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Career Advice

12 Career Options for Those Interested in Working with Horses

The equine industry is growing tremendously each year and this means that more career opportunities are becoming available to those job seekers that are interested in working with horses. While the jobs that are found in the traditional equine career path are growing, there is an increasing number of trades that were not previously associated with horses that are making their way into the equine sector. These are just a few of the many opportunities available to those that dream of working with horses.

1. Riding Instructor

A riding instructor watches over students and directs them in their sessions. They may demonstrate the proper techniques as far as jumping, reining, dressage, posture, and even Western trail riding. Generally a riding instructor charges by the hour but they may earn up to $40,000 a year.

2. Equine Veterinarian (Or Veterinarian Technician)

Here you will be able to provide preventative health care and treatment for injuries. There is a huge educational commitment that comes with this title, but the average salary is very promising. A technician will provide assistance to the veterinarian with exams and surgical procedures.

3. Farrier

A farrier is responsible for maintaining the hooves of horses with trimming and balancing. They must see each client about 7 times per year. Many farriers are self-employed and learn the trade through certification courses or apprenticeships.

4. Jockey

A jockey is someone who races with a trainer’s instruction. There are strict weight and diet guidelines along with apprenticeship and training. Racing can begin at 16 but a jockey must be tough. The days are long and this dangerous sport can end with broken bones.

5. Groom

A groom provides the daily necessary care for the horses that are under their supervision, making sure to notice any changes in the behavior of a horse or any signals from their body language that might be a red flag for veterinary care.

6. Mounted Police Officer

Horses are used for crowd control and as a deterrent to crime. First, you must be a regular police officer through the police academy and then work for three years before applying to be a mounted police officer.

7. Barn Manager

The daily duties of a barn manager include supervising and caring for the horses in their stable. They can be found handling horse care, scheduling deliveries to the barn of food and bedding, and managing employees.

8. Exercise Rider

Each morning an exercise rider will work horses on a racetrack and will follow instructions given by a trainer. These riders can be taller and heavier than jockeys.

9. Racehorse Trainer

These trainers are those who are responsible for conditioning their horses to compete in events for racing.  They have to have an abundance of knowledge in every aspect of horsemanship and must pass a licensing exam in the state in which they wish to compete. A racehorse trainer will earn a daily rate for a horse that us under their care, as well as a percentage of their horse’s winnings.

10. Bloodstock Agent

In this position, you would evaluate horses at auctions and then bid on them on behalf of a client. You would arrange the purchase of proven racehorses, stallion seasons, or privately sold horses while keeping up with the online equestrian marketplace. Many agents are involved in the thoroughbred industry and will earn a commission for their services.

11. Horse Breeder

A horse breeder will arrange the matings that will result in foals. This could be arranging the mating of a certain breed or a foal that will be suited for competition of a specific type. The salary is varied widely and is based on what type of breeding is being done.

12. Equine Nutritionist

Nutrition for horses is so much more than some hay and a scoop of pellets. There is an increasing need for nutritionists because so many individuals are not properly educated on feeding their horses. There are feed industry representatives, consultants, educators, researchers, and more. Generally a nutritionist will need at least a Master’s degree.

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