Home > Caring For Animals > Work With Horses: Becoming a Stablehand

Work With Horses: Becoming a Stablehand

By: Margaret Paxton - Updated: 23 Oct 2020 | comments*Discuss
 
Work With Horses: Becoming A Stablehand

Becoming a stable hand means more than working with horses; it is a way of life! There are several different disciplines in the horse world; whether your dream is to ride the winning racehorse in the Derby, or lead a pony in your care at its first show, the satisfaction of knowing that your hard work has contributed to that moment is a great feeling.

Are You Up to the Job?

Working with horses is very hard work; tough chores have to be done all year round and in all weathers.

Hours are long and often anti-social. (Horses don't celebrate public holidays!) Fewstable hands manage to maintain a social life because of the hours they work and theassociated low income (they earn from around £7,500.) Their lives revolve around their horses.

It is crucial for a stable hand to be fit and able to cope with the constant, strenuous, physical demands of the job as most working hours consist of pushing wheelbarrows, carrying heavy buckets and other equipment, sweeping, lifting and generally being on their feet and active, all day, every day.

Potentially Dangerous

A stable hand's work can be dangerous, not just because riding is a hazardous sport, but because accidents do happen when handling animals. Horses can bite with one end and kick with the other! Having half a ton of horse standing on your foot is no joke, either.

Find out if the stable you want to work for provides protective clothing as buying your own overalls, gloves, boots and relevant protective headgear can be very expensive. Ask about personal injury and public liability insurance and make sure you know where horse and human first aid is kept and who is qualified to use it.

Beyond the Stable Door

Established stable hands are expected to travel with the horses in their care to events in other counties or even countries. This is good experience but it's not glamorous! While their horses have everything they need in the horsebox or aeroplane, stable hands travel light. (Jewellery and the latest fashions have no place in working with horses and can cause injury.)

Warm, waterproof, lightweight and safe are the designers of a stable hand's wardrobe,and, although they must have high personal standards, they appreciate that their horses are the real stars.

Qualifications are not necessary to begin a career with horses but a genuine interest in their care is important. It is possible to take an apprenticeship, foundation course or NVQ in Horse Care if you decide this career is for you. Adequate training is always provided

Stable hands don't have to be top jockeys to find work they enjoy, but top jockeys will have been stable hands first. They are the backbone of the industry.

Daily Routine

Duties involve a precise routine of mucking out stables and preparing fresh beds for horses in their care, along with sweeping, grooming, feeding, leading, exercising, cleaning tack and other associated equipment and generally keeping everything as it should be.

Daily grooming plays an important role by not only keeping horses looking good and feeling comfortable, but also in strengthening the bond between stable hands and their charges. Stable hands are often first to notice if a horse is unwell or injured because they know the normal behaviour of each animal in their care. They observe the body language of their horses and are aware of useful clues to mood and general well-being so can notify the yard manager of any changes in appearance.

Feeding

Efficient stable hands always serve meals on time! Feeding horses is quite a science and specific dietary requirements are carefully worked out to suit the temperament, workload, age, size and health of each animal. Because horses have very delicate digestive systems the wrong meal, fed at the wrong time, can cause serious illness.

Leading

How to lead horses properly is one of the first major lessons the new stable hand learns. Correct positioning and technique is crucial.

There are occasions when horses need to be trotted up in hand to enable a trainer, farrier, vet, saddler or prospective buyer to assess the horse in motion. Stable hands will learn how to do this safely and correctly while at the same time showing the horses at their best.

Fun and Games

It takes commitment and strength to succeed as a stable hand. For most, working as part of a team of like-minded people is one of the advantages; particularly when they live-in. Depending on the circumstances, some even go on holiday with their horses!

Summary

Becoming a stable hand is the best way to start any career with horses. Dedicated,experienced, stable hands are always in demand and get plenty of opportunity to specialise and gain promotion within the industry.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Hi I’m harliejay , I’m 14 , I’ve ridden a couple of horses when I was 7 , would like to work with horseson a stable for my full time job , I’ve seen a few things over social media about horses and other animals , I’m not fussy about anything (poo,sick.etc)
Harliejay - 23-Oct-20 @ 11:39 AM
Hi, I'm Jade. I'm 12 but I'll be 13 in 2 months. I'm obsessed with horses but can't afford my own. If anyone would like to hire me, I will charge £5 an hour. I live in the south east of Cornwall. I won't be able to start until January. I have plenty of experience,and help out with my friends pony sometimes. Please get back to me if you would like me to work as your stable hand.
Jade - 4-Oct-20 @ 7:17 PM
hi, I am a 13 year old girl my name is Ella hogan. I am looking for a job to help out around stables. I have a couple years experience with horses and would love to help out ( grooming horses, mucking out stalls, cleaning hoofs. (ect.) anything really that helps out ( I just enjoy it and would like to help out ( possibly be payed £3 an hour.) saving up for a horse of my own.) ( also I can work 4 days a week or more for 3-4 hours a day.! Thank you! Anyone who knows pls reply!
El - 29-Aug-20 @ 12:47 AM
hi, I am a 13 year old girl my name is Ella. I am looking for a job to help out around stables. I have a couple years experience with horses and would love to help out ( grooming horses, mucking out stalls, cleaning hoofs. (ect.) anything really that helps out ( I just enjoy it and would like to help out ( possibly be payed £3 an hour.) saving up for a horse of my own.) ( also I can work 4 days a week or more for 3-4 hours a day.!
el - 29-Aug-20 @ 12:45 AM
I’m 12, 13 in two months and am looking for a job as a stable hand I have experience with working with horses I used to go to see a horse and ride it and tack and all that jazz whenever I would go on school holiday or I am available I would let the person in charge know when I can go up I absolutely love horses and am trying to save up for my own because we can’t pay for my own horse I would do anything possible to help out with the horses whenever I am free I would go down I have been riding since I was 6 if anyone knows of any help needed in Cambridgeshire area or more specific the fen area if anyone knows please reply
Grace - 11-Aug-20 @ 5:46 PM
I am a 14 year old girl with a passion of horses and helping out animals. I’m looking for a stable for a part time jobs on weekends and half terms. If their are any areas near Chatham please let me know I’ll appreciate it. Thank you x
Coco - 20-Jul-20 @ 1:13 PM
Hi my name is isabella mccarthy I wanted yo no how old do I have to be to work with your guys I'm 13 turning 14 soon and I was just asking
Bella - 13-Jul-20 @ 9:16 PM
Hello I'm Isabella i have been riding horses since i was 2 years old i love horses! there my life but there a lot of work and money I'm 11 years old. I have a horse that is 22 years old he is a Qauter horse his color is chesnut he's height is 15.2 he has arthridis and a show horse and his great
Buking bronco - 26-Jun-20 @ 4:17 AM
I am a experienced 12 year old rider looking for a stable hand job to save up for a rescue horse. I would love to know when I can get this job. :-)
Sylvie - 15-Jun-20 @ 9:33 AM
Helllo I’m Georgie, I don’t have any experience around horses but have always wanted to I’m 12 yo and I’m wondering what the age requirement is. I want to work for lessons because my family can’t afford it but I really want to start acareer to do with horses when I’m older. Yours faithfully Georgie Burgess
Geo - 22-May-20 @ 7:51 PM
Hi , I am 13 years old and I’m looking for a stable to potentially work in. I’ve always had a passion for horses and I have been to lessons previously so I know how to ride and handle a horse. I’m more than happy to muck out the stable and feed the horse and water the horse. I’m saving up for a horse myself so I thought working with horses is a great way to gain experience from it.
Freya - 6-May-20 @ 9:51 AM
Hi, I’m lilly chusonis and I am 13 years old. I have been around horses since I was 4 years old and between the age of 11 and now I have worked with a few different horses in training. I have trained my own horse since he was just turned 3 years old and he is successfully broken in and knows voice commands etc. I am a very western kind of girl. I would love to be a stable hand for the experience and I quite frankly love working in that kind of environment and would t mind getting my hands dirty. I would be extremely committed but I’d have to work hours after school and My hours would have to be flexible for training with my horses and other sports etc. Having this opportunity would help succeed my dreams in the future!
Lilly - 12-Apr-20 @ 10:30 PM
I'm 12 and I love horses I've been around horses since I was 5 and I Would love to work with them
Blu - 26-Mar-20 @ 11:27 PM
I'm 12 looking for a job to work with horses and animals I have experience and I'm very reasonable
Blu - 26-Mar-20 @ 11:25 PM
Hi, I'm 15 years old and have been looking for jobs in Ontario Canada (specifically near york region/toronto area) I have been around horses and ridden for over 6 years. I'm having trouble finding jobs and would love to expand my knowledge and experience with horses. My main goal is to get a job but I would love to volunteer as well. I have been applying for jobs at fast food places, grocery stores, etc. but i wouldn't enjoy it at all which got me to thinking about jobs in the equestrian world. I wouldn't say I'm the most experienced with horses but compared to a fast food chain job I am way more qualified to be a stable hand. I am in 10th grade of high school and am in class Monday to Friday from 8 am -2:20 pm and on Saturdays I have an international language course that runs from 8 am to 12:40pm-1pm. I have an opportunity to volunteer at a stables but it isn't paying and would take up a lot of free time so I am debating if I should hand in my application forms or if I should keep searching for a paying job. I would be more than happy to work minimum wage, legally because I'm in school I can work 18 hours a week and 40 on a week with no school such as the summer, week of march break, Christmas and New Years, etc. I doubt I'll get a response or that anyone will see this but if you do and you've heard of opportunities around the area please let me know, I'd appreciate it. Thanks again, Laura
laura m - 7-Oct-19 @ 6:32 AM
Also i was looking for a job around nichols wisconsin i love horses. I have very little experience with horses because i have never gotten the chance to be a stable hand.
Sky - 30-Aug-19 @ 9:14 PM
Hi im 12 im looking to have a part time job because of school and i love horses i love riding and grooming and feeding. I just love being with horses.
Sky - 30-Aug-19 @ 9:11 PM
Hi my name is maia and im 13. i love horses and i love riding my aunties horse Luis but she lives to far away so i dont se him much im looking for a job just to help out as a volunteer because i love being around them
Maia??horses - 19-Aug-19 @ 2:08 AM
HI, I'm 14 years old and I would really like an opportunity to work with horses by big a stable hand. I have little experience with working with horses because I've never had the opportunity to do so. I am looking for a job around cardiff area
Ruby - 13-Aug-19 @ 8:53 PM
Hi, I’m 12 years old and I love horses and it would preferably have to be part time cause I share a horse 2/3 times a week but I love horses and doing everything to do with them and I feel like this would be a good start to my dream in the future !
Fus - 5-Aug-19 @ 8:36 PM
Shan - Your Question:
I am 17 and have been riding since I was 6 but it’s not been very consistent. I don’t know what career path to choose I have always wanted to work with animals but ended up studying engineering due to liking maths and problem solving. I’m really stuck on what to do. I have a job in a shop but just signed up to be a stable hand I’m worried I won’t get the job, I really want to get back into horse riding being outdoors and around animals. I know it sounds selfish already having a job and wanting another but I just don’t know what to do with my future. I know people will say follow your heart what you love and your dreams but I just love sports and exercise, weird coming from someone with asthma, but I also love getting my hands dirty and problem solving fixing things and making things. A lot of people tell me I’m a good teacher/ mentor so I have thought about being a sports coach. How much do horse riding instructor get paid or does it depend on the clients? I know it’s not all about the money in life but it’s nice having that reassurance. I would love to own my own business one day and always dreamed of running my own stables from when I was a very little girl I guess that would bring in a good income if I have enough clients ????

Our Response:
Some of us don't decide until later in life which path we wish to take, some decide early and then have a career change, or even several career changes throughout their lives. A chat with your parents, school and careers officer to see where they think your strengths lie will help. It is also difficult to tell you what your income would be as much also depends on the routes you take. You can see more regarding horse riding instructors and other careers via the gov.uk link here.
CareerWithAnimals - 29-Mar-18 @ 11:29 AM
I am 17 and have been riding since I was 6 but it’s not been very consistent. I don’t know what career path to choose I have always wanted to work with animals but ended up studying engineering due to liking maths and problem solving. I’m really stuck on what to do. I have a job in a shop but just signed up to be a stable hand I’m worried I won’t get the job, I really want to get back into horse riding being outdoors and around animals. I know it sounds selfish already having a job and wanting another but I just don’t know what to do with my future. I know people will say follow your heart what you love and your dreams but I just love sports and exercise, weird coming from someone with asthma, but I also love getting my hands dirty and problem solving fixing things and making things. A lot of people tell me I’m a good teacher/ mentor so I have thought about being a sports coach. How much do horse riding instructor get paid or does it depend on the clients? I know it’s not all about the money in life but it’s nice having that reassurance. I would love to own my own business one day and always dreamed of running my own stables from when I was a very little girl i guess that would bring in a good income if I have enough clients ????
Shan - 28-Mar-18 @ 9:32 AM
Hi I’m 14 years old,(nearly 15)I’ve been around horses basicakky my whole life. I’ve been riding for 11 years now. I’m calm and sensible around horses and looking for volenteer work or a job in horses. I am good nd confident leading, grooming. But I haven’t done much mucking out. And need to work on that. But I currently cannot
Holly - 24-Mar-18 @ 5:00 PM
Hi, I'm 12 years 13 in September) and I'm a very big fan of horses, I understand that I may be a bit too young for a job like this but lessons are fairly expensive for my family to pay for but I still really want to be around horses, if possible, I would really want to be a stable hand and work somewhere around Wellingborough after school from Tuesday to Thursday - as I'm busy on Mondays and Fridays. Also, would I be able to have 1 lesson a week (or every other week) instead of getting paid please? I really hope there is a place I could work as I think that I will be able to manage the wheelbarrows and heavy buckets etc.By the way, I know how to canter and trot but I was not taught how to tack a horse before.Yours sincerely,
V - 4-Mar-18 @ 4:13 PM
Hi I’m 14 (15 in October) I would love to be a stable hand as I want to get out the house more and get more fit but I don’t know if I’m old enough yet and I would mind getting paid as I could but fursuits but I would prefer riding lesson in return as I used to ride a pony as a kid but that was years ago and I would like to get back into it
Hunter - 7-Feb-18 @ 10:01 PM
Hi, I'm 14 years old (15 in June) and I love horses with a passion, it's my dream to work with them and someday have my own horse. Unfortunately, horses and lessons are extremely expensive and I just can't afford them. I am still in school (obviously) but I would love to work with horses (maybe as a stable hand?) after school and/or at the weekends, and (instead of money) I would love riding lessons in return (maybe one lesson a week?) If anyone knows any jobs like this that I could apply for in England/Kent then I would be EXTREMELY happy to know! Thank you!
Jay - 2-Jan-18 @ 1:59 AM
I am 14 years old,I've had experience with riding and caring for horse at a riding school.I have a passion for horses and I would love to work with them.i could work at weekends,because I would need to go school.
Kenzie - 1-Dec-17 @ 11:11 PM
Hi I am 17 years old and my government class is doing a project About an I-Search on Jobs and I chose to be a Stable Hand and I would like to be able to ask a few questions to someone who knows a lot about a Stable Hands job.
ruth - 14-Sep-16 @ 6:46 PM
hey I'm 14 years old looking for a job I can do during weekends or half terms and I think this is the right one for me because I love horses I'm so obsessed with them but my parents don't let me go riding so I cant ride but I would love to do this job and earn my own money.
rebecca - 21-Sep-15 @ 8:51 PM
I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN AN ANIMAL LOVER SOWOULD LOVE TO PURSUE MY DREAM JOBS WITH ANIMALS WOULD ALSO LIKE TO GET MORE EXPERIANCE WITH A HANDS ON JOB IN THE WARRINGTON AREA
kezza - 19-Sep-12 @ 10:59 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Harliejay
    Re: Work With Horses: Becoming a Stablehand
    Hi I’m harliejay , I’m 14 , I’ve ridden a couple of horses when I was 7 , would like to work with horses on a stable…
    23 October 2020
  • Dafydd
    Re: Working for a Hunt
    What absolute load of nonsense! Fox hunting is illegal yet the hunts continue to do so. No trails are laid in fact it's illegal to import fox…
    19 October 2020
  • Ali
    Re: Run your own Animal Shelter
    I have 10 rabbits and 3 guinea pigs all of which were unwanted pets. I live alone and only work p/t. So can tend to them well. Im…
    9 October 2020
  • Jade
    Re: Work With Horses: Becoming a Stablehand
    Hi, I'm Jade. I'm 12 but I'll be 13 in 2 months. I'm obsessed with horses but can't afford my own. If anyone would…
    4 October 2020
  • ams
    Re: Training to be a Police Dog Handler
    i just want to be a dog handler because i am very good with dogs. i am only 13
    2 October 2020
  • corrinaclarise
    Re: What Does a Horse Whisperer Do?
    I've had my mind made up since I was 8 years old (nearly 20 years now) that I wanted to be an Equestrian Psychologist. I've…
    17 September 2020
  • Debs
    Re: Run your own Animal Shelter
    I have a big garden I would like to run a shelter for cats please assist me anyone to get started I will be living in the house
    6 September 2020
  • Chuy
    Re: Work as a Flying Groom
    Have more the 18 years experience with thoroughbred horses an more, like to join the team thank you.
    12 August 2020
  • Grace
    Re: Work With Horses: Becoming a Stablehand
    I’m 12, 13 in two months and am looking for a job as a stable hand I have experience with working with horses I used…
    11 August 2020
  • Coco
    Re: Work With Horses: Becoming a Stablehand
    I am a 14 year old girl with a passion of horses and helping out animals. I’m looking for a stable for a part time…
    20 July 2020