Turn your love of horses into a fulfilling career – explore the equine industry’s exciting career prospects.
Covering everything from working in competition and race yards, riding schools and professional horse training, there are lots and lots of different career opportunities in the equine industry. If you love horses and are happy to work hard in all weathers, this could be the perfect environment for you.
Whether you chose to work in coaching, racing or trekking, you could work as a groom, instructor, yard manager or trainer. There are also lots of varied support roles available too – such as becoming a farrier, a vet and or even a specialist equine dentist.
The Equine industry supports approximately 900,000 horses and 2 million riders in the UK
The economic value of the equestrian sector to the UK is £4.7 billion
The number of horses in training to race per year has remained between 22,000 and 23,500 for 5 years in a row
The Irish equine breeding and racing industry generates over €1.8bn in economic activity and supports almost 29,000 jobs
There are a wide range of diverse career opportunities available to you in the Equine sector.
I started Castle View in 2009, and it is a riding school and pony club centre specialising in grass root riders and non-riders with installing the correct foundations of horsemanship and the importance of horse welfare.
As well as having completed my BHS II - BHS Senior Eventing Coach and UKCC level 2, I’ve also gained a Post Graduate certificate in Equine Leadership and Management through North Highland College UHI.
I do everything here. Mucking out, exercising, organising lesson times, arranging pony club groups, keeping all paperwork up to date, communicating with regular and new clients, sometimes past clients get in touch for advice, maintenance of the yard and grazing areas.
We run a successful pony club centre and riding school. I also lecture for North Highland College UHI in the Equine department and run flexible learning courses part-time. In my spare time I’m the BHS Highland North Education Officer.
Communication, and patience is a close second and of course perseverance. The ability to reflect on today and look forward to the future.
No day is the same however regimented we try to be. I like the organised chaos, learning on the job and being open to accept situations as they are, then reflect and grow from them.
The best part of my job is meeting like-minded people and having the facilities and the knowledge to give others the best start on their equestrian journey or helping them pick up where they left off.
We share the same passion but not necessarily the same journey. The main challenges are to accept where they are and how they got there, then figure out a pathway forward, accepting that there may be many roundabouts where people get off, and rejoin.
You’ll never look back, you’ll meet all the best people and experience magically things along the way!
Caroline is the Stable Manager for Trump Turnberry Hotel in Ayrshire - here, she tells us about her learning journey into her role and how the stables offer a fantastic leisure activity for hotel guests.
I work at the Ian Stark Equestrian Centre near Selkirk and my main job is to care and look after around 35 horses and ponies. I also teach some riding lessons, take clients out on hacks and help to run our competition days.
Before I came here I had been working in a completely different field for a number of years, but eventually decided to change to an equine career for better job satisfaction caring for animals.
Being a mature student going back to college was a bit daunting to start with, but I soon settled in and made lots of friends. In fact, the SVQ level 5 and level 6 Horse Care and Equine Management I did through Borders College gave me a great foundation to start my new career.
The course was based at the Ian Stark Equestrian Centre and I loved it. It was very hands-on which I really enjoyed, and there was also a lot of riding involved so I could improve my riding skills.
My first two years at the centre were on a work placement with Borders College, but then I had the chance to apply for a full-time job here, and the knowledge and experience I gained helped me get it. I think it helped that I loved my placement here too.
Each day, I can be feeding the 35 horses I care for, mucking out, grooming, tacking up, dealing with any medical or veterinary treatments, managing pasture, exercising and riding.
I teach beginner and novice lessons for all ages of clients and take rides out for hacks across the countryside in the Scottish Borders.
Throughout the year I also help with other jobs at the centre. It’s actually on a busy working farm so during the spring I help with lambing duties, which I love. I’ve also been known to drive tractors and roll the hay fields, help with never-ending fencing jobs using a sledgehammer and nail gun, and during the winter months I clip the horses to help with their thick winter coats.
First and foremost, you need a love for horses in my job. You have to be very hard working and passionate, be a team player, patient, caring, with a good eye for detail. It’s definitely not the normal 9-5. You need to be able to work for long hours and it’s very manual so you have to be pretty fit. But I do absolutely love caring for all these horses and ponies and being around them.
The things I’m most proud of are gaining a full-time job after my work placement and being awarded the runner-up prize for Equine Learner of the year at Lantra Scotland’s ALBAS ceremony.
I’m lucky to be working in the Scottish Borders as it’s beautiful countryside all around and we’re spoiled by the views that we get when out riding in the hills.
The only advice I’d give to anyone thinking about changing career is to just do it! It’s never too late and for me it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.