Equine Career Opportunities

Equine careers
PeopleImages/Getty Images

There are many potential job opportunities for those hoping to pursue a career working with horses. Career options may include those in equine health, sales, insurance, training, supplies, and services. Individuals with a talent for working with horses should be able to identify a few desirable jobs from this collection of possibilities.

Here is an always evolving list of possible career paths in the equine industry. The list has been divided into several categories (please note that a few positions may be listed in multiple categories):

Equine Health & Service Careers

Professions dedicated to equine health include the always popular option of equine veterinary medicine, but don’t forget about other roles such as massage therapist and farrier. Equine health careers tend to be highly paid opportunities, and this is especially the case with the roles of veterinarian and farrier (two of the highest paying animal careers profiled on this site).

Equine Management & Breeding

Large breeding farms employ many managers to oversee the various departments (broodmares, stallions, yearlings, etc). Smaller operations may employ just a single farm manager that is responsible for overseeing all aspects of equine management. Additional options in the field of management and breeding include roles such as groom and pedigree analyst.

Riding & Training Careers

Riding and training careers are most frequently found in niche areas such as horse showing or horse racing. Trainers and riders must be particularly well attuned to equine behavioral signals to ensure their safety when working with young and potentially unpredictable animals. The jockey role is a particularly high-risk position, though those who are successful at the top level can be very well compensated for their efforts.

Equine Sales Careers

Those with a knack for marketing and sales can find a number of options that will allow them to utilize those skills in the equine industry. Positions include those involved with selling equipment, pharmaceuticals, feed, tack, insurance, and more. Sales skills are highly transferable, and a good salesperson can readily transition from one area to another. A successful salesperson can earn extremely high levels of compensation, as performance-based payment and bonuses are common. Veterinary pharmaceutical sales representatives tend to earn top dollar.

Horse Racing Careers

Careers in the horse racing industry can range from administrative positions to those working directly with racehorses on a hands-on basis. Administrative roles include bookkeeper, steward, and racing secretary. Roles that involve daily contact with horses include groom, outrider, and trainer. Those who work for very successful stables can earn much higher salaries than average, as stable staff are often given a bonus based on the purse money won by their runners.

Other Equine Careers

There are quite a few career paths that do not fall neatly into the previously mentioned categories. Here are some additional equine career paths of note:

Equine Internships & Job Sites

Don’t forget that there are many equine internship options that help students gain valuable hands-on experience in the horse industry. These opportunities also serve as one of the best ways to network with industry professionals and get leads on potential job openings. There are also many equine job search sites that cater to those seeking horse industry careers.