If you’re passionate about horses, it makes sense to look into careers that allow you to work closely with these majestic animals. In this guide, we’ll look at some interesting and rewarding equine-related jobs. From equine veterinarians and riding instructors to ranch hands and mounted patrol officers, we’ll dive into the world of professions where a deep appreciation for horses meets specialized skills and expertise. Read along to find your dream job working with horses.

Careers that Focus on Horse Care

1. Equine Veterinarian

An equine veterinarian focuses primarily on the health and medical care of horses. Equine veterinarians undergo extensive education and training to diagnose, treat, and prevent illnesses and injuries in horses. Their responsibilities encompass a wide range of healthcare services for both individual horses and entire horse populations. Your daily tasks as an equine veterinarian might include routine checkups, vaccinations, parasite treatments, dental care, and more. You could also specialize in surgical procedures for horses. 

Equine veterinarians fall under the broader category of animal veterinary medicine. The average salary for a veterinarian in the U.S. is $106,688 but can range between $83,794 and $135,385 depending on your location, specialties, experience, and education. 

2. Equine Veterinary Technician

An equally important role in the equine medical field is that of a veterinary technician. An equine veterinary technician works alongside equine veterinarians to provide essential support in the care and treatment of horses. These individuals play a crucial role in veterinary practices, clinics, and hospitals that specialize in equine medicine.

Equine veterinary technicians assist veterinarians during examinations and medical procedures by holding and calming horses, preparing equipment, and maintaining a sterile environment. During surgeries or medical treatments, equine veterinary technicians monitor vital signs, administer medications, and ensure the well-being of the horse. Equine veterinary technicians often interact with horse owners, providing education on topics such as medication administration, wound care, and general horse health.

The average salary for a veterinary technician in the U.S. is $39,196 but can range between $32,987 and $46,574 depending on your location, specialties, experience, and education. 

3. Horse Trainer

As a horse trainer, you get to work extensively with horses by training them for various purposes, such as recreational riding, racing, or show competitions. The goal of horse training is to develop a horse’s abilities, improve its behavior, and ensure it is well-mannered, safe, and responsive to commands. The specifics often vary depending on the type of discipline you, as a trainer, specialize in.

Trainers may work with young, unbroken horses to introduce them to the training process and establish a solid foundation for future work. In general, trainers expose horses to different stimuli, including unusual sounds, objects, and environments, to desensitize them and reduce fear or skittishness. In older horses, a trainer might focus on behavior modification or building discipline-specific skills.

The average salary of a horse trainer can vary quite a bit. The average salary in the U.S. is $39,187 but can range between $34,882 and $43,986. Your specialty, experience, and prestige can all influence your salary as a horse trainer.

4. Farrier

Farriers are responsible for trimming the hooves of horses regularly. This involves removing excess growth, shaping the hooves, and ensuring proper balance. Routine maintenance is essential to prevent issues like lameness and discomfort. In addition to trimming hooves, farriers also apply horseshoes when necessary. Horseshoes protect the hooves from excessive wear, provide additional traction, and offer support for horses engaged in specific activities or those with hoof-related issues.

Becoming a farrier typically involves a combination of formal education and hands-on experience through an apprenticeship. Many farriers start as apprentices under experienced mentors to gain practical skills. They also stay updated on new developments, techniques, and tools in the field. Many attend workshops, conferences, and training programs to enhance their skills and knowledge.

Many farriers are self-employed, running their own businesses, which includes managing appointments, maintaining records, and handling financial aspects of their practice, which some individuals prefer over working as an employee. The average salary of a farrier in the U.S. is $25,522 but can range between $20,642 and $30,811. 

5. Equine Massage Therapist

Everyone loves a good massage–even horses! An equine massage therapist helps promote relaxation, reduce tension, and enhance the overall well-being of horses. This type of therapy is often used as a complementary approach to veterinary care and can be beneficial for horses involved in various activities, boosting performance and rehabilitation, or simply as a means of promoting relaxation.

Most equine massage therapists undergo formal education and certification programs to ensure they have the necessary knowledge and skills to practice safely and effectively. In addition to providing massage therapy, equine massage therapists often educate horse owners on the benefits of massage therapy, proper care of their horses’ muscles, and ways to identify signs of tension or discomfort.

The average salary of an equine massage therapist in the U.S. is $71,679 but can range between $47,000 and $92,000. Additional certifications, reputation, and experience can all potentially lead to a higher salary as a horse massage therapist.

6. Horse Breeder

A career as a horse breeder involves the selective breeding of horses to produce offspring with specific desirable traits, such as temperament, conformation, performance abilities, and genetic qualities. Horse breeders may specialize in breeding horses for specific disciplines, such as racing, dressage, show jumping, or companionship. Breeders may sell horses they have bred, either as foals or after they have reached a certain age and training level. This involves marketing their horses, presenting them at sales events, and working with potential buyers.

Some breeders operate their own breeding farms, while others may work with established breeding programs or facilities. A successful career as a horse breeder requires a combination of expertise in horse conformation, genetics, and a deep passion for producing high-quality horses. The field of horse breeding is dynamic, with ongoing advancements in genetics, reproductive technologies, and management practices. Breeders often engage in continuous learning to stay current with best practices in equine breeding.

The average salary of a horse breeder can vary quite a bit, and there’s a decent amount of overhead to go along with it if you’re running your own breeding business. In general, the average salary of a horse breeder in the U.S. is about $58,329 but can range between $51,885 and $65,269 based on your reputation, prestige, and the quality of your horses.

7. Equine Nutritionist

A career as an equine nutritionist involves the study and application of nutritional principles to optimize the health, performance, and well-being of horses. Equine nutritionists work to develop balanced and customized diets, taking into consideration the specific needs of individual horses, their age, activity level, and health conditions. 

Equine nutritionists work closely with horse owners, trainers, and veterinarians to assess the nutritional needs of individual horses. They provide guidance on feeding practices, dietary supplements, and overall nutritional management. Some equine nutritionists work for feed companies or develop their own line of equine nutrition products, formulating commercial feeds and supplements tailored to meet the nutritional needs of different horses.

The average salary of a horse nutritionist in the U.S. is $78,648 but can range between $69,959 and $88,005. Your reputation, experience, location, and specialty can all play a part in your salary as an equine nutritionist.

8. Equine Photographer

Are you more artistically inclined? Working as a horse photographer can provide you with a creative outlet while also opening up more opportunities to be around horses. Equine photographers are employed by individuals, breeding companies, equestrian events, equestrian journals, and more to photograph horses in a wide variety of settings. As an equine photographer, you would likely be able to travel to a variety of new places while on the job.

As an equine photographer, you can work for yourself by creating your own photography business and manage clients on your own terms. Alternatively, you can work for brands and organizations that make horse tack or are closely associated with equestrian sports. 

9. Stable Manager

A career as a stable manager involves overseeing the daily operations of a horse stable or equestrian facility. Stable managers play a crucial role in maintaining a safe, organized, and efficient environment for horses, staff, and clients. Stable managers may work in a variety of settings, including boarding facilities, riding schools, show barns, or breeding farms. The role requires a combination of practical horse knowledge, organizational skills, leadership abilities, and excellent communication with both staff and clients.

Stable managers oversee the care of the horses in the facility, which includes coordinating feeding schedules, managing turnout, overseeing grooming routines, and ensuring that all horses receive proper veterinary and farrier care. They often interact with horse owners, clients, and boarders. They address client concerns, provide information about services, and ensure that clients are satisfied with the care their horses receive.

The average salary of a stable manager in the U.S. is $61,351 but can range between $44,000 and $69,000. The reputation, size, and location of the stable can all influence your salary as a stable manager.

10. Equine Event Organizer

Are you a highly organized person? You might enjoy a career as an event organizer for horse-related events! 

An equine event organizer plans, coordinates, and manages events related to horses. These events can vary widely, encompassing everything from horse shows and competitions to educational seminars, clinics, and recreational rides. The primary goal of an equine event organizer is to ensure that the event runs smoothly, meets the needs and expectations of participants, and provides a positive experience for all involved.

Event organization, regardless of industry, involves a wide variety of moving parts, from budgeting to marketing, delegating tasks, registration management, and more. An equine event organizer should be very detail-oriented and comfortable making last-minute decisions if necessary.

Event organizers typically make around $70,740 a year in the U.S., though the range can fall anywhere from $63,118 to $80,877. Your salary as an equine event organizer depends on the venue, your experience, and the event itself.

11. Equine Product Sales Representative

Countless brands exist that manufacture horse tack and equipment, equestrian apparel, and other equestrian-related products. If you love horses and everything equestrian, you might want to consider a job with one of these brands as a sales representative. Successful representatives typically have strong communication skills, a passion for the equine industry, and a results-oriented approach to sales.

As a sales representative for an equine brand, you’ll need a deep understanding of the products you’re selling, such as equine nutrition, health products, grooming supplies, tack, apparel, or any other items specific to the equine industry. You would also be responsible for providing ongoing support to customers, addressing inquiries, resolving issues, and ensuring customer satisfaction.

The average salary for a sales representative in the U.S. is $75,579, with the potential to earn up to $10,000 in commission per year. 

12. Equine Journalist or Blogger

If you’re a skilled writer, you can combine a passion for writing with a love for horses by covering equine-related topics for publications or online platforms. This job can focus on a wide range of equestrian topics, from equine health to discipline-specific competitions and events. You can either start your own horse-related blog or get a job with a pre-existing equine publication.

The average salary for a journalist in the U.S. is $48,528. If you start your own horse-related blog, you could potentially earn that much or more per year based on affiliates, advertising, and promotions.

Careers that Involve Horseback Riding

13. Horseback Riding Instructor

A career as a horseback riding instructor can be very fulfilling as you get to share your passion for horses with others. Riding instructors work in various settings, including riding schools, equestrian centers, camps, and private facilities. Their primary responsibility is to provide instruction, guidance, and support to riders of different skill levels, from beginners to advanced riders.

Working as a riding instructor requires a great deal of experience with riding horses and a commitment to the safety of both horses and riders. As a horseback riding instructor, you’re responsible for warming up students and horses, properly matching students with a horse according to skill level, crafting lesson plans for rider improvement, and more. 

The average salary for a horseback riding instructor in the U.S. is $39,559, though can reach up to $77,000 depending on your experience or the equestrian facility where you work.

14. Professional Horseback Rider

Love riding horses? You can absolutely turn that passion into your career.  Professional horseback riders specialize in specific disciplines, such as show jumping, dressage, eventing, racing, stunt riding, coaching, and more. A significant part of your career as a professional rider might involve actively participating in competitions and events, including local, national, and international competitions, depending on your level of expertise and aspirations. 

Your salary as a professional equestrian would largely depend on your chosen discipline and skill level. Many professional riders seek sponsorship and endorsements from companies in the equestrian industry. Sponsors may provide financial support, equipment, and other resources in exchange for the rider promoting their brand.

15. Horseback Trail Guide

If you love the outdoors and horses, a career as a horseback trail guide might be perfect for you. A career as a horseback trail guide involves leading individuals or groups on horseback rides through scenic trails, parks, or wilderness areas. Trail guides work in various settings, including dude ranches, trail riding operations, national parks, and recreational areas. Their primary responsibility is to ensure a safe and enjoyable riding experience for participants while sharing knowledge about the local environment and providing guidance on horsemanship. 

In some cases, trail guides may be involved in basic trail maintenance, such as clearing debris, marking trails, and reporting any issues that may affect the safety or enjoyment of the ride. Trail guides are trained in basic first aid and emergency procedures and must be prepared to respond quickly and effectively to any unexpected situations that may arise during a ride.

The average salary for a trail guide in the U.S. is around $43,000 a year, sometimes ranging between $35,000 and $53,000 per year.

16. Ranch Hand

A career as a ranch hand involves working on a ranch or farm, performing a variety of tasks related to the care and management of livestock, crops, and overall ranch operations. Ranch hands are essential to the daily functioning of a ranch, and their duties can be diverse and physically demanding. The specific responsibilities can vary depending on the type of ranch, its size, and the activities it engages in.

Ranch hands typically work long hours, especially during peak seasons, and their schedules may be influenced by the needs of the animals and the ranch. It’s a physically demanding but rewarding career for individuals who enjoy working outdoors, have a strong work ethic, and possess practical skills related to agriculture and livestock management.

The average salary for a ranch hand is $39,768 per year in the U.S and can be higher or lower depending on the size of the ranch and your years of experience.

17. Mounted Patrol Officer

If you’re seeking a career in law enforcement, you might consider becoming a mounted patrol officer. Mounted patrol officers play a unique role in law enforcement, combining traditional policing skills with horsemanship. The use of horses provides distinct advantages, such as improved visibility, mobility in crowded areas, and enhanced community engagement. Successful officers in this role have a genuine love for horses, strong interpersonal skills, and a commitment to community-oriented policing.

Mounted patrol officers undergo standard law enforcement training, which includes academy training, firearms proficiency, defensive tactics, and other essential law enforcement skills, as well as specialized training related to mounted patrol duties.

The average salary for a mounted police officer in the U.S. is $62,148 a year, though it can fall between $48,000 and $92,000 depending on years of experience and location.

18. Equine Assisted Therapy Specialist

A job as an equine assisted therapy specialist can be incredibly rewarding. This career involves using horses as a therapeutic tool to assist people with achieving emotional, cognitive, physical, and social goals. Equine assisted therapy, also known as equine therapy or horse therapy, is a type of experiential therapy that can be beneficial for a wide range of populations, including those with mental health issues, developmental disorders, or trauma.

Equine assisted therapy specialists typically have a background in mental health, counseling, psychology, social work, or a related field. Many specialists also undergo specific training in equine-assisted therapy methods and techniques. Specialists need a deep understanding of equine behavior and communication, including recognizing signs of stress or discomfort in horses and being able to interpret their responses to clients.

The average salary for an equine assisted therapy specialist in the U.S. is $45,535 a year, though it can fall between $30,000 and $81,000 a year depending on your experience, areas of specialization, and location.

Cheers to Your Career

These are just a few examples of jobs involving horses, and there are many more career paths within the equine industry. Depending on your interests and skills, you are sure to find a fulfilling career that allows you to work with horses on a daily basis.

Don’t forget to dress for success! When riding horses, make sure you’ve got high-quality equestrian apparel to keep you comfortable and stylish. At R.J. Classics, we’re proud to offer breeches, riding shirts, and show coats for professional equestrians of all disciplines. With R.J. Classics, you’ll always look and feel your best.

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