculty coordinator of MSU’s Horse Teaching and Research Center and as the faculty advisor to the MSU Equestrian team and Horsemen’s Association.


With both teaching and extension appointments, Karen’s responsibilities include managing the Michigan 4-H Horse Judges List and coordinating the Michigan 4-H PEP program for riders with disabilities. On top of all this, Karen is a past president of the American Youth Horse Council, President of the Michigan Quarter Horse Association, and carded judge with POAC.

Education-wise, Karen has Bachelor’s Degrees in Education and Animal Science, a Master’s Degree in Animal Science with a nutrition emphasis, and a Doctoral degree in Sports Psychology, with an emphasis on equestrian sport and activity.


In this episode, Karen talks about her background, her life and work as a professor, her involvement with horses outside of her work, and her plans and hopes for the future. She also gives her recommendations to horse owners and advice and tips from lessons she has learned. Tune in to hear more about Karen’s incredible knowledge and passion for horses.


Topics of Discussion:

[:45] About Elise’s guest today, Karen Waite.

[2:05] How did Karen’s amazing career come together? Did she always know what she wanted to do?

[5:05] Karen’s joy in being able to be involved in what she loves every day.

[8:51] The challenges Karen has endured on her path to pursuing what she loves.

[11:35] Elise reads listener feedback.

[13:39] Elise’s first break and the path that led her to Because of Horses.

[15:52] Karen’s observations when working with students at MSU and the lesson she always passes on when it comes to a career with horses.

[18:43] What it’s like balancing her hobbies and professional life.

[19:56] What topics Karen believes horse owners should be aware of and her recommendations to pursue these topics.

[23:50] Is the extension service the underlying organization for MSU’s new farrier program?

[25:29] More about the new farrier program at MSU and farrier statistics and profession.

[29:35] Elements from Karen’s research of her doctoral dissertation that stood out to her.

[34:56] The importance of putting the care of your horse first in the competing world.

[38:54] Some of the tricks unfair competitors use in horse competitions.

[43:10] A sneak peek of some of the future guests in the coming weeks of Because of Horses.

[45:14] About Karen’s plans and projects for the future.

[47:41] The vast amount of opportunities in the horse industry.

[50:50] Where to follow Karen online.


Know Someone Inspirational, Whose Life Has Been Forever Changed Because of Horses? Because of Horses would love to get to share their story!

To recommend someone please send an email to


Mentioned in this Episode:

Michigan State University (MSU)

MSU Horse Teaching and Research Center

MSU Horse Management program

MSU Department of Animal Science

MSU Equestrian Team and Horsemen’s Association

Michigan Quarter Horse Association

My Horse University

Youth Equine Extension program

eXtension Horse Quest

Michigan 4-H PEP Program for riders with disabilities

American Youth Horse Council


The Black Stallion books

Because of Horses Facebook 

Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow: Discovering Your Right Livelihood, 

by Marsha Sinetar

Karen Waite’s Blog (

KWaite@MSU.Edu (Karen’s email)


Like what you hear? Because of Horses would love to hear your feedback!

Please email to send Because of Horses your thoughts.


To Support the Podcast:

  • Donate on Paypal to help keep Because of Horses running — all amounts are welcome!