Careers Working with Horses in the Equine Industry
Many interesting, fulfilling and lucrative career paths lie within the equine industry. If you love riding and caring for horses, you can turn your talents and passion into a lifetime of working closely with these powerful and hardworking creatures.
There are more professional environments in the field than you might think, from established equine sales and marketing firms to community outreach organizations. Equines—like horses, donkeys and mules—are often trained for specific work, kept and exercised for recreation or therapeutic purposes and raced or shown competitively. Racetracks, barns, horseback riding facilities and breeding operations employ those who maintain the health and wellness of equines as well as those who manage the daily business operations.
Some opportunities are opened through bachelor’s degree-level education in the discipline of equine studies, while some involve further qualifications. If you have always dreamed of merging your career goals with your love of horses, take a look at this comprehensive list of career paths in the equine industry.
Careers in Riding, Instruction and Training
While we don’t use horses and buggies to get around much these days, horses are still ridden recreationally and professionally. Whether it’s training horses for high-level competitions, instructing amateur riders, guiding the general community on trail rides or riding in shows to earn prize money, the following careers are great ways to work with horses daily:
- Horse trainer
- Riding instructor
- Exercise rider
- Professional show equestrian
- Mounted officer
- Trail guide
If your dream job is to become a professional horseback rider or trainer in any of these roles, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in the field of equine studies or equine science can ensure you gain hands-on training in the care and training of horses.
Careers in Equine Health and Care
Daily, hands-on care of horses is a crucial aspect of equine enterprises. Farriers are experts at hoof care, and grooms perform a variety of daily maintenance tasks. Additionally, there are professionals in equine nutrition and equine medicine who are trained to maintain the health and wellness of horses under their care.
Studying equine science, a subset of equine studies, one becomes prepared with essential knowledge and applications of equine anatomy, physiology and pharmacology to pursue the qualifying further education of professional career paths like equine pharmacist or veterinarian of equine medicine.
- Equine dental technician or dental professional
- Equine nutritionist
- Equine veterinarian (private practice or in-house)
- Equine veterinary technician
- Equine massage therapist
- Equine surgeon
Careers in Equine-Assisted Therapeutics
Professional therapists and mental health workers are also employed within the equine industry. These individuals work to design and execute animal-assisted treatment plans for patients and participants with a variety of needs. This growing sector, called equine-assisted therapeutics, truly illustrates the vast abilities of horses and other equines to be a part of emotional and physical therapy for humans.
While earning a bachelor’s degree in equine studies, with a specialization in equine-assisted therapeutics, can help students find entry-level employment at some facilities, professional therapists, mental health counselors and other professional or director-level roles require graduate education and certification.
- Credentialed mental health therapist
- Licensed physical therapist
- Speech or occupational therapist
- Program director
Equine Industry Business and Management Careers
Those with education in equine studies, equine science or breeding management can find career opportunities in the industry’s various business environments. Whether it’s managing a working farm or barn or contributing to the success of a professional racetrack or breeding facility, those equipped with the necessary financial skills and experience in business administration practices can become leaders and decision-makers in the field.
- Stable or barn manager or owner
- Broodmare manager
- Stallion manager
- Yearling manager
- Horse show manager
- Paddock judge
- Racetrack outrider
- Equine accountant
- Business analyst
Equine Sales and Marketing Careers
Sales and marketing are large portions of the broader equine industry. There are job opportunities in marketing and selling of an equine organization’s services, facilitating the sale of horses to new owners and selling bulk feed or other resources to barns and tracks, just to name a few.
To work in equine sales, you’ll need extensive knowledge of the physical condition of equines as well as the specific needs and goals of the industry. In Asbury’s equine programs, there’s flexibility to learn business strategies and enhanced communication skills alongside extensive equine knowledge. The following are some job titles in this equine career path:
- Parentage or pedigree analyst
- Trade journalist or writer
- Equine organization public relations representative
- Equine sales representative
- Supplies vendor sales representative
- Equine organization or race organization marketer
Anyone motivated to pursue advanced positions in the business side of the industry could open further management or executive-level opportunities by attending graduate school in business, accounting, marketing or related fields.
Where Asbury Equine Program Graduates Go
By completing in-field experiences and studying a curriculum informed by the latest practices, Asbury’s equine program graduates mold resumes that lead to careers. The following are positions across the country held by former equine students at Asbury:
- Animal caretaker–Fort Leavenworth, Leavenworth, KS
- Barn foreman–Middlebrook Farm, Versailles, KY
- Barn manager and EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association)-certified professional qualified in equine-assisted mental health–Hooves of Hope Equestrian Center, Inc., Lancaster, KY
- Breeds division coordinator–Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, KY
- Data entry–Equibase Company, Lexington, KY
- Equine instructor–Midway University, Midway, KY
- Equine trainer–Wyandot County Equine Rescue, Carey, OH
- Farrier–Self-employed, Pennsylvania
- Pharmacy tech–Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Lexington, KY
- Photographer and videographer–Taylor Made Farm, Nicholasville, KY
- Veterinary assistant–Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, Lexington, KY
- Vaulting instructor–Life Adventure Center, Versailles, KY
Find More Opportunities with Graduate Equine Programs
Some students find opportunities for advanced careers in professional fields like business or equine medical care by pursuing graduate degrees. Former undergraduates in our B.A. in Equine Science and the B.A. in Equine Studies programs have continued their education at nationally-known universities such as:
- University of Kentucky
- The Ohio State University
- Louisiana Tech University
- Colorado State University
- Texas A&M
- Auburn University
- Tuskegee University
- Purdue University
They’ve also entered Asbury’s Master in Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree program with an enhanced equine course focus.
Prepare for Equine Careers with Tailored Bachelor’s Degrees
There is a vast range of careers within the equine industry, all with varying degrees of necessary education and training. Choosing to go to college for equine studies is one way to progress your knowledge of horses and horse care as well as your technical riding skills while preparing for career paths in business, medicine, education and more.
Asbury’s flexible majors and minors empower students to learn a secondary skill set to fuel a dual career pathway. Disciplines like business administration, psychology or media communications, for example, complement equestrian-specific knowledge and skills.
When you pursue a career through Asbury’s bachelor’s degree programs in equine studies or equine science or through our specialized MBA, you graduate equipped with industry knowledge and impactful hands-on work experience. We offer multiple degree concentrations designed to prepare students for specialized pathways in the field.
- Learn more about our equine studies, equine-assisted services, and equine science degree programs.
- See how our Master’s in Business Administration is a pathway to advanced equine industry careers.