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It is every girl’s dream to spend all day out in the barnyard with her own horse. No one can explain their draw to them or their love of horses but they enamor almost every human being. It is completely natural to want to make money doing something you love whether you find a job that lets you work with horses or you start your own business.
I am going to help you find the best way for you to make money with horses and make the amount of money you need to live the lifestyle you want to live.
There are several things you need to be aware of before I give you all the ideas I can muster for making money with horses.
First, It’s extremely hard work no matter what job you end up pursuing, side hustles you decide to start, or business you choose to begin.
Second, if you start a job somewhere they are not going to let you be one on one with the horses at a stable or riding school right off the bat unless you have experience. People are fussy with their animals and rightfully so. A boarding stable is not going to risk its customer’s horses by letting someone they don’t know with the animals.
So if you choose to go find a job that pays you to work with horses you might have to be willing to work your way up the ladder.
If you want to start your own business working with horses you are going to have to have the experience to back up what you are offering as a service.
As we get into these ideas of how to make money with horses keep those things in mind.
Your Location Might Be An Issue
Horses are not common animals anymore. They are extremely expensive and for the most part, are used for racing and rodeos. Sometimes people will have them for pleasure but you would still need to be in a more wealthy area if you want to work at a stable or even start a business that has a substantial amount of customers.
According to the Equine Info Exchange here are the top cities in the U.S. to be in if you want to be involved in the horse world.
I know the state of Kentucky would be a great place to start because any time we drive through there the horse farms stretch for miles. It’s absolutely beautiful.
- Lexington, Kentucky – Home to the United States Equestrian Federation and the 1,200-acre Kentucky Horse Park
- Ocala Florida – Horse capital of the world with over 2,000 horse farms.
- Aiken, South Carolina – Known for its history in fox hunting, show jumping, polo, horse racing, and other English-style horse events.
- Wellington, Florida
- Louisville, Kentucky – Location of the Kentucky Derby
- Middleburg, Virginia
- Woodstock, Vermont
- Woodside, California
- Parker, Colorado
- Tryon, North Carolina
I am not saying you would have to live in one of these areas to be able to work with horses. But if you want to be able to make good money and have consistent work you are going to have to be where the horses are. And not just people’s backyard horses, you need to be connected to horse shows and horse races to get high-paying customers.
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Jobs That Allow You To Work With Horses
When it comes to working with horses, there’s something incredibly special about being able to form a bond with them. From riding to caring for them, getting to work with horses can be an incredibly rewarding experience.
Even though the field of horse-related jobs is pretty large the majority of them don’t pay as well as you might think. According to Indeed, most horse-related jobs don’t get paid over $15 an hour.
National average salary – $11.70 an hour
A stable hand is like the bottom of the totem poll. You are likely working around horses but not doing something specifically with them. Thinks like mucking out stalls and doing odd jobs around the grounds.
National average salary – $12.03 an hour
This job is pretty much what it sounds like. You are feeding and grooming the horses, all day long. I have a big hairy saint bernard and I don’t think I would like being an animal groomer even if it was for horses. But you get lots of horse interaction and it is a great way to get your feet wet in the horse world.
A possible con to this job is it does give you a one-on-one connection with the horses but you are going to have to pretty much be invisible to the clients of the stable you work for. It’s not all horse people but I have interacted enough with them to know that 75% of them are snobs.
National average – $13.31 <— I think this average is low. If you are skilled at what you do and choose the right group of horses to work with you could make far more than that.
This one could be a job or your could start your own business doing horse training. If you’re getting started it might be a good idea to get a few year’s experiences to be able to have proof of your skills.
This is probably one of the first jobs people think of when they think of working with horses.
Horse trainers are responsible for teaching horses new behaviors and tricks as well as helping them become better riders during competitions or shows. It takes a great deal of patience and knowledge of horse behavior in order to succeed in this job but when done right it can be extremely fulfilling!
National Average – $44k a year
This isn’t bad pay for having very little schooling and honestly, you could be self-thought. Start offering your services for free for first-time customers and before you know it you will have a client list a mile long.
Possible con of the job. This can be something that horses don’t like so you will defiantly have some hard to work with horses. You are going to be bent over most of the time so get a back brace or start building muscle now.
National Average – 13.37 per hour
This is pretty much a go’fer for a vet. You are doing a lot of grunt work with horses, not the actual handling. If you are considering becoming a vet this would be a good way to build connections and make sure this job is truly something you want to do.
National Average – $13.41 per hour
If you are working with the cattle you are in the saddle all day. So you do get to work with horses but you are out in the weather the entire time.
National Average – $16.04 per hour
This is where you would still work in an office or under a veterinarian most likely and you aren’t quite to the level of a vet but you do get more hands-on than a vet’s assistant would. However, this does require several years of schooling.
National Average – $12.90 an hour
A barn manager works less with the horses and does a whole lot more paperwork. It takes you out of the job that you might be hoping to stay in. This is a job that you would have to work up to or have years of experience from another facility if you are wanting to work with animals.
National Average – $17.60 per hour
This one surprised me with the pay. One of the least skilled and you get paid the most. Maybe it’s because you have to be talkative to the customers the whole time.
Horseback Riding Instructor
National Average – $20.48 per hour
Teaching riding lessons would be a great option to either start your own business or you could go work for someone who already has the customer base. But I would be willing to bet you would make less money if you were hired somewhere.
National Average – $103k a year
You have to be a special person to become a veterinarian and get paid so little. You go to school to be a doctor just as long as human doctors do. And to top it off horse owners can be extremely demanding. You also do not get to set your work schedules. You go when the horse gets sick. That could be all hours of the night and even on holidays when it is the least convenient.
I was very close to going to school to become a large animal vet but I got to see a 4H mom and the crazy life she led. It did not make me feel bad one bit after seeing that.
National Average – $63k a year
I can see this to some degree but I think that would be a little high in my opinion. You would need to choose a niche and become known in that market and that takes time. But even doing simple math you should have to produce 10 colts and sell them for 10k each EVERY YEAR to be able to pay yourself and provide for your 10 mares. It takes 11 months for a horse to have a foal and they aren’t having one every year so you have to have even more mares to have enough on rotation.
Ideas To Start Your Own Horse Business
Being a business owner sounds like fun to a lot of people but it is a lot of work and the buck stops with you. Meaning if a horse owner gets ticked off you are the one who gets to deal with it. You have to provide everything the business needs. A training facility or a safe place to work with your customers.
You are also in charge of marketing and finding potential clients, keeping the books, and doing the service that keeps the business running. So keep that in mind so you don’t just see dollar signs.
Let’s say you want to start your own business in the horse industry. There are a few things you need to consider before jumping on your favorite one.
Do you have a property that you could bring customers to? Do you plan to buy property when you can afford it? Do you really want the overhead of paying for the house of an indoor arena or somewhere to work?
If the answer is no to all of those you need to find a business that you could do where you could go to the job site. Or do it from your own home.
Here are your options if you own property.
- Horse Boarding Business
- Horseback Riding Lesson Business
- Veterinarian – This one could be either but if you have horses that need long-term care or surgery you are going to need your own office.
Here are some businesses that you could start that would allow you to go to other people’s property if you don’t have a large property or work from your own home.
- Equine Massage Therapists
- Equine Chiropractor
- Exercise horses
- Organize Equestrian Events
- Horse Photographer
- Brand Ambassador or Influencer Who Focuses On Horses
- Horse Transporter
- Teach Riding Lessons.
- Horse Educator – you create content teaching people about horses and even create paid online courses to make extra money.
The last four on the list would be a great side job if you have another horse business and what to make a little extra money.
Let’s talk about some of the income ideas I gave that have a lower startup cost.
Taking photos of other people’s horses is a skill set that anyone could learn and if you were in an area that was a popular horse area you could do wedding and graduation photos of people with their horses. Or even take photos of the sires for companies that make a stud fee.
All you need is a portfolio and a decent camera.
Horse Educator, Brand Ambassador, Or Hores Influencer
This takes time. Like a lot of time and hours of work.
You have to build up a Facebook page, Instagram account, or some sort of social media presence before you are going to get paid to put out content. This should be something that you use for an additional income stream, not your only focus. To do this you are building your business on someone else’s platform.
There is really no startup cost if you don’t want to spend a dime. There are things you could purchase that would make your life easier but you don’t need them.
Here are some things that could help you in this area.
- Tripod – 64”Phone Tripod, Extendable Cell Phone Tripod with Remote and Phone Holder, Universal Camera Tripod Stand for Video – See On Amazon
- Presets – Here are some affordable ones on Etsy.
- Scheduler – Plann is the one I use in my business and best one I have found that does everything you need. – Get $10 off your first month.
I think this could be quite lucrative if you like to travel. If you are able to work your way up to high-paying clients they are going to be willing to pay top dollar for the convenience of it. But you would have to enjoy driving to make this worth your time and all you need is a reliable truck and horse trailer.
The only thing with this is your equipment would need to be somewhat presentable. A show horse is worth a lot of money and someone does not want to send their expensive horse in a trailer that looks like a rust bucket.
You would also need to build trust and it would definitely be a good idea to pay for liability insurance in case you ended up in a car accident. Having this would also allow you to be able to charge more for your transport fee.
Working with horses is a fulfilling job if you can find the right dream job for you and also make sure you get a fair and sustainable hourly rate. Working with horses could also be similar to the statement of “a starving artist” where you can love what you do but you don’t get paid nearly enough to survive.
If you are not able to move to an area with a large horse community consider getting a part-time job in the horse industry. There are lots of different ways to make money with horses if you go into it with an open mind and a willingness to work.