Once you’ve established yourself in the equine world - no matter the discipline - it can be very difficult to get away from it. The daily grind, chores and work become habit causing you to forget how hard it can be. Yet, many of us prefer and enjoy having long-lasting careers in the equine industry. This blog will cover eight possible careers in the horse world that just may interest you.
Equine veterinarians take animal health care to another lever. They provide preventive health care for horses as well as treat their injuries. Becoming a licensed equine veterinarian involves a significant educational commitment and takes a while, but the career has a solid average salary of $85,000. Board certified practitioners (also known as veterinary specialists) can earn much higher salaries.
Equine Veterinarian Technician
Equine veterinary technicians, also known as vet techs, provide assistance to veterinarians as they complete exams and surgical procedures. Vet techs must complete a two-year degree and pass an exam to become licensed. Technicians can earn a median annual wage of $31,800. The top ten percent earn $47,410 or more. A Veterinary Technician Specialist certification (VTS) may earn even higher levels of compensation.
A riding instructor supervises students and directs them in riding and training sessions. They may also ride the student’s horse to demonstrate proper techniques. Instructors can specialize in a variety of riding disciplines such as Hunt Seat, Saddle Seat, Dressage, Reining, and Show Jumping. Independent riding instructors typically charge an hourly rate for services but on average earn about $35,000 to $39,000 a year.
Bloodstock agents evaluate horses at auction and bid on them on behalf of their clients. They may also arrange the purchase of stallion seasons (breeding one mare to a particular stallion during one breeding season), proven racehorses or horses that are privately for sale. Majority of the bloodstock agents are involved in the Thoroughbred industry, earning a commission for their services. New agents can earn about $39,000 per year, while experienced professionals may earn six figures.
Farriers are responsible for trimming, maintaining and balancing equine hooves. Farriers must dedicate time to each equine client about seven times per year. Most are self-employed and can learn the trade via apprenticeship and certification courses. In some cases, the wage gap can be as great as $40,000 for Pleasure horses to $200,000 or more for Racing and show horses.
Horse breeders arrange breedings that result in foals of a certain breed or foals that are best fit for a specific type of competition. While the salary of a breeder can vary widely based upon what breed they produce and the quality of their breeding stock, the median annual salary earned by all animal breeders is $39,380.
A jockey rides Racehorses in flat or steeplechase races. Jockeys can ride multiple races each day, on top of working horses in the morning. Earnings vary widely because the jockey can earn a percentage of the horse’s winnings in each race they ride. However, a good average gauge is that while jockeys only get paid around $100 or so to ride a mount, they collect about 10 percent of the first-place money and five percent of the second-, third,- and fourth-place money paid to the owners if the horse finishes.
Racehorse trainers condition their equine charges to compete in racing events. They must be well versed in all aspects of horsemanship and pass a licensing exam in each state where they intend to compete. Trainers earn a day rate for the horses under their care and an additional percentage of their horses’ winnings. Most trainers earn between $20,000 and $60,000 annually. Top-tier trainers routinely earn six-figure salaries.
Kramer, M. H. (2018, May 10). How To Get Started Working With Horses. Retrieved July 23, 2018, from https://www.thebalancecareers.com/careers-with-horses-125742