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Career and Educational Opportunities
in the Horse Industry

This document offers a unique compilation of industry resources and information helpful in determining where your career in horses may be found. The American Horse Council and the American Youth Horse Council have joined efforts to provide this information of available listings from industry leaders all over the United States to assist youths and adults in pursuit of careers in the horse industry.

When beginning your search, be resourceful! There is no end to the opportunities the horse industry has to offer. Working in the industry does not always mean working exclusively with horses. Many jobs, such as an accountant, attorney, artist, clothes designer, journalist, computer programmer, etc. can be tailored to your interests. In making your future plans consider a broad education that may be adapted later to your choice of career.

  • Be prepared to volunteer: The horse industry thrives on volunteer participation that can provide the vehicle to introduce and get you involved in many aspects of horse-related activities. Often good experience can be gained by offering to work for free. This experience in turn can open doors and help you establish valuable contacts.
  • Start at the local level: Gain experience through your community, school and social connections. Utilize a network of people you are familiar with and expand through regional and state contacts.
  • Check the classifieds in trade publications: Frequently excellent opportunities are advertised here. Check not only equine publications but look into sports-related magazines and associations, and club and organizational newsletters.
  • Talk to professionals: Learn from those that are involved. Find out where they studied, what they recommend as good training, and the work they sought. You never know who will provide an aspect you've overlooked.
  • Don't limit your objectives: Most importantly, if you can't get into the horse industry right away, generalize your scope, such as learning the principles of large animal care, then specialize in horses at a later date.

Choose the desired level of contact with horses (left column) and the amount of education required (right column), and then locate that combination in the list following the table for potential career paths.

  Contact Level   Education Required
I. Primary careers requiring daily contact with horses and/or horse owners Category A DVM, PhD or professional terminal degree from recognized college or university
II. Support positions requiring daily contact with horses and/or horse owners Category B Master's degree from a recognized college or university
III. Careers with horse shows/rodeos Category C Baccalaureate degree from a recognized college or university
IV. Careers in the racing industry Category D One or two years beyond high school
V. Careers related to recreation/hunting/pleasure Category E High school diploma

I. Primary careers requiring daily contact with horses
   A. Veterinarian    D. Veterinary Technician
Extension Horse Specialist Transportation Specialist
Extension Animal Specialist Trainer
Geneticist Stable Manager/Foreman
Horse Feed Development Specialist Riding Instructor/Coach
Animal Nutritionist Veterinarian's Assistant
   B. College Professor Breeder
Pedigree Analyst Auctioneer
   C. County Agriculture Agent Horse-Buyer
Youth Director Farrier-Corrective Shoeing
Bloodstock Agent Identification Maker
College Instructor Stallion Manager
Rehabilitation Therapist Broodmare Manager
Clinician Foaling Crewman
Farm/Ranch Manager Stunt Rider or Double in Movies
   D. Technical School Teacher Horse Drawn or Mounted Tour Guide
Artificial Inseminator

II. Support positions without daily contact with horses
   A. Dean, College of Agriculture Motion Picture, TV, Video or
   B. Architect      Slide-series Producer
Agricultural Engineer Land Consultant/Farm Real Estate
Attorney    D. Film-distribution Specialist
Accountant Clothing Designer
   C. High School Agriculture Teacher Film Editor
Agricultural Equipment Design Blood Typing Specialist
     Engineer Boot Manufacturer
Agricultural Researcher Advertising Copywriter
Actuary (Insurance) Commercial Artist
Director of Public Relations Equestrian Portrait/Illustrator
Executive Secretary of Horse- Advertising Sales Manager
     oriented Organization Publication Circulation Manager
Association Executive Fire-prevention Specialist
Field Secretary First Aid Personnel
Lobbyist Program Coordinator
State Director of Identification Reporter/Journalist
     Services Motion Picture/TV Writer,
Director of Technical School      Technician, Director, Camera
Tailor/Clothing Buyer      Crew, Research
Commercial Feed Manufacturer Horse Trailer Designer
Laboratory Technician Pest Control Specialist
Director of Advertising    E. Office Personnel in an Equine
     (newspapers, magazines, etc.)      Organization
Author/Fiction Concession Operator
Author/Non-fiction, instructional Feed Store Operator
     material Publications Distributor
Sales of Timing Equipment Tack and Equipment Maker
Sales of Agricultural Equipment Printer
Pharmaceutical Sales Carpenter (stables/tack and
Insurance Sales      equestrian equipment)
Advertising Space Buyer Leather Dealer
Auditor Typesetter
Internal Auditor of Equestrian Advertising Salesman
     Organization Wholesale Tack Sales
Horsefeed Wholesaler Wholesale Clothing Sales
Insurance Investigator Wholesale Feed Sales
Agricultural and Research Economist Guard
Museum Curator Horse Hair Products Producer
Trade Press Editor      (Wigs)
Business Manager of Horse Film-processing Specialist
     Publication Painter
Publisher of Horse Books

III. Careers with horse shows and rodeos
   A. Horse Show Veterinarian Wheelman
   C. Timing Equipment Engineer    E. Horse Show Secretary
Security Rodeo Secretary
   D. Horse Show Manager Rodeo Stock Contractor
Horse Show Receptionist Director of Parking
Fair or Exposition Manager Jump Builder
Inspector (DPQ or Designated Ring Master
     Qualified Inspector) Rodeo Clown
Drug Inspector Premium List Technician
Technical Representative Rodeo Cowboy
Technical Delegate (TD) Rodeo Pick-up Rider
Judge Announcer
Steward Program Manager
Course Designer/Jump Designer Crewmember
Test Designer Jump Crewmember
Publicity Director Rodeo Laborer
Lighting Director Gate Person
Photographer Ticket Seller
Wheelwright Organist

IV. Careers in the racing industry
   A. Track Veterinarian Mutuels Manager
   C. Racing Chemist Marketing and Publicity
Judge    E. Track Maintenance
Timing Equipment Engineer Parking Attendant
Racing Steward Mutuel Clerk
Racing Secretary Paddock Judge
Handicapper Office Staff
Director of Mutuels Money Room Personnel
Security Stable Superintendent
Racing Commissioner Patrol Judge
Totalisator Company Personnel Starter
Mutuel-Machine Maintenance Clocker
   D. Publicity Staff Grounds Manager
Turf Club Director Track Photographer
Maitre d'Hotel Film or TV Patrol Operator
Technical Representative Horse Identifier
Track Manager Announcer
Comptroller Program Director
Horseman's Bookkeeper Facility Maintenance Engineer
Trainer Hot Walker
Jockey Exercise Rider
Jockey Valet Jockey's Room Attendant
Driver Outrider
Jockey's Attendant

V. Careers related to recreation, hunting, and pleasure
   C. Trail Engineer Professional Huntsman
Park and Recreation Administrator Whipper-in
Recreation Planner Kennelman
   D. Guest Ranch Host/Hostess    E. Packer/Guide
Parade Organizer Reservations Clerk
Manager Country Club Trail Crew
Field Master Circus Rider