For people who love horses, there is no better job than one that brings them in constant contact with their equine friends. Some horse-related jobs require only extensive experience with horses. Other jobs require completion of special training programs. Some careers, such as veterinary medicine and equine therapy, require advanced degrees. As is often the case, the jobs requiring the most education tend to pay the best.
Become an equine veterinarian. The Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree generally takes four years to complete. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that most veterinary students already have bachelor's degrees. The starting salary in 2008 for veterinary-school graduates working predominantly with horses was $41,636. The median annual wage for all veterinarians, according to the BLS 2010-2011 Occupational Outlook handbook, was $79,050. Job prospects are excellent.
Equine therapists help rehabilitate injured horses. Many programs prefer that therapists have a doctor of veterinary medicine or a master's degree in physical therapy. The website Simply Hired puts equine therapist annual salaries at $50,000, as of December 2010.
Farriers care for horses' hooves and trim and shoe them. They generally have horses on a regular foot-care schedule. Farriers with six weeks of farrier training generally make about $24,000 a year, according to the farrier site, Horseshoes. The more experience and education a farrier has, including college degrees and advanced training, the more he earns.
Riding instructors teach individuals or groups about horsemanship, from basic riding to advanced show riding. They may be in charge of a riding school, which may include such business functions as finding clients, billing and paying expenses. They may also serve as barn managers, making sure horses are fed and cared for. Some riding instructors have little or no formal training but much experience with horses. According to Salary Expert, the average riding instructor in the U.S. earns about $30,000 a year.