When summer comes, horse lovers rejoice.
It is the perfect weather for the outdoors- although we could all do without the sweltering heat- and just about the best time to be on or around a horse.
Summer brings with it a load of horse jobs too!
It is the perfect time to be atop a horse, and many horse owners want their darlings to be in perfect shape for this very purpose.
The horse business and industry is a luxury one too, meaning that these jobs more often than not fetch a tidy sum.
That said, horse owners are very specific about the people they let handle their horses in whichever sense.
To land a horse job, you will be required to show a great degree of knowledge about and interest in horses- unless you are twelve years old and visiting your uncle’s farm in Texas!
Most horse jobs are race (equestrian) related.
There are however horse jobs in other areas like circuses, horseback touring, caring for horses on ranches (wranglers) and supervising novice fun riders.
The states of Texas, California, Kentucky, Florida, Ohio and Missouri are among those with the most active horse cultures in the country and, consequently, have the most horse jobs.
Horse farmers are looking for temporary workers to feed and clean their horses and stables.
Circus organizers seek people who can groom their horses for performances and in some instances established circus horse performers.
Recreational centres engage people with some horse knowledge to guide horseback fun tours within ranches and parks and also ensure novice riders do their thing within safety limits.
Knowledge is one skill you cannot do without when searching for jobs with horses.
The moment an interviewer mentions ‘equestrian’ and you stare at them like they used a space-science term, you immediately fail the test.
You will need to be widely read about horses before you can even go close to one on an employee basis.
Even if you are just a wrangler or groomer, you will be required to know about horse breeds, different types of feeds and the meaning of certain behaviours in horses.
Horse riding comes as the next basic skill. The horse community is a proud lot and will tease you to death if you can’t hop on a horse.
You don’t have to be a champion jockey, but at least show some basic riding skills.
Other skills required for horse jobs are specific to the particular task. You will need to show that you are adept at what you do.
Although it is a widely hailed business tactic today, never claim you can do what you cannot do when it comes to horses.
Having grown up in an environment with horses helps a lot, but if you didn’t have this privilege, reading is your saviour.
There is no shortage of horse knowledge both in books and on the internet.
The duties of a horse worker revolve purely around keeping the animals comfortable.
As a wrangler, you will be required to ensure that they are well fed, cleaned and always watch out for signs of disease and sometimes heat.
Some owners will even task you with ensuring the horses get proper treatment in case of an incident.
It is also your duty to ensure that the horses are well exercised and in good shape for when the owners need to use them.
Tour guides are required to ensure that visitors receive comfortable and safe horseback strolls.
There are no major academic certifications needed for horse jobs. You will, however, have very little time to prove that you are good with the powerful animals.
Horse owners and trainers can smell frauds from a mile away.
If you are an absolute novice, admit it and show a passion for learning.
You may need to work as a volunteer (there are perks for this too) in the early days of your horse career, but it all pays off in the end.
Whatever horse job you land, always ensure you get some form of documentation at the end of the gig (most jobs will give without your asking).
It helps a lot in future hunts. Even better, do a marvellous job and the employers will keep calling you back. They are a loyal lot, these horse guys!