Manure management is a major component of horse and livestock production. However, knowledge of a practice and confidence in performing a practice are not necessarily synonymous. Faculty from South Dakota State University's (SDSU) Animal Science and Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering partnered to develop an experiential learning opportunity for students to learn about manure management and composting. The activity was conducted in an equine stable management (1 cohort of students) and an agricultural waste management course (2 cohorts of students). The activity objectives were: 1) gain experience designing and constructing a compost pile, 2) critically evaluate compost progress and make appropriate management decisions, 3) maintain a logbook of management decisions and behaviors, and 4) develop an understanding of opportunities and challenges associated with manure management. Following compost pile construction, students assumed responsibility for monitoring and maintenance of the compost piles for a two month period. The perceptions and knowledge of composting for one cohort of each course were compared before and after the activity and between courses. Students from both classes who participated in compost management reported an increased confidence in knowledge and ability to compost. The perceptions of the students on the importance of manure management differed between courses over time, likely as a result of the overall course content differences. The variations in activity implementation for the three cohorts are also discussed.