Top 5 Professions to Choose If You Are Not an Equestrian But Love Horses

Horses are truly wondrous creatures. Besides being smart and beautiful, they are some of the oldest companions of humans, being first domesticated sometime around 6000 B.C. Always loyal and obedient, horses have been helping us with transportation, agriculture, sports, warfare, and even entertainment. Consequently, humankind has admired, and sometimes even worshipped, horses for a long time. If you are no exception and happen to be an avid admirer of these noble animals, you might consider a job that will help you get closer to them, or maybe even to work directly with them, while also making a decent living out of it.

A popular misconception is that you need to be an experienced equestrian to work with horses. While it is true that equestrianism is the main discipline related to horses, it is also true that you do not need to be extremely experienced around horses in order to get a job in this field. There are countless opportunities to become a professional working with or around horses, without being an extremely good rider for example. Often it will be the training gained when studying that gives you the basic husbandry skills required to attain a position in the field. We will take a look at the top five professions that will get you really close to horses, as well as the average salaries for each job, in no particular order:

  1. Veterinary Nurse

When considering animal healthcare, there are two types of professions – veterinary nurses and veterinary surgeons. Veterinary nurses offer hands-on, primary healthcare and nursing to animals. They are responsible for routine procedures, including health check-ups, vaccinations, neutering and worming, as well as emergency calls.

To become a veterinary nurse, you need to successfully complete courses provided by an accredited university which offers learning opportunities in this field. Courses of this kind can be quite accessible, as they take less time and aren’t as complex as veterinary surgeon courses. Plus, you can easily find a traineeship as a vet nurse, through the thousands of ads available online.


Average Annual Salaries:

  • Entry level: £17,793
  • Up to five years’ experience: £20,388
  • Senior level: £38,600
  1. Animal Nutritionist

Animal nutritionists have the same responsibilities as human nutritionists – they devise diets and regimens, to ensure productivity, health, and overall wellbeing. Animal nutritionists are involved in animal food production, crop cultivation, and direct supervision of animal feeding. Some animal nutritionists choose to specialize on a certain animal, species, or breed, and you can certainly pick horses as your professional focus.

To become a horse nutritionist, you need a degree in a relevant field, such as equine science, applied veterinary science, animal welfare, animal health science or dietetics. For increased chances of success, you should also register with the Association for Nutrition.

Average Annual Salaries:

  • Entry level: £20,000
  • Up to five years’ experience and/or a PhD: £27,500
  • Senior level: £42,500
  1. Farrier

Farriers are the blacksmiths for horses – they are specialists responsible for the feet (and especially hooves) of horses. A farrier cleans hooves, makes horseshoes and fits them, while also ensuring proper balancing. Farriers may also treat hooves as needed, by collaborating with veterinary surgeons and nurses.

There are several ways to become a farrier: by completing an apprenticeship with an accredited training farrier; by graduating from one of several colleges in the UK offering farriery courses; or even by training with the British Army. You can then go on to register with the Farrier’s Registration Council, to become a full-fledged professional.

Average Annual Salaries:

  • Entry level: £16,000
  • Senior level: £25,000
Photo by Jonathan Bean on Unsplash
Photo by Jonathan Bean on Unsplash
  1. Stable Manager

Stable Managers (alternatively, Horse Yard Managers) are responsible for all the daily operations of stables: feeding and fitting of horses, veterinary care, saddlery, training sessions, caretaking, and grounds maintenance. Furthermore, the stable manager has an important business management role as well, handling all the economic aspects of the operation – purchasing and utilities, work schedule and payroll, contracts, finances etc.

The best way to become a stable manager, is by first undertaking practical training with an accredited professional or at a centre approved by the British Horse Society (BHS), and then by passing the Stable Manager Assessments with the BHS which is where you will gain experience riding.

Average Annual Salaries:

  • Entry level: £22,916
  • Mid-level (up to five years’ experience): £43,916
  • Senior level: £64,250
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
  1. Equine Insurance Broker

Besides being beloved companions and cherished animals, horses also represent a considerable investment on the owner’s part. Therefore, much like any other investment, it needs to be protected. Equine insurance brokers provide insurance policies for horse owners, to help them mitigate risks and unexpected incidents. They ensure communication between insurance companies on the one hand, and horse owners and stables on the other. Even though this particular profession does not involve an awful lot of hands-on experience with horses, it still involves being around them quite often.

The requirements for this job are quite similar to those for becoming a regular insurance broker – a relevant degree in accounting, finance, management or business, plus an industry qualification from a reputable organization, like the Chartered Insurance Institute. You can then go on and specialize in equine insurance particularly.

Average Annual Salaries:

  • Junior broker: £20,000
  • Qualified broker: £40,000
  • Senior broker / Account director: £50,000


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