The Footnotes

AGRICULTURE & ENVIRONMENT

So, you want a job looking after horses?

Love horses? Love The Saddle Club? Chances are the equine industry could grab your interest.

Equine = horses

The horse industry is estimated to contribute over $6.3 billion to GDP in Australia, and if the value of volunteer labour is also included this pushes the contribution of the industry to almost $8 billion. With these numbers, there are understandably a lot of jobs that go with it, but for now let’s focus on those to do with equine health and insuring that the horses are well looked after.

Lots of professions within the industry are focused on equine health and insuring that the horses are well looked after.

Veterinarian or Vet Nurse

One of the obvious jobs here is for an Equine Veterinarian – a veterinarian who specialises in horses. Or more specifically, you could also be a Track Veterinarian. As a Track Vet you would be ensuring that all racehorses are healthy and capable of competition.

You would be employed by the racetrack association and remain on call during live racing to attend to any injuries, emergencies, or late scratches. You would also oversee the collection and testing of blood and urine samples for horse drug testing. While it’s common for all vets to be on call over weekends, expect to work weekends in the racing industry!

All equine veterinarians will require a veterinary science degree. Read here how to get one, or here for how to become a Vet Nurse.

If you like treating horses with all types of conditions then working in general practice may be an option for you. If however you prefer to specialise in a particular part of veterinary medicine such as surgical or dental, then you should consider gaining as much experience in that area as possible to develop specific skills you will need. Start to network and discover what interests you most throughout your studies in industry groups.

Equine massage

Like humans, animals suffer aches, pains, stiffness and injuries, which can be improved by non-invasive therapies, like massage. Yes, you can be a horse masseuse. Equine massage therapy does not require a diploma or bachelors degree, and there are a number of private college course options available.

Farrier

Even more specific- there is also the job of a Farrier. A Farrier removes worn shoes from hooves, and will trim, shape and measure them for new shoes – heating and hammering new metal shoes the fit the horses. You would also be examining and treating any bruises and cracks. Farriery courses are available through TAFE, but before you enrol- be wary that employment for Farriers has declined by a rate of -13.4% over the past 5 years and is expected to further decline through 2017.

 

Perhaps you’re interested in horse management and breeding? There is A LOT of money floating around this part of the industry…

So, you want a job looking after horses?
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