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Horse Trainer / Instructor

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A horse trainer or instructor works with horses to ready them for riders, races or shows. They also train riders to learn how to ride and work with their horses.



What responsibilities will I have?

  • Assist horses in adapting to saddles and bridles
  • Reward and train horses to obey commands
  • Analyze horses’ dispositions to anticipate any possible behavioral problems such as kicking, tossing or biting; train accordingly to prevent future behavioral problems
  • Teach horse to perform various exercises
  • Be strongly versed in various equestrian styles and train horse according to owner’s or rider’s preferences (i.e. Western Pleasure, English, jumping)
  • Acclimate horses to riding on various terrains and to boarding trailers
  • Observe horse’s nutrition and health, and inspect injuries; notify veterinarian if needed
  • Assist in grooming and make grooming recommendations
  • May be also tasked with stable maintenance and waste management as well as feeding and watering
  • Some riding instructors may choose to pursue a career as a therapeutic riding instructor and teach traumatized, special needs, or disabled individuals to ride horses


What education and training is required?

An associate’s degree in equine science or equine studies is typically required to become a horse trainer. You may look into additional courses, workshops or apprenticeships to become more familiar with training horses.


To pursue a career as a Horse Trainer / Instructor:

The following high school courses are recommended: agricultural education, biology, animal science, and mathematics.


Where can I work?

A horse trainer may work for public or private stables or horse breeders, rodeo companies, large ranches, or you may be self-employed.


Future Job Market / Outlook

The future outlook for a horse trainer will be fair over the next five years. 


Suggested Professional Organizations and Associations

  • Walking Horse Trainers Association
  • American Quarter Horse Association
  • Certified Horsemanship Association
  • Equine Science Society
  • National Barrel Horse Association
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