The handler is responsible for the control and grooming of a horse in their charge. Depending on the size of the establishment, duties of a groom and handlers can overlap to a large degree.
Handlers are expected to be the authority on their horse charges and probably spend the most time with each animal over all. This is a position which benefits from an in-depth knowledge of horses, keen attention to detail and an inclination for teamwork.
Experience managing horses, the ability to problem solve under pressure and a strong character are important components of a successful horse handler.
Handlers work in conjunction with horse trainers, assistant trainers and riding instructors to ensure that each horse is properly exercised, receiving adequate care and ready for work. A great deal of time is spent directly with the animal and a strong sense of personal responsibility goes along with this job.
Watching their charges closely for soundness and health changes
Administering prescribed medications
General first aid
Following supplement schedules & feeding schedules
Catching, grooming and tacking an animal for riding
Ensuring their charges get adequate exercise
Supervising vet and farrier visits
Often accompany their charges to competition
Sometimes will show their charges in groundwork
Some employers may require a high school diploma, but beyond that potential employers will usually be looking for someone with experience. Because this position requires a lot of personal responsibility for the animals, the application process may be rigorous & some formal education may be required in larger establishments.
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