June 30, 2021
August 14, 2021

Finding Your Niche In The Horse Industry

Ever dreamed of a career in horses? There’s a job out there for you!

Allison Armstrong Rehnborg

Can you make a career in the horse industry without being a horse trainer? You sure can! Check out this list of some of the most interesting horse-related jobs in the industry and find your dream job. 

Horse trainers are among some of the hardest-working people in our industry, and admittedly, they’ve got one of the best jobs out there, with all the hands-on time with horses that a person could ever want. But while being a horse trainer is one of the most exciting careers out there, it’s by no means the only option available for people who want to work with horses and horse people. In fact, there is a wealth of careers and working opportunities available in the horse industry. According to a 2018 survey by the American Horse Council, there are approximately 454,000 full-time jobs directly involved with horses, and 988,000 full-time horse industry jobs that provide support to the industry. That’s a lot of jobs – and a lot of opportunities for horse-lovers to find their niche! 

Whether you’re a youth about to embark on your college journey, a high school graduate eager to get out into the workforce or an adult who just wants to make a career change, there is a job available for you in the horse industry. Some jobs, such as an equine veterinarian, nutritionist, chiropractor or research scientist, require a lot of school and specialized training, while other careers offer some of the best on-the-job training out there. In this blog, we’re surveying a few of the jobs available in the horse industry today, and some of them might just surprise you – such as show photographer, ad designer, event manager and, yes, equine lawyer. Surprised? Keep reading for our quick survey of some of the most interesting jobs out there in the horse world!

  • Equine journalists, editors, photographers, ad designers, graphic design artists, marketing specialists and other media personnel: Yes, you read that right! Think back to the last time you picked up your favorite horse magazine at the feed store. Take a minute to process how many people it took to put together the content, photograph those beautiful horses, design the ads and create the layout that brought the whole thing together. Want to learn more? Check out AmericanHorsePubs.org for an inside look into one of the largest organizations in the country for equine media specialists.
  • Horse show officials, including judges, show managers, show stewards, show secretaries, announcers, inspectors, show photographers and plenty more: It takes a village to put on a horse show, and many of these officials’ full-time jobs involve traveling from event to event in order to make the magic happen for you and your horse at every show. Also consider the creative geniuses who put together trail courses, design and build jump courses, sculpt and manufacture the trophies you love to win and create the beautiful ribbons and rosettes that grace your tack room walls every show season.
  • Breed association and discipline-specific association employees, public relations officials, administrative assistants and customer support specialists: If you own a registered horse, think about all the people it takes to help keep track of pedigrees and records, handle transfer-of-ownership papers, proof and update rulebooks, handle membership and corral all the other paraphernalia associated with a large membership organization. There are also a ton of people involved in managing and overseeing large breed shows, and many of them work full-time for an association. 
  • Realtor for equine properties, equestrian interior designer, barn designer and builder, and design, sales and marketing of fences, trucks, trailers, tack, riding attire and other equipment: Next time you’re visiting your friend’s perfectly-appointed barn, strolling down the aisle of your boarding stable or admiring the clean lines of your own exquisitely-fenced pastures, you’ll recognize the skill involved in designing it, building it, marketing it or selling it – and you might just find yourself a career in the process!
  • Equine scientists, including geneticists, nutritionists, exercise physiologists, behaviorists, reproductive specialists, parasitologists, researchers and more: The field of equine science is vast and filled with a host of highly educated people who study all aspects of the horse, and their research has a direct impact on how you care for your horse. Check out EquineScience.Org to learn more about the Equine Science Society, which promotes quality research in equine science and establishes effective communication among researchers, teachers, extension and researchers. 
  • Veterinarians, veterinary surgeons, veterinary specialists and all their support staff, such as veterinary technicians, radiography technicians, lab technicians and others. It’s hard to overstate the importance of finding a trustworthy veterinarian for your beloved horse, and if you’ve ever found a good vet with a great staff behind him or her, then you’ve hit the jackpot and you know it. Veterinarians and related specialists go through several years of education to become the certified equine lifesavers that they are, and it takes a dedicated person to become a veterinarian. If you’re interested in becoming a vet, start taking all the necessary science courses early in school, and start investing in your hands-on skills with horses, too.
  • Lawyers and legal personnel specializing in equine law, liability, contracts for equine businesses and other legal undertakings. Considering all the risks involved with horses, it’s no wonder that there is a need out there for competent, effective lawyers who understand the nuts and bolts of the equine industry. From owners of small equine businesses to horse trainers to horse owners investing in partnerships with other horse owners, everyone needs a good lawyer with plenty of horse sense.
  • Professors, Extension agents, riding instructors and other educators. You never stop learning in the horse industry, and that means there will always be a need for qualified, competent educators at every level, from middle school to high school to college and grad school. Equine Extension agents can also be a great resource for horse owners. And of course, as long as people want to learn to ride, riding instructors will always have a place in the horse industry. If you’re interested in becoming a certified riding instructor, check out CHA.Horse, which is the official website of the Certified Horsemanship Association, an industry leader in horsemanship education and certification.
  • Haven’t seen your dream job yet? There are plenty more jobs out there, including farriers, massage therapists and other therapy specialists, barn managers, therapeutic riding instructors, feed company representatives, podcasters, professional grooms, website designers, breeding farm managers, professional equine transport personnel, equine sales and marketing experts and others too numerous to mention here.

As you’ve no doubt figured out, if you want to put your talents to work in the horse industry, there’s a job out there for you. Some jobs require long, hot days at the barn, while others mean sitting behind a desk in an office filled with horse people, and still others involve traveling the country to put on shows, build barns or deliver horses. And while all jobs have their hard days, there’s nothing quite like having a job that lets you spend time around your favorite animal – especially when that animal is as beautiful and amazing as the horse. 

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