by Joan Pletcher
There is ample demand for horse trainers with a variety of skill sets. From general training, such as breaking a young horse to saddle and bridle, to more specialized training, like working with a horse to prepare for a dressage competition, there's no shortage of need for horse trainers.
As a trainer, you will have the opportunity to choose your specialty. Will you choose to work with foals and yearlings to prepare them for a rider? Or will you do something more specific? You can choose to train horses for show jumping, cross-country jumping, hunting, dressage, barrel racing, roping, herding, or even racing. Obviously, if you choose to specialize, you need to be exceptionally good in that field yourself. Previous experience in that realm of competition is a big plus, if not an absolute requirement.
Work may be a bit slow starting out, as you have to establish a good reputation to begin building your clientele. You may want to start out working at another facility under another trainer. This will help you gain experience and build a network of connections before branching out on your own. Then, you can look for horse property and consider starting your own training facility, or offer training on horse owners' properties.
Riders need training just like their horses do. Those who have a love for teaching in addition to a love for horses can make excellent riding instructors. Like horse trainers, riding instructors can either teach general riding classes, or they can choose to teach in a specialized realm of competition.
Basic riding instructors will work with novice riders to help them learn how to ride a horse. You will teach students the proper seat and leg placement, how to hold the reins, and how to properly guide a horse through different paces and movements. If this is the route you wish to take, you can choose to teach English or Western style riding, or if you are familiar with both styles, you may teach both.
If you want to offer specialized instruction, you will work with more advanced riders who are looking to perfect their skills--typically for competition. This can include any of the competitive equine sports listed in the above section. Again, you should have a good reputation before beginning to offer instruction in these areas.
Boarding Stable Owner
If you simply want to be around horses every day, but don't want to have to worry about offering regular instruction to horses and riders, owning a boarding stable may be the right career path for you. With this job, you'll be able to care for and tend to horses on a daily basis. You can even choose the level of care that you will offer to your tenants, so you can decide whether you will be responsible for exercising the horses, or simply for feeding and turning them out to pasture during the day.
Of course, you'll be responsible for management of the property, including keeping the books of income and expenses, so a basic understanding of running a business will help you to succeed in this field. However, if you're not comfortable with this kind of work, you can always hire someone else to do it so that you can spend more of your time with the horses.
To start out in this field, you'll need to look for horse properties in Ocala, FL, that offer the space and amenities you need. Then, you just need to start finding tenants.