A 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.
Kris 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.
Anybody 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.
If 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.
The 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."