Friday’s Five – Careers to consider in the horse industry



Friday’s Five – Careers to consider in the horse industry that pay well

Are you a horse crazy human who aspires to make a living in the horse industry? Good news, there are a variety of job options to choose from. When people think of working in the horse industry the first image that comes to mind is coaching and training horses for a living. But there are far more career options in the horse industry. Here are five options to make a living in the industry that you love:

5) Farrier – Wouldn’t it be great to be on the receiving end of money spent on horses’ hooves? Farriers get paid for trimming, maintaining, balancing and shoeing equine hooves. Most farriers are self-employed so this is a great career if you like independence. Becoming a reputable farrier takes time and hard work but you will be well compensated for your efforts – an American Farriers Journal survey in 2012 found that the average annual salary for full-time farriers in the U.S. was reported to be $92,623 per year. There are schools that teach farrier skills but many farriers learn primarily through apprenticeships. If you are game to work long hours and put in physical labor, then check out this info on how you can begin pursing a career as a farrier.

4) Equine veterinary technician – If you love caring for horses and needles do not make you squeamish then this could be a job for you. Vet techs provide assistance to vets during procedures ranging from complex surgeries to routine lameness exams. On average vet techs in America earn an annual salary of $30,290 according to a 2012 study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. To become a certified vet tech in the United States, you will first need to attend school with a program accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA). After completing your two to three year program, you will be eligible to take the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE). If you are interested in becoming a vet tech here are some accredited schools in America that you can enrol in.



3) Massage therapist – Horse people spend more money on massage therapy for their horses than they do themselves. Our equine partners are elite athletes and deserve to be treated as such. As a massage therapist you could have your own business and expect to earn anywhere from $50 to over $100 for an hour of work. To become an equine massage therapist you can complete a program in this field or an undergraduate degree program in equine studies including coursework in massage therapy. If this career interests you check out this advice on how to learn the ins and outs of this field.

2) Saddle fitter/representative – Saddles are one of the most important pieces of riding equipment and a perfectly fitting saddle is essential for a horse and rider to perform their best. You can learn how to fit saddles by taking a course such as this one . Or you can apply for a job as a saddle rep with no prior saddle fitting experience and the saddle company will train you. If you want to work in the saddle industry it is best to live in an area with an abundance of equestrian sports or else you will have to travel. This is not your typical job with guaranteed paid hours, but if you are passionate about it and live in an area with demand for saddles and fittings you will be able to make a living.

1) Exercise rider – If you have a need for speed and find early mornings bearable then this is potentially a job for you. Exercise riders gallop Thoroughbreds at racetracks, following instructions given by the trainers. As an exercise rider you can be taller and heavier than an actual jockey but you will still need to be in excellent shape. Riders are typically paid per mount and according to they typically earn an annual salary of $44,223 to $65,741. If this career interests you, consider enrolling in the Exercise Rider and Jockey Training Program at Olds College in Alberta. This is one of the only schools in North America that offers training in this field and you will learn everything from horse anatomy, to racing strategy, to how to groom and bandage a horse’s legs. You can also gallop horses at some Thoroughbred barns without any sort of formal training but many tracks require certification. This is not a risk free job but it will definitely make you a better rider and pay your bills.

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