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Horse Rancher  What They Do

Just the Facts


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dotA horse rancher may train horses to become racehorses, show horses or work horses. They may breed or board horses, or offer trail rides to the public.

A horse rancher's day-to-day activities normally involve feeding and taking care of horses. Beyond that, a rancher's routine really depends on their area of specialty and the size of ranch they operate. They spend time shoeing, guiding the public on tours, farming (for hay), training and giving riding lessons. A large part of the day is spent outdoors.

dotKris Carroll has been involved with horses for over 40 years. Carroll says that anyone considering becoming a horse rancher should know that a ranch needs to be run just like any other business: with an office, business accounts, association memberships and so on.

dotAnybody thinking of starting a horse ranch will need to make a large investment in a barn, land, horses and insurance. Carroll suggests spending a few years working for others before starting your own operation. "Without thorough knowledge and credentials, a bank loan is unlikely."

Larger operations will hire people to work on their ranches as grooms, barn managers, resident trainers, caretakers, farriers and tour guides.

dotIf you like your weekends off, horse ranching may not be for you. "Work with animals is always seven days per week," says Stephen Parsons, a Utah horse rancher. Ranching is 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A horse can injure itself at any time of the day or night and need immediate care.

dotThe job of a horse rancher is quite active, involving a lot of walking and lifting hay. "It's manual labor," says Carroll. "Though great physical strength isn't necessary."

At a Glance

Raise, breed and board horses

  • Interest in horse sports is growing
  • Owning your own ranch is a high-risk venture
  • Love of horses is paramount, but consider post-secondary training