For many, their involvement with horses stems from a hobby rather than an occupation. However, there is a surprisingly wide range of ways you can transition your passion into a profession. Careers that are seemingly worlds apart can be united by their shared passion for horses. From ensuring horses are cared for properly on a day-to-day basis, to marketing horse feed products to retailers on behalf of manufacturers and distributors, there is a career involving horses out there for everyone.
If you are unfamiliar with the term, a farrier is someone who specialises in equine hoof care. They are responsible for forging and maintaining horse shoes that provide the perfect fit at all times. Able to create shoes that fit horses of differing shapes and sizes, their role can be essential in providing for the most vulnerable horses. Farriers are often called upon to rectify a problem with the horse’s fluidity of movement by creating a shoe that will counter-act any imbalance.
There is no better way to outwardly express your passion for horses than sharing that passion with others. By guiding others on what may be their first ever experience of horse riding, you could very well be responsible for inspiring the next generation of horse lovers. This could also lead to a role as a trainer for a professional rider, which will require determination and hard work, but will give you the opportunity to tour the world with your clients. Remember; even olympic riders need trainers – so the sky really is the limit.
Becoming a vet is perhaps the most obvious, albeit arguably the most difficult, route to being involved with horses in a professional capacity. Aiding animals with their recuperation in their time of need must be a rewarding experience, and must be an important motivator for anyone considering applying to veterinary science. Of course, the path to becoming a vet is extremely challenging and demanding and requires you to study at degree level for a minimum of five years – six in some universities. Once qualified, you will have a responsibility maintain and develop your knowledge and skills by earning continued professional development points (CDP) – the minimum requirement for this is 105 hours over a rolling three year period.
A common misconception about veterinary physiotherapy is that you have to practice human physiotherapy before making the transition over to animals, but that is simply not the case unlike osteopathy and chiropractic. Equine physiotherapists must have a natural affinity with animals and over time, must learn to read the feedback of horses in response to different treatments.
Whilst administering the most routine and basic care, it is the grooms that have the most important role in making provisions for the everyday health of the horses. One benefit of opting to become a groom is the clear, pre-defined structure for progression and advancement. If you are fortunate enough to advance in this field you can earn a role as a travelling ‘head lad or lass,’ which offers the opportunity to travel to races and competitions across the globe.
Dude Ranch Wrangler
This is, admittedly, the most unconventional career option on the list, but it is nevertheless a viable one. Dude ranch wranglers must have the versatility to guide tourists through meandering trail paths as well as providing a certain quality of care to a number of horses. As is suggestive of the name, dude ranch wranglers are more abundant in rural areas of the US; meaning you may have to travel to locate a suitable position.
No matter what avenues you have available to you, there should be at least one you can follow that allows you to work alongside horses. And hopefully, if you were unconvinced of whether working with horses was a feasible career path for you before reading this, you believe it genuinely is now.