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

Work With Horses: Becoming a Stablehand

By: Margaret Paxton - Updated: 28 Mar 2018 | 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]
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
I am a 27-year old man wanting to go to U.K. any time now in order to work with horses. I have read the information on your site with a little help from a friend, as my English is base: in fact, apart from loving horses, another reason why I want to go is that I would like to take this opportunity to improve my English. I have done plenty of horse riding (I started when I was 9) and am experienced in horse training and care. I would be particularly interested in Racing and Race Horses and Stud Farms and Breeding Establishments. I would also like to receive details about the type of accommodation available for either option, and whether there is the possibility of earning a little money. I thank you in advance and look forward to hearing from you. Yours faithfully, Alberto Lumetta
ALBERTO - 7-Aug-12 @ 9:43 PM
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
  • CareerWithAnimals
    Re: General Work Experience with Animals
    kimberley - Your Question:Hi my name is Kim. I'm 15 years old and im based in Liverpool , England. I am currently…
    17 September 2018
  • kimberley
    Re: General Work Experience with Animals
    hi my name is Kim. I'm 15 years old and im based in Liverpool , England . I am currently looking for any work experience…
    15 September 2018
  • johnsmith_pd
    Re: A Day in the Life of Professional Dog Walker
    Hello, such a great post, I walk dogs from individual households its just safer that way as I have that very…
    3 August 2018
  • Kelz
    Re: Run your own Animal Shelter
    I'm running a business already and am already struggling to get it off the ground but I also work with troubled young people at a…
    19 July 2018
  • Rani158
    Re: What Does a Horse Whisperer Do?
    Which qualifications from college/university do you need to be a horse whisperer? Also is there another name for the same job?
    27 June 2018
  • Amylp
    Re: Run your own Animal Shelter
    Hello I’m wanting to open my own shelter to help all these lovely animals as I’ve wanted to since I can remember has any one got…
    14 June 2018
  • Lauryn
    Re: General Work Experience with Animals
    I'm a 14 year old looking for work experience next year in some sort of zoology particularly marine zoology. I'm based…
    11 June 2018
  • CareerWithAnimals
    Re: What You Need to Become a Vet
    Caitlin - Your Question:Hi I’m in year 8 picking my options for GCSE next year. I’ve always want s to be a vet it’s a dream so I…
    5 June 2018
  • Caitlin
    Re: What You Need to Become a Vet
    Hi I’m in year 8 picking my options for GCSE next year . I’ve always want s to be a vet it’s a dream so I know for sure I’m…
    4 June 2018
  • Rache
    Re: Work at Boarding Kennels & Catteries
    @Kiahn - you normally have to be a minimum of 16 years of age to apply to work in a kennels.
    14 May 2018
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the CareerWithAnimals website. Please read our Disclaimer.