1 virtual internships
Horse and foal (young horse) trainers work with horses to prep them for riders, races and horse shows. Horse trainers are required to have expert riding skills and knowledge of horse management. Horse trainers, also called equine trainers, prepare the horse to accept riders. They get young horses (foals) well-adapted to wearing saddles and bridles and teach the animals riding commands. Horse trainers also work with horses to correct behavioural problems or issues related to abuse or other trauma. Trainers may prepare horses for racing, trail work or horse shows.
- Analyze horses' behaviours to assess the horses' dispositions
- Correct any behavioural problems such as head tossing, kicking, biting, dominance assertion, bolting, nervousness and restlessness
- Desensitizing horses to unfamiliar sights and sounds
- Prep horses for riders or horse shows teach horses different commands for when to perform a certain task or trick
- Using different methods to get horses to respond to them, such as giving treats and other positive reinforcement when the horses do something well
- Observe a horse's nutrition, feeding habits and health
- Teach people how to interact with horses properly and teach jockeys how to direct and manage racehorses
- Acclimate horses to walking onto horse trailers to get them used to being relocated whenever necessary
- Cleaning horse stables and grooming horses, or supervising these chores
- Using voices and plenty of physical contact to get the horses used to human contact
Key skills for Young Horse Trainer:
- A genuine interest in horses
- Patience and confidence
- Intuition and intelligence
- Excellent interpersonal, leadership and communication skills
- Excellent horse management skills
- To enjoy outdoor work
Average Salary (2013):
The United Kingdom: £15,000 – £25,000 per year
The United States of America: $31,030 per year
Australia: between AU$32,000 and $49,000 per year
Qualifications and training required:
No formal degree is required to become a horse or foal trainer, but most trainers have significant practical experience working with horses before pursuing this career on a full time basis. Many trainers work their way up in the industry, starting out as grooms, riders, stable workers or assistant trainers. An apprenticeship with a well known professional enhances a candidate’s skills and reputation, so this should be pursued whenever possible. Proficient riding abilities and knowledge of horse husbandry is often mandatory.
Some horse and foal trainers work as horse trainer apprentices where they perform stable chores, exercise horses, feed and groom horses and any other duties their mentors ask. Completing an equine studies program, which is offered by some colleges, universities or schools, is another way horse trainers learn required skills. Courses may include horsemanship, equine anatomy and physiology, facility management, equine behaviour, animal ethics and welfare, equine nutrition and equine diseases.
A degree in equine business is always a plus, as trainers are running their own small businesses. A good working knowledge of computerized billing and record keeping programs would also be beneficial.