If riding and taking care of horses is like a breath of fresh air for you, why not turn your love for horses into a career?
It doesn’t matter whether you are a high school graduate or a master’s degree holder, there will always be a career path for you in the equine industry.
As a matter of fact, some of the highest-paying equine jobs can earn you an annual salary of $100,000+ with a few paying as high as $200,000 a year.
Highest-paying equine jobs
Below we highlight nine of the highest-paying jobs with horses in 2023. Most of these jobs pay more than $50,000 a year, with a few paying almost four times that figure. Let’s have a look at each one at a time;
Being a farrier is one of the highest-paying animal jobs in the U.S. Farriers provide comprehensive equine foot care, which includes regular maintenance and addressing foot problems. Their usual tasks include trimming, shoeing, shaping, and evaluating potential causes of lameness in horses.
Most farriers receive education in the form of an apprenticeship or completing a certification program. Salary for farriers varies depending on factors such as the location of operation, demand, experience, and the number of horses one works on per day.
According to PayScale, the mean annual wage for farriers is $55,562 with the highest-paid earning more than $160,000. Those working full-time with thoroughbred racehorses can earn up to $200,000 a year.
2. Equine Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
The role of equine pharmaceutical sales reps is to market drugs and other health products to equine veterinarians and veterinary clinics. They can work for companies that sell tack, grooming supplies, stable equipment, blankets, fencing, and equine supplements. They may work from the office or travel to meet potential clients in person.
You need to be outgoing and enjoy traveling if you want to become a sales rep for an equine company. Most sales rep positions include a base salary, commission on sales, a company car, bonuses, and other benefits. The mean annual salary for sales representatives in scientific industries is $99,680. The highest-paid sales reps make more than $171,700 a year.
3. Equine Veterinarian
Equine veterinarians provide health care services to horses, which include vaccinations, routine health exams, and treating injuries and illnesses. Some equine veterinarians specialize in areas such as dental care, lameness, or reproduction.
You will need a significant amount of schooling to become a veterinarian. Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not track salaries for veterinarians who only deal with horses, the mean annual wages for veterinarians is $108,350 with the highest earners receiving more than $164,490 a year.
Being an equine veterinarian is one of the highest-paying veterinary specialties with the potential of earning as high as $200,000 if you handle racehorses.
4. Barn Manager
You need to be highly skilled in horsemanship to become a barn manager. Knowledge of basic treatments, equine nutritional needs, and behavioral techniques is essential. Duties of barn managers include feeding, turning out horses, and mucking stalls. They are also in charge of barn staff, billing, and office schedules.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, barn managers earn a mean annual salary of $76,810 with the top earners receiving more than $130,760 a year.
5. Equine Insurance Sales Agent
Equine insurance sales agents work with insurance firms that offer insurance policies to horse owners and stables. Most equine insurance sales agents divide their time between traveling to meet potential clients and working in the office.
Their compensation can be a combination of base salaries, commissions, and bonuses. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, insurance sales agents’ mean annual salary is $69,010 with the top earns getting paid more than $127,840 a year.
Equine insurance sales agents can expect to earn the same figures as they will be working with insurance firms as agents.
6. Equine Nutritionist
Another high-paying equine job is that of an equine nutritionist who plans and conducts food service or nutritional programs to assist in the promotion of good health and control of diseases in horses. They have mastered equine dietary needs and will formulate the best feeding program to keep horses in good health and shape.
You will probably need a substantial amount of education to become an equine nutritionist. When it comes to wages, general dietitians and nutritionists earn a mean annual salary of $64,150 with the top earners receiving more than $90,000 a year. You can expect equine nutritionists to earn anywhere around these figures, or even more.
7. Horse Trainer
Horse trainers are highly experienced equestrians whose primary task is to train horses. They train horses under the saddle and on the ground. Depending on their level of expertise and individual horse needs, the horse trainer can work with young horses, those with behavioral issues, or complete the finishing touches.
Some horse trainers own their horse training facilities while others rent space from barn owners. Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates animal trainers to earn a mean annual salary of $37,950, experienced horse trainers earn more than this. The highest-paid horse trainers earn as high as $90,000+ a year.
QUIZ: Do you think you can make a lucrative career with your love for horses? Here is Britanny Pozzi, the owner of Pozzi Performance Horses who makes millions raising, breeding, and training horses. She has already generated more than $4 million through her business. Video courtesy CNBC Prime.
8. Equine Riding Instructor
Equine riding instructors have extensive knowledge of horseback riding and often specialize in show jumping, hunt seating, barrel racing, dressage, western pleasure, and other types of equine disciplines. Their primary goal is to help their students master the art of horse riding.
A mean annual salary of about $45,000 is typical, but experienced and renowned equine riding instructors can earn as high as $75,000 a year. Most riding instructors charge per hour or per lesson taught.
9. Equine Dental Technician
Being an equine dental technician is one of the highest-paying equine jobs in the U.S. Equine dental technicians floats teeth during annual equine dental exams. According to RedBarn, floating a horse’s teeth is the “process of gently filing away sharp edges or hooks to present a firm, flat surface for a more efficient chewing”.
Equine dental technicians also identify emerging dental problems and take necessary preventive measures to avert the issues from developing further. Salaries for equine dental technicians vary depending on the location of operation, demand, and the number of horses one treat per day.
The mean annual salary for an equine dental technician is $45,230 with the top earners making more than $67,000 a year.
BONUS: Equine Veterinary Technician
Veterinary technologists and technicians work closely with veterinarians to assist with various procedures, including prepping horses for surgery, prepping vaccines and serums, taking radiographs, prepping tissue samples & executing lab tests such as urinalysis and blood counts, and cleaning & sterilizing lab instruments and materials.
You can become a licensed veterinary technician within two years and proceed to work with equine veterinarians. The mean annual wage for equine veterinary technicians is $37,860 with the top earners receiving over $52,410 a year.
We have highlighted ten of the highest-paying jobs with horses we think you might like. As you can see, some of these jobs can earn you more than $150,000 a year while you do what you love and are passionate about. There’s nothing more priceless than doing what you love for a career and getting paid handsomely for it.