How To Make Your Love of Horses Your Livelihood

Whether you grew up on a farm, started riding when you were a child, or are simply an equine admirer, there are a variety of ways to make a rewarding career out of working with horses. From managing barns to training horses to treating horses as a veterinary assistant, you can find the best career path for you that involves the equine industry and your passion for all things horses.

Why you will love a career in equine care

If you have a passion for horses, a career that revolves around this majestic mammal is bound to be enjoyable. Horses are intelligent, empathetic, and sensitive, and working with them inspires you to be a better person. Caring for and working with horses can provide you with more than just a unique, well-paying position; they also help you mentally and emotionally.

Research shows that careers with horses lead to critical health benefits, including lower blood pressure, lessened anxiety, and fewer outbursts of anger. Being around equines builds your self-esteem and confidence, strengthens your sense of empowerment and allows you to become more patient and trustworthy. It also increases your caloric output and improves your ability to focus on specific goals without distraction. All of these benefits can be yours in an equine-oriented career field. Working with horses is truly a job that pays many positive dividends while presenting new and exciting challenges daily.

What skills are required for working with horses?

While you will gain many skills during a career in the horse industry, it is helpful if you have the following skills upon completion of a diploma or qualification:

  • General horse handling skills, such as haltering, leading, cooling, blanketing, and saddling.
  • Knowledge of proper grooming tools and techniques
  • Ability to recognise common equine health issues
  • Administration of basic health treatments and medicines
  • Understanding of conformation and equine anatomy
  • Knowledge of equine nutrition
  • Recognition of horses’ behavioural signals and body language
  • Ability to communicate with horses as well as people, particularly veterinarians, trainers, horse owners, and grooms.

Courses in horse care also provide students with the ability to learn about horse management and pasture management, which involves knowledge of equine exercise, stabling, coaching, training, as well as any business, marketing or sales company.

What personality traits are best for individuals in equine care?

A career involving horses requires an individual who has specific personality traits to work successfully with both equines and other horse industry people. These characteristics are necessary for any person working with horses:


When you are regularly working with animals that are typically over 453kg (1000lbs.), patience is a much-needed trait. Horses are highly intelligent and often push boundaries to see what they can accomplish. Training horses requires frequent repetition of actions and exercises, and patience is needed even when the repetitive instruction becomes frustrating or dull.


Reliability rests on a dedication to responsibility, and with horses, there’s plenty of responsibilities to handle. From stable care to medical care to pasture care, staying on task and holding yourself accountable is critical to a horse’s health and well-being.

Emotional balance

Horses are intuitive and can easily read your moods and feelings; they know when you’re happy or upset, and they react to those moods accordingly. Therefore, healthy emotional self-regulation and careful observation of the horse can keep you both safe from experiencing anxiety or fear.

Leadership, self-esteem and confidence

In a herd, all horses have their place and all follow the lead of the most dominant horse. To earn a horse’s respect, you need to become his leader. Having self-esteem and confidence in your abilities will make a horse feel safe around you. By becoming the horse’s leader, you will be able to work together to achieve your goals.

Loving and empathetic

As an animal lover, you will establish healthy, bonded relationships with the horses with whom you work. Having an understanding of equine behaviour and empathy and love for working with animals, particularly horses, is necessary for success in this field.

Team player

To work successfully with a horse, you must have a team player mindset. Teamwork with equines means being able to speak the horse’s language and work together to overcome obstacles and grow and learn as teammates.

How will ICI’s courses prepare you for a job with horses?

ICI’s Equine and Horse Care courses will prepare you for any job in the equine industry. Our experienced instructors teach a multitude of different equine classes so your skillset can help you enter this field from various areas. Here are some of the equine jobs ICI can prepare you for:

  • Trainer or instructor
  • Rider
  • Barn manager or foreman with a focus on racing, eventing, showjumping, dressage, pacing, breeding, and recreation
  • Coach
  • Stablehand
  • Groomer
  • Physical or massage therapist
  • Veterinary assistant
  • Trail ride or pony party organiser
  • Equine nutritionist
  • Equine business and retail professional

No matter what you’d like to focus on in the world of horses, ICI’s classes and qualifications will give you a leg up in this industry and allow you to begin a successful and rewarding career.

Working with horses can lead to a rewarding career.

If you love horses, there’s no better feeling than waking up each morning to work with horses or an equine business. You are spending each day in an environment that brings you joy and dedicated to a career you genuinely love. Working with horses requires commitment and a willingness to work hard and get your hands dirty (literally). However, the return is a job that leaves you feeling satisfied and fulfilled at the end of the day. You can combine your job with your love of horses, and pursue your passion for these beautiful animals at a professional level.

Grab the reins and enrol in ICI’s Equine Studies courses.

Hop in the saddle today and take control of your future career in equine and horse care. Enrol in ICI’s Equine Studies courses and earn the necessary qualifications to find long-term, fulfilling work in the equine industry. Grab the reins and gallop to start your career with horses today.

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Gladys Mae


Gladys Mae serves as the General Manager and Head of Student Services at the International Career Institute. Gladys holds a degree in Mass Communication - Broadcast Media from the University of San Jose-Recoletos. She joined ICI in 2010 and has over the past 12 years been instrumental in providing leadership and guidance to staff and students alike. Prior to joining ICI Gladys led a multifaceted career with key roles in the banking and business process outsourcing industries.