How to work with horses and not go broke

If you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably been here; how do I travel and work with horses without going broke. It’s pretty well known that there is not a lot of money in working with horses, instead it’s a passion you pursue. However, there are so many ways to work, live and travel with horses and not go broke, or even earn and save up some extra cash along the way. In this post, I’ll be scratching the surface of this topic with lots of tips and tricks along the way!

horse riding with a friesian on the beach in mozambique
Riding stunning Deputy (Friesian x Boerperd) on the Mozambiquan beach
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First of all, it’s important you think about these two options:
Either choose to go for a paid job with horses or earn money online while either volunteering with horses or working for little money. Which you choose depends on quite a few things.

Location – Where would you like to go? What’s the minimum wage and average salary for the job you’re interested in? Is it enough for what you have in mind? If you’re planning to stay in a country with a much lower income compared to your home country, you’ll definitely be fine living there. However, if you’re planning on flying back home every couple of months, it might not work out so well.

Timespan – Looking at being away for a few months? Or do you want to stay a while; gap year style? Or are you looking to properly live this lifestyle? If you’re only going for a short amount of time, it’s difficult to get a well paid job and so it’s smart to consider a working holiday or volunteer program.

Motivation – Getting a (properly) paid horse job as your sole income can be very challenging. However, if you’re motivated and putting in the time and effort, it’s definitely possible! If this is your goal, don’t give up too quickly. It’s all about connections and communication, which I’ll explain more thoroughly later.

Experience – No matter the amount of passion you have, the sad truth is if you’re super experienced, you’re able to get a better job faster. However, if you’re highly motivated you can work your way up to this. You can start as a volunteer, gain experience and go from there; all up to you.

Interests – Do you have hobbies, interests, passions or talent for jobs that can be done online? Online jobs can be anything nowadays, and I will explain more about it later in this post. Some examples are translation, editing, drawing, painting, and SO much more! Think about this for a while and see if you can possibly monetize any of your other talents or interests.

Goals – Planning on getting filthy rich? Just planning to come by? Have some savings you don’t mind spending? Or are you planning on pursuing this lifestyle and planning to save up for later? You’ll have to keep your goal in mind when planning your trip or even future to see which of the two options fits your personal needs best.

Paid horse jobs

Just a few scenarios in which your best option is to pursue a paid equestrian job.

You’re planning on doing this for an extended period of time.
You’re planning on this being your sole income.
You have lots of experience in the field.
You’re motivated to work hard and put in the time to achieve your goals.
You’re willing to change location to pursue your goal.

If you see yourself in these descriptions, it’s time to buckle down and look for your dream job! There is so much to explain about this and I will write on this topic a lot more, but for now; tips and tricks!

training arabian horse in south africa
Training Uma (Arab x Basotho pony) in South Africa
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1. Preparation is half the work. Make sure to put in the effort in your CV, what do your future employers want to know? Be convincing and confident about your skills! Make a list of your skills and make sure to seek out employers that need YOU. Are you an excellent horse trainer? Look for stud/breeding farms that need their young horses trained instead of places that buy their horses already trained. Are you amazing at hospitality and communication with guests? Apply to a company that can’t live without you like a lodge with horse rides or a horse riding holiday. Read here which other jobs there are in the horse world, you’ll be surprised by the possibilities! Make a list of your skills and the jobs that match them and be specific about it in order to make yourself indispensable.

2. Have a look on the Yard and Groom website, there are lots of paid horse jobs on here in different fields. From there, make sure to write a compelling motivation letter and strong CV, and apply to every job you really like. You likely won’t be accepted for the first job you apply to, so don’t be disappointed when this happens. If you’re persistent you will find a job!

Social media and creating a network! I can’t stress enough how useful it is to have a network of like minded people around you, and we have social media to help us create it. I started my instagram page a few years ago and met so many incredible people through it. It has allowed me to connect with equestrians from all around the world, exchange stories and experiences with them, and connect with horse riding companies. Instagram has actually yielded quite a few job offers and other opportunities for me. When you have a network like this, it’s much easier to look for your dream job!

Earn online while volunteering

You’re planning on doing this for a short period of time.
You’re planning on using some of your savings for your trip.
You don’t have lots of experience in the field.
You want to go to a specific location despite salaries being low.

If you see yourself in the first 3 options, opt for a volunteer program. Check out this post to learn how and what to expect. However, if you see yourself in option number 4 but want to stay for an extended period of time without draining your savings, online work is something for you! Here come the tips and tricks.

training thoroughbred horse in south africa
Training Coca (Thoroughbred x Basotho pony) in South Africa
All training footage is shot with Pivo
  1. Sell your skills on Fiverr! Are you good at translation, writing, drawing, editing, or any other skill that can be sold online? Have a look at Fiverr, the possibilities are honestly endless on here and you’ll be able to make some extra cash off it for sure. There are possibilities to sell courses and lessons on here as well, and you can create package deals! It’s perfect to start as an online job.
  2. Already have some experience with an online job/skill? Create a website or social media page to advertise and sell your expertise on. This can be in the form of a blog (like this one you’re scrolling through right now!), online shop, or anything else you can think of. In the case of a blog, you’re not directly selling your expertise per se. However, it is possible to also sell lessons, merch, courses or books. You’re creating content on a topic you’re very knowledgeable about, gaining an audience and advertising for other companies through ads. You’ll see ads displayed on this page as well, which means that you’re helping me reach my goals! Just by scrolling past some ads! Make sure to keep in mind that running a website and creating content takes up a lot of time and energy, so it’s important to be super passionate about the topic you’re writing about.
  3. Start as a volunteer at a company you like, while also working online. Make sure to find opportunities where you have enough spare time to work on your online job. Workaway offers a lot of these types of volunteer jobs, requiring approximately 5 hours of work per day, allowing you to work online for another few hours. If possible, find a program that provides you with accommodation and food in exchange for your work; less costs means more money left to save up.

Last but not least. Have fun with it! It’s fine to change your plan when you feel like that’s the best thing to do. As long as you’re going after your dream and doing your best, you’ll do just fine. I changed up my plan drastically by dropping out of med school and I’m happier now than I’ve ever been.

I hope this article has been useful! If this article has been helpful please share it with your friends and don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter to receive more tips and be the first to know when I post new articles!

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