For those who are devoted to the care of horses and have the motivation to work no matter the time or weather, the horse care industry can be highly rewarding. The industry covers a wide array of areas, including riding schools, competitions, clubs, professional grooming and instructing. The work can be quite physical, so be prepared to get stuck in, but by working your way up, you may soon even take charge of a yard or become head groom.
You may even become involved in the professional equine industry, working alongside the police force, racing companies or even take horses to international shows and ensure they are well looked after. Roles are available all the way from Intermediate apprenticeships and even at higher education levels – there really is something out there for everyone!
Work experience is widely available in the horse care industry, though at the more lucrative employers this may be quite competitive. For some careers in this industry, work experience may be a necessary requirement, especially in those that may also require a degree (for instance, veterinary roles). In your placement, you will gain a real taste of the environment, and work alongside staff and equine professionals who may be able to offer guidance on what role you may be interested in.
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An excellent way to get started in the horse care industry is by undergoing an apprenticeship. Not only will you earn a salary whilst you work towards a qualification, but you will also gain the necessary work experience and practical skills that can help you get ahead in the sector. There are horse care apprenticeships widely available across the UK, it’s your chance to get a job, get qualified and get paid!
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By studying an equine course at university, you could become part of a huge industry that cares for around 900,000 horses in the UK. You will be able to gain the theoretical knowledge behind the sector, that you’ll then be able to apply to your job once you graduate. There are two tracks common in horse care studies at university – a science-focused track which will prepare students for equine veterinary medicine, and a management track for those who prefer the business side of the industry. As well as vocational and practical skills related for a horse care role, you will also develop transferable skills as part of your course such as team work, presentation skills and problem solving.
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Most graduates with a degree in a horse care related subject will go straight into work in the industry after university, however, some careers may require further specialisation, either through a graduate scheme or a further qualification. Some roles in equine veterinary science or management can be pursued at a postgraduate level. This will enable you to refine your skills to ensure that you are perfect for the career most suited to you.
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There are other routes into the industry that do not require you to have a horse care qualification, with opportunities available allowing you to work your way up in the sector. However, most employers will still expect to see an obvious passion for horses due to the intense physicality of the work – whether this means any work experience, or this is one of your hobbies.
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