This is, without a doubt, the dreamiest dream horse job of all. Getting paid to ride horses is the desired job of horse people the world over. Almost every discipline employs professional riders and the job can be found everywhere from the racetrack to dude ranches.
What You Need
The main requirement for this position is keen riding skills in your chosen discipline. Good horsemanship is essential to professional riders as is solid communication skills as riders deal with any number of people in the course of their work. Pro riders can be hired for a variety of reasons, some work specifically with problem animals while others are hired to compete pricey show horses in competition.
Physical strength, a head for horseflesh and the ability to think and act quickly under stressful situations are essential in a professional rider.
Because this job is involved in so many different parts of the industry, there isn’t really a generalized description. Professional riders are expected to excel in their field and be able to ride whatever is put in front of them, often under high-stress situations. They may also provide education and guidance to horse owners, trainers and riding instructors alike.
Exercising and working with their charges prior to shows or competitions
Understanding equine nature and instincts
Possessing expert understanding of the practices/ rules/ methods within their discipline
Traveling with their mounts to shows and events
Working with trainers and owners for optimal results
Knowing show or event rules and courses
Requirements for pro riders will vary by location and discipline. Rodeos may be more lenient in their hiring practices than eventing trainers, for example. Many will require a high school diploma and some may ask for various types of certification. However, which this job specifically, often a track record of proven experience is worth more than any type of formal education to potential employers.
A few places to start if you are interested in a career as a professional rider.
*Link opens in a new window
Professional Riders Association
The Right Job For You?
If this isn’t your dream horse job, try using the search below to find it. You can also find more horse job descriptions on our careers page.