Horse Trainers can carry out a variety of jobs to prepare horses for riding, breeding, racing, work, shows or competitions. They do this by spending lots of time working with the horses and focusing on their nutrition, health, and behaviour. They also work with owners, riders, veterinarians and other professionals to get the best outcomes from the training.
If you are patient and calm, with a curious and analytical mindset, and of course you love being around horses – then working as a Horse Trainer could be a job that you can’t wait to get out of bed for each day.
- Passionate about horses with experience to match
- Empathetic, soothing and persistent
- Investigative, logical and perceptive
- Energetic and physically fit
- Enjoys outdoor work
- Confident and assertive
- Good communication skills
- Perform basic daily tasks e.g. saddling, feeding, grooming, maintaining stables and equipment
- Training horses to accept equipment, riders, or vehicles
- Teaching verbal and non-verbal commands, addressing behavioural problems
- Observe horses and create or adapt their training regime to suit
- Monitoring horses health and nutritional needs
- Consult and report to owners, veterinarians, other professionals and officials
- Keep accurate records of accounts, horse health, performance and training
Lifestyle Impact: Medium
- Part Time opportunities: Low – only 17% of Horse Trainers work part-time (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- Average hours for full-time workers: 54 hours a week, which is above average (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- Horse Trainers’ salary (average) $52,000* per year (Source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au). *Salaries vary depending on your skills and experience.
- Future career growth: Strong (Source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- You’ll be up early in the mornings and may still be working late at night. Attending to emergencies or helping out at events mean that you could be working overnight, at weekends and even on holidays. You may need to travel and adjust your schedule to work around clients.
Horse Trainers are most in demand in these locations:
Horse Training is an occupation which employs a small (but growing) number of people. Demand is greatest in New South Wales and Victoria. Most work in recreation services, education and training, agriculture, forestry and fishing industries.
There are jobs available around Australia and globally, although you may have to travel or move to take advantage of some opportunities. You’ll need to be on site, so although you can provide advise remotely, you will need to be on site and hands-on to carry out most of the duties.
How to become a Horse Trainer in Australia
You don’t necessarily need formal qualifications to work as a Horse Trainer. A relevant Certificate III including at least two years of on-the-job training, or Certificate IV might be required by some employers.
Step 1 – Completing Year 10 is usually a requirement. Completing Year 12 could provide you with more opportunities and make you a more competitive job applicant.
Step 2 – Complete a relevant VET qualification such as:
- Certificate III in Equine Studies
- Certificate III in Performance Horse
- Certificate IV in Racing (Racehorse Trainer)
- Diploma of Performance Horse Management
Tip: There are also lots of short courses and units you could do that will provide you with insight and experience in the world of horse care and training.
Step 3 – Get plenty of experience handling, riding and working with horses.
Step 4 – Apply for any Registration or licensing required to allow you to work in a professional capacity.
Step 5 – Consider doing a Bachelors or postgraduate degree if you’d like to learn in depth or want to get ahead professionally. Eg.:
- Bachelor of Equine Science (with specialisation)
- Bachelor of Equine Science
- Master of Animal Science with Equine Science Field of Study
Step 6 – Choose to specialise in one area such as thoroughbred or harness racing, events, show jumping, dressage, polo, or equine therapy.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What do Horse Trainers do?
A horse trainer’s job can be varied, from preparing horses to accept riders or feeling comfortable wearing special equipment, helping them understand riding commands, or training horses for specialist events such as racing, trail work or shows. You could also work with horses displaying behavioural issues or who have experienced abuse or trauma.
Which industries employ Horse Trainers?
Lots of horse trainers work in the horse racing industry, but there are also jobs working in horse studs, stables and riding schools.
What options are there for career progression?
Some horse trainers work freelance as coaches or trainers. In large stables horse trainers could be promoted to supervisory and managerial positions, but you’ll need experience and possibly some qualifications for these roles. There is potential for you to own your own businesses offering lots of services or a few specialised areas.
Do I need to go to university to become a Horse Trainer?
No, formal qualifications aren’t always necessary; experience , passion and dedication are though.
Where do Horse Trainers work?
Horse Trainers are employed all across Australia, they can work in stables, yards and arenas, to paddocks and racecourses. You’ll mostly be working outdoors and need to be prepared to get dirty.
What are 3 things I can do right now to help me become a Horse Trainer?
If you’re in high school and you’d like to find out if a career as a Horse Trainer is right for you, here’s a few things you could do right now:
- If you haven’t already immerse yourself in the world of horses. Work with them, ride them, spend time just observing them, and soak up as much knowledge as you can.
- Volunteer or take on part times jobs at stables, you should be prepared to do lots of mucking out, grooming and feeding. Hard work is part of this job and not only is it great experience but you can network at the same time.
- Take short courses that will build on your skills and look great on your resume.