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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Hi I’m Lilly I’m 14 in year 10. I am 15 in April and I’m looking to be a un paid part time stable hand. I have some experience with horses but not as much as I want. But I do know how to respect a horse and that there is always a risk. I live on hayling island but I can go to Havant Portsmouth and Waterlooville so if anyone wants a hand.
Lilly - 12-Sep-22 @ 1:08 AM
Hi, my name's Lucy and I'm 13 (14 in July). I've just moved to st Austell, Cornwall and am dying to work with horses. I've had some experience riding and helping around the yard.
Lucy - 17-May-21 @ 8:24 PM
Hi I do prefer to be called jo I am 50 yes just turned but love horses iv always wanted to work on a ranch or maybe have one if my own I help a friend out withhus horse when ever he needs me my children are growing but things can be arranged I'm needed to help out I can't drive at the moment by but am planning to get my provisional lisence but my friend he will help me out getting to where I Ned to help out I don't know much much I have led horses from stable to field and put them back.in again I have also cleaned out stables I'm not frightened of them they are beautiful creatures would love to help and get qualified horse riddng lessons would be a bonus thank you stay safe I live inTorquay
Jo - 31-Mar-21 @ 12:51 AM
I’m a 12 year old looking for a unpaid stable hand job but don’t let my age fool you I’ve done a horse course that taught me A lot about horses The horse course even offered me a job because I’m very eager about horses and knew half the stuff she was teaching me I do every think exactly how you tell me to do it and when you tell me to do it I’ll be available all the time I have five animals that I take care Very well please consider. Kai fisher
Kai Fisher - 25-Jan-21 @ 12:34 AM
Hi I am Tochi and I am 14 years old. I have a passion to working with horses and animals I just love them so much. I am looking for Horseriding stables that I can work in the half term breaks and on the weekends.
Tochi Enechi - 12-Dec-20 @ 11:00 PM
Hi I’m Tochi and I am 14 hearse old in year 9. I was wondering if I could help out in Horseriding as I have experience with horses. I have been riding horses for 5 years and I love them.
Tochi Enechi - 12-Dec-20 @ 10:58 PM
hey im 16 and im looking for a job with horses i have trained and worked with horses all my life i want to become a full time trainer and want a job to earn money and also do what i love to do
brooke - 28-Nov-20 @ 1:52 AM
hi im charlotte, but you can call me charlie, im 15 years old and in grade 9 looking for a job with hands on experience, i live in brisbane, i have been looking for a job with horses for awhile now, and well thats how i ended up here, i love horses so much, i know how to ride, lead, turn out, and muck out the stalls, i may not know how to do most of the care for horses, but i am a very quick learner and would love to find a job in the brisbane area if there was any. i cant not work during the week as i start school around 8:00am-8:30am and finish around 3:00pm-4:50pm, as i would love to work after school i can not, but my weekends are free, i am available from 9:00am-3:30pm on both days of the weekend.
charlie - 9-Nov-20 @ 11:11 AM
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
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.
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 ????
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 ????