What to expect from a career in the Equine Industry

For many, riding horses is more than a hobby – it’s a passion. Through equine programs at Ontario colleges, it can become a career as well. These programs teach different aspects of working in the horse industry, while also equipping students with advanced riding skills and horse care knowledge.

If you’d like to channel your interest in horses into viable skills that can be applied in the working world, here’s what you need to know.

Equine Courses

Equine programs are often offered as certificates, though diploma options are also available. A few of the program options that can be pursued include:

  • Riding. Riding programs are designed to help students improve and refine their riding skills, while also learning proper horse care. Students have the option of specializing in English or Western riding.
  • Horse Industry Technician. Horse industry technician courses focus on skills like stable management, equine therapies, proper feed and feeding techniques, and numerous other practical skills for work in the equine industry.
  • Coaching and Horsemanship. Coaching and horsemanship programs are designed to help students improve their riding skills and develop the knowledge and techniques to complete Instructor and Coaching levels and work as riding coaches. A combination of theory, riding lessons, and clinics make up the curricula of these programs.
  • Performance Horse Handling. Performance horse handling prepares students to work in show jumping, racing, breeding and a number of other industry areas by teaching them safe horse handling, horse behaviour and race or competition preparation.

Bring Your Own Horse Option

The majority of Ontario college equine programs offer the option to bring your own horse. If you choose this option, you will be responsible for paying boarding fees for your horse throughout each semester, though a portion of the charge will be refunded.

General Equine Program Requirements

Equine programs at Ontario colleges typically require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent. Because these programs involve the care and maintenance of a horse, which requires a lot of space, as well as plenty of hands-on training time, enrolment is limited and programs fill up quickly.

Equine Jobs & Salaries

Jobs in the equestrian field can involve anything from stable management and equestrian therapy to riding instruction at camps, schools and resorts or through private lessons.

Wages and salaries in this industry can vary widely, depending on your level of training and your particular job. Hourly wages could run anywhere from $30 or $40 and up for private lessons to $100 or higher for equine therapy. Salary workers on farms and at camps generally make anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000 a year to start.

Ontario Colleges Offering Equine Programs

Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of equine programs at Ontario colleges. 

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