Here’s six amazing career opportunities for the equine enthusiast
Whether its nutrition, animal welfare, bloodstock or photography, one can combine a love of horses with their skills and qualifications to forge a successful career. Check out these great options…
They say ‘find a job that you love and you’ll never work a day in your life’ so it’s no wonder that there are so many people vying to get to the top of the equestrian game so that they can make a career out of their passion.
It’s a hobby that quickly leads to obsession and honestly, what horse rider hasn’t dreamt of a career revolving around horses? A professional showjumper, perhaps, or someone who specialises in backing young horses?
Unfortunately, only the very best get to make a full-time career out of riding. If you’re someone who lacks the talent, money, luck or one of the various other necessities for a career as a rider but you can’t bear the thought of a job without horses, here are some things you may not have considered.
- Show Groom
Being a show groom can come with some amazing perks. Not only do you often get lessons from top riders as well as stabling included in your fee, but you get to work very closely with amazing horses, meet your idols, and, if you’re lucky, see the world while you’re at it.
In exchange, you’ll have to be happy with long days doing lots of physical work, and be content to work ‘backstage’ while you let your professional rider shine.
- Equine Nutritionist
Equine nutritionists get the day-to-day enjoyment of helping people, especially when a struggling horse whose diet you planned meticulously starts to show improvements in health, behaviour or condition. It’s a wonderful way to combine science with horses and reach a compromise between your equestrian dreams and the stability and relative comfort of a standard 9-5 desk job. Depending on the company and position, you’ll likely need formal education, such as a college or university degree in a field like animal science or a specialised qualification in equine nutrition.
- Bloodstock Agent
Bloodstock agents get the best of both worlds. They get to travel to auctions to view horses, bid on their favourites for their clients (so you’re not spending your own hard-earned money!) and then get paid for the pleasure of it. You get to see horses you picked perform well at races, and starting salaries are quite good. If you make a name for yourself, you could find yourself in a very lucrative career where you spend all your time looking at and buying quality racehorses. Another big bonus? If you’re an OTTB type, there should be no lack of good horses for you to choose from after their racing days are over!
- Equestrian journalist
Somebody has got to report on all those big shows and meet the equestrian superstars, right? If you’re a good writer, have a passion for horses, and don’t mind working hard or keeping strange hours to meet deadlines, a career as an equestrian journalist with a magazine, website or even equestrian apparel brand could be an option. You’ll probably need a degree in journalism, or be willing to work your way up as an intern.
If you’re better with a camera than a reporter’s notebook, how about a career in photography? The top equine photographer’s travel the world taking photos of the major FEI competitions. You’ll need an incredible eye for a photo and be able to demonstrate the highest standards to set yourself apart from the many who’d love to forge a career as a snapper.
- Horsey au pair
Strangely enough, this is a real thing! Some au pair jobs require an au pair with horsey knowledge – you will often need to ride family horses, help teach the kids or hack with them, and travel with the family. If you’re very lucky, you may be based at a competition yard where, perhaps, the parents travel a lot and require someone to help out with the yard.
Other duties could include taking the children to school, light housework and cooking, help with homework, and maybe accompanying the family on holidays or trips. Loads of au pairs love the fact that the job allows them to travel and save their money, especially if you look for a job with board included.
- Exercise rider
You’re brave, but not small enough to be a jockey and don’t have the horsepower to jump or event at top levels? You could be a really useful addition to the racing industry as an exercise or track rider. They’re generally taller and heavier than jockeys, and gallop the horses out in the mornings as part of their training.
Generally, you’ll be paid per horse that you ride, but the earnings can be decent. The plus side is that horses tend to be worked very early in the mornings, so you’ll still have time for other work should you choose.
Original article: https://www.fei.org/stories/careers-for-horse-lovers