Horses For Courses: 3 Equine Careers

 There comes a point in many people’s lives where they enjoy something so much, they no longer want to just see it as a hobby. For horse lovers, we’re already halfway there. Horse riding isn’t something that you just do for pleasure; there’s a fair amount of work involved too, as you get up at the crack of dawn to muck out and spent your evenings cleaning tack. It’s a labour of love.

Yes, I had the pleasure to work in surroundings like these!

It’s that labour of love that makes many a keen rider consider a career working with horses. Aside from the dreams of Olympic dressage glory that anyone who has ever felt the true connection between horse and rider while giving their best during a test, it’s an idea worth hanging onto. Whether you’re considering a career change yourself or want to encourage a horse-loving child down the right path - here are five careers that can turn your most beloved hobby into a full-time occupation.

1. Riding Instructor

Well, sometimes you have got to go with the most obvious to begin with!

Learning to ride can be a terrifying experience. Most of us who have been riding for years have a tendency to forget that, because we started young. We now feel as home on horseback as we do when we’re walking for ourselves. But it’s true; learning to ride can be scary.

Let’s be realistic; horses are big. They’re powerful. They’re majestic. When confronted with even the most docile riding school pony, it’s perhaps only natural to be a little freaked out. The feeling of riding for the first time is odd enough in and of itself, on top of all the general concern newbie riders can have.

It takes emotional intelligence and a keen eye for details to make a good riding instructor. Obviously, you will need to be an accomplished rider yourself, but if you’re even thinking down this career route then that shouldn’t be a problem.

Having lessons with a former Olympian - what more can you wish for?

2. Farming

Anyone who has ever been stuck in a traffic jam during rush hour will have known the fleeting, aspirational feeling of being able to sell up and move to the country - but why not consider it a reality?

Yes, it’s tough. Yes, working through the horse farm buyer's checklist isn’t exactly easy going, and yes it’s a huge change to your life - but it might just be worth it. Farming is one of those careers that isn’t really a career at all; it’s a vocation, absorbing all of the elements of rural life into one.

There’s a variety of different farming methods you could try. Horses are still used for a number of agricultural pursuits, or you could focus more on transforming into a stud farm. Perhaps even combine with becoming a riding instructor and offer weekend experiences for kids, providing a destination as a pony camp. If you can put together a business plan that makes clear you know what you’re doing, then there’s a chance the idle daydream will become a reality. 

I used to teach a lot, now not really anymore - except for my sister, 3 years ago and lately...

3. Grooming

Admittedly, working as a groom is not going to make your fortune - but then again, your working hours should be about more than the money you earn. It’s a tough job, but if you like being around horses, then becoming a professional groom is about as close as you can get.

Grooms have to work hard, travel often, and form bonds with horses that could be prematurely broken at any time. So why would you even consider it? Because it’s so rewarding. You will be responsible for all of the essentials for the care of any competition horse; their food, their coat, even their exercise. If you could never afford to ride professionally yourself, then grooming gives you a way of being able to be around incredible horses that you might otherwise have not had the chance to experience. 

Which Is Right For You?

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to horse-related careers, but it’s nevertheless an introduction into the possibility. There is no way of knowing which will suit you, but it’s worth evaluating what your priorities are. Do you like the idea of living a high-pressured life, but one that has a number of high rewards as well? Then grooming might be for you - whereas those who dream of an escape to the country could benefit from investigating farming.

No matter what, few people who have based their lives around horses have ever come to regret it. So if this is a true passion for you, then you will inevitably find something that fits you just right.

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