Are you wanting a career that combines your passion for horses with a sustainable income? Most equestrians know that anything horse-related quickly turns from a hobby into a lifestyle. If you’re passionate about horses and are considering an equestrian career, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to find out what equine career might be the best fit for you!
An equine vet can be a challenging, yet extremely rewarding career. An equine, or large animal, vet takes care of a horse's medical needs by performing exams, tests, surgeries, and giving vaccinations. The minimum requirements to become an equine vet are to complete your undergraduate studies, consisting of classes focused on biology, organic chemistry, and animal sciences, and then to get into a program to obtain your DVM, or Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Some important qualities to have as a vet are people skills, being able to remain calm under pressure and horse skills, of course! A career as a equine vet takes a lot of hard work and long hours, but the feeling of helping a horse in need is second to none!
A barn manager oversees everything in the barn! They oversee the care of the horses, the schedule of the other staff, and the upkeep of the property. To be a great barn manager, you need to have horse experience; a degree in equine studies or management can be helpful but isn’t always required. You also need to know about horse behavior, know how to manage employees and have experience with horse farm property maintenance. Being a barn manager means having great communication skills and paying close attention to details, but spending all day in the barn is a dream come true!
A farrier is someone who trims and shoes horses’ hooves. Generally, farriers need a high school diploma and certain certifications to become a professional. There are classes and training that an aspiring farrier can enroll in to learn how to work on horses' feet. Most people work under another farrier, as an apprentice, until they are comfortable and experienced enough to build their own clientele. To be a farrier, you need to be strong, have great people skills and terrific equine skills. Of course, it is also crucial that you are well versed on the ins and outs of proper hoof care! Some say the most important part of a horse is their hooves, so being a professional farrier and helping the horse feel their best is very gratifying.
An equine massage therapist is someone that uses a variety of massage techniques to relieve muscle tension and improve circulation in your horse’s body. There are different programs that you can enroll in to become a massage therapist where you’ll learn about types of strokes, equine anatomy and muscle functions. All breeds and ages of horses benefit from massage and it’s a great career option for someone that enjoys using their hands in a healing way and loves horses!
A chiropractor focuses on the spine of the horse and its effect on other parts of the body. They mostly focus on the relationship between structure and function of the vertebral column and the nervous system. To be a chiropractor, you need to achieve your Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, DVM, to have a solid foundation in equine anatomy, physiology, behavior, and more. Like massage, chiropractic work is beneficial for all ages and breeds of horses. If you’re fascinated by the body of an equine and its anatomy and functions then this career could be a great fit for you!
An equine nutritionist specializes in providing knowledge to horse owners and barn managers about the specific diet an individual horse should be on. All horses are different - what their body requires, how heavy their workload is, if they are on grass pasture or not - so an equine nutritionist helps horse owners and caretakers decide what the best feed plan is for their horse. Typically, to become a nutritionist, you first need a Bachelor’s of Science Degree, and then a doctoral degree. An interest in horse health, anatomy and digestion is important for a successful career in equine nutrition!
Equine Sales Representative
An equine sales representative is someone that works for a horse-related company, helping increase sales of their products. Types of companies that need sales reps are feed companies, barn supply companies (stall mats, horse barns, run-in sheds, automatic waterers, riding arenas, horse trailers), equine medical supply companies, and equine insurance companies. Generally, sales reps travel across the country to trade shows and horse shows, selling their products. It is very important that sales reps are well versed with the product or products they are selling because they will need to tell potential customers all about it and answer any questions they may have! If you love horses but don’t want to work with them directly, then this could be a great career for you!
An equine vet, barn manager, and farrier, massage therapist, chiropractor, equine nutritionist and equine sales rep are only a few of the many careers out there for equestrians. Check out our Being a Horse Trainer or A Day in the Life of a Groom blogs to find out more about those careers, too! But remember, all equine jobs require hard work and a love for horses for you to be successful!