If you have always wanted to become a professional horse rider but not sure what or how to go about it, this article will help a great deal.

It reveals lots of tips and ways of becoming a professional horse rider.


Why Become a Professional Horse Rider?

Horses in America have always captured, for the most part, the hearts of many Americans.

We admire the spirit of the untamed Mustang, depend upon the power of plow horses, admire the speed and grace of thoroughbred racehorses, and are in awe over the majesty of horses such as the Clydesdales.

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We have even named our modes of transportation, the automobile, after horses.

Such names as the Pinto, Mustang, Colt, Bronco, to name a few.

Also, the power of our motorized vehicles is measured in horsepower.

Is it any wonder then that these magnificent creatures are admired, respected, and loved.

Some individuals have even gone so far as to become professional horse riders.

Let us look at these individuals and ride along and learn about this profession and how they can make money.



26 Helpful Ways &Tips to Help You Become a Professional Horse Rider


1. Know What an Equestrian is 

The word equestrian is utilized to define anyone who is associated with horses.

Therefore, individuals who groom the horses, are involved with a competition involving horses, a division of the police force, racehorse owners, etc. would all fall under the broad definition of equestrian.

Added to the mix is a professional horse rider who earns their living as it relates to riding horses.

Professional horse riders could include those involved with equestrian events such as a steeplechase, playing polo, a jockey, etc.


2. Know about the Cost

If considering becoming a professional horse rider it is important to understand that in the equestrian world, there is a significant cost to be considered.

Specifically, there is the cost of taking horseback riding lessons, if owning your horse, the costs associated with boarding the animal, the travel costs associated with entering competitive events, etc.

Also, there is the time cost as it relates to continuing taking lessons and caring for the horse before and after any riding lessons or events.


3. Have a Plan

To become a professional horse rider, it is important to have a strategy or a plan of action.

That plan of action should entail the number of times a week that you will be involved in riding lessons, what type of events you wish to be involved with as a professional horse rider, competitions that you want to enter, additional schooling, etc.


4. Get the Right Equipment

Of course, being a professional horse rider requires from the early onset of your career that you invest in quality equipment.

Your equipment would include riding pants, a shirt made from breathable fabric, quality boots, a helmet, and a riding vest.

If the horse that you are riding is part of a riding stable then most likely, they will have the equipment needed for you to fully outfit the horse.


5. Grooming

Another important aspect of being a professional rider is not just simply learning how to ride a horse by taking lessons, dismounting, and then going home until the next lesson is taken.

To get to know the animal, and become more engaged, it is important to care for the animal before and after the riding.

This includes the proper grooming of the animal, making sure that the horse is cared for after the workout by using a sponge or washcloth to clean around the horse’s eyes and nose and other sensitive areas.

Other grooming actions include combing and brushing the horse’s body, cleaning the hoofs, brushing out the mane and tail, and more.

It is important to be part of this process because it gives the soon-to-be professional rider a more involved perspective of the care of the animal and demonstrates respect.


6. Ranch

When choosing the career path of a professional horse rider it is important to get a solid foundation.

That solid foundation begins with your choice of riding stable.

It is important to research the various stables, what their service provides, quality customer services, good experience, as well as providing riding lessons.

The best way to research the stables is by getting referrals from other individuals or doing your investigation online and checking to see what sort of customer reviews have been posted.

Also See: How to Get Paid and Earn Money Horse Racing.


7. Join Groups 

In preparation for your career as a professional horse rider, it is also important to be engaged and involved with several associations and groups.

Some of those clubs could include the Pony Club and 4H.

Being involved in these groups will not only be rewarding as new friends will be made but also be an opportunity to learn about animal husbandry and taking care of horses.


8. Cleaning Stalls

As part of your care and moving towards being a professional horse rider, it is important to be involved with all aspects of your most precious resource.

That precious resource is your horse.

You must be also involved with the cleaning of the animal stall to ensure that they have a clean environment and through this process ensure the animal’s health, well-being and maintain optimum performance.


9. Assistant Trainer

An important aspect of becoming a professional horse rider is to work your way up through all of the occupations that are associated with the professional horse-riding industry.

Therefore, an important role is to become an assistant trainer in your professional horse-riding career path.

By becoming an assistant trainer, you will learn more about the training of horses and the complex nature of horses which will all add to your training of becoming a professional horse rider.


10. Associate Riding Instructor

Another important job role or function is to become an assistant riding instructor.

As an apprentice to a riding instructor, you will learn the ins and outs of course riding instruction, and perhaps become more aware of training techniques that you hadn’t been taught.


11. Assistant Barn Manager

Another opportunity that would provide a quality dimension to your professional horse-riding skill and acumen is to be an assistant barn manager.

By working under the guidance of a barn manager you will not only learn the practical ins and outs of managing the animals and activities associated with the riding stable but also learn the business side which will help you to fully realize, understand, and appreciate your role as a professional horse rider.


12. Skills

To be a professional horse rider there are certain characteristics or skills that the individual should possess.

Those skills include:

  • Patience
  • Persistence
  • Empathy
  • Driven to succeed
  • Continual quest for knowledge


13. Bareback

An excellent way of being more engaged with the animal that you are riding is to ride without the use of a saddle.

In the initial stages of your riding, this should not be tried but as you develop your confidence and skillset and in concert with your teacher, you can begin to approach the riding of the horse without the use of a saddle.

Also, riding bareback will help increase your horseback riding confidence.

It is also important to have a good bond or communication with your animal.

One of the ways to facilitate this communication is again through riding bareback.

Riding bareback will help you to communicate better with your horse and sense the flow of the animal’s energy and muscle movement as they are taken through their paces.


14. Communication 

As part of the communication process with your horse, you must understand how a horse responds and communicates through its various body movements.

By studying a horse as they interact with people and with other horses, you can begin to realize how the horse communicates and use that study of their mannerisms to aid you in your career path of being a professional horse rider.

It is important to know that a horse, as well as other animals, can sense from your body language what you are communicating and the energy that you are transmitting.

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If you are tense, then most likely the horse will mirror that tenseness.


15. Discipline 

In choosing your career path of being a professional horse rider, it is important to identify and pursue the specific discipline of the horseback riding arena.

Specifically, you can go into show jumping, barrel racing, racing, polo, etc.


16. Study Other Riders 

An important aspect of your pursuit and study of being a professional horse rider is to watch those who have excelled in their field.

To be a champion it is important to learn from a champion.

You can follow the careers of others who have excelled as professional horse riders, watch their technique, learn from their involvement in the particular area of professional horse riding, and try to emulate their skills and techniques.


17. Learn from Professional 

Most professionals in the world of athletics hire a coach who will understand the dynamics of the entire activity.

Therefore, a good coach will not only understand what the animal is capable of but will get to know you and work with you and set the bar high as it relates to keeping you focused, disciplined, and giving nothing but your best.


18. Equine College

As part of the professional horse-riding career track, there are options as it relates to earning a degree.

Many professional riders have earned a four-year equestrian degree.

The degree will not only help open up doors to successfully pursue your chosen career path but also give you a greater understanding of horses and how they respond.


19. Scholarships

As you excel and increase your level of skills, ultimately people will begin to take notice of your potential.

Therefore, it is important to note that there may be scholarships available for you to attend equine academies or further your education.

A listing of potential scholarships can be found by clicking here.


20. Competitions 

To earn money by being a professional horse rider requires that you compete.

As much as you are able, it is important to enter as many competitions as possible.

Not only is there the opportunity to perhaps win prize money but, with each competition you are involved with, the more relaxed you will be as it relates to competing and subsequently the greater your performance.

It is important to remember that competing is not just about winning but it is putting into practice what you have learned and trained for, with each competition bringing added experience.


21. Get Noticed

Another aspect of the importance of competing is the possibility of getting noticed.

As you demonstrate your skill level, as it relates to your horsemanship, people will begin to note your ability and your continued growth and potential of being a professional horse rider.

One of the events that are important to participate in if at all possible is the North American Young Riders Championships.

This event allows riders from all over the country to showcase their discipline as it relates to horse riding, which includes show jumping, riding, endurance, and dressage.

The age group for entrants ages 14 to 21

Participating and distinguishing yourself may open doors for your career.


22. Practice 

As the adage goes, the best way to get to Carnegie Hall is by practice, practice, practice,

This same mantra is the same for whatever discipline an individual is involved with.

Having aspirations to be a professional horse rider is no different and the path to excellence is by practicing your discipline as often and as frequently as you can.

There is no money associated with practicing but the return on investment can be rewarded.


23. Experience 

It is important to remember that experience is a great teacher.

Therefore, the more competition that you have been involved with, the more effective your career will be as it relates to being a professional horse rider and earning money as you succeed in the various competitions.


24. Professionalism 

It is always important to display professionalism in your field of endeavor.

Being a professional horse rider is no different and the individual should have the same commitment to being a consummate professional.

Therefore, as a rider, you should show great style, grace, maturity, and respect to those around you and for the horse riding discipline.

Also, as part of your professionalism, you should demonstrate this in the way that you compete, treat others around you, and even the way that you dress and present yourself.


25. Bravery 

Horse riding and especially being a professional horse rider is not for the faint of heart.

We are talking about being on an animal that could weigh well over 1100 pounds.

Therefore, safety is paramount, and it is important to be completely aware in the moment of any situations or possibilities that may “spook” the animal or that may present a situation that could physically harm you.


26. Good Health

An important step when pursuing your career as a professional horse rider is to remember to be aware of your own physical body.

Often, we are driven to succeed and don’t take time for ourselves physically or to fully recuperate from any injuries such as a back strain, sprain of the ankle or wrist, etc.

Again, when riding a horse, all of your senses and your body need to be fully engaged and any injury or compromise of your ability to control the animal may have undesired consequences.


Personal Story

My wife has two granddaughters with her oldest daughter.

On one occasion we had the opportunity to visit the family weekend and as part of our stay, we were invited to watch the oldest granddaughter go out to a local ranch and practice her horseback riding.

The plan was to meet the family out at the ranch and when we arrived, we were surprised at the transformation that had taken place with her oldest granddaughter.

She looked like something out of National Velvet with the wearing of the riding helmet, pants and boots, and the coat.

She looked very impressive but what was more impressive was the size of the animal that she proceeded to straddle with the help of the trainer.

Her petite size was even more pronounced as she sat on the top of this huge beast.

She went through her paces and did her jumping and with each jump that she successfully made I found myself holding my breath until the jump was completed.

Although it was a great experience and her horsemanship was remarkable, it was something I did not want to repeat.

It was just too much for me to manage given the smallness of the rider in comparison to the size of the horse.


Becoming a Professional Horse Rider FAQs


What is a Good Age to Begin Horseback Riding Lessons? 

The beginning age for a young person to begin horseback riding lessons can vary according to the child’s size and maturity level.

However, most instructors require that the child be at least seven years of age and older.


What Are Some Significant Horse-related Statistics?

According to https://www.ridewithequo.com/blog/the-horse-industry-by-the-numbers

there are:

  • 9.2 million horses
  • 3.9 million are used for recreational purposes
  • 2.7 million for showing
  • 1.75 million for other activities which include police security, farm work, rodeo, and more
  • 840,000 horses are used for racing
  • 30% of the total number of riders are involved in competition


You Can Do It

It takes a special type of individual to mount the back of these huge magnificent animals and through your self-discipline can rein in these animals.

Horseback riding is not for the faint of heart for the rider and those who are involved in the lives of the rider.

But, to see the horsemanship of a rider in control of the beauty and strength of these creatures is an inspiring sight to behold.



Horses have always been a critical partner in forging the nation of America.

Today their role and service vary from their use by law enforcement, riding the range, racing, etc.

Additionally, some individuals are known as professional horse riders who not only have a love and affinity for these animals but become a team during many equestrian sports.

Horses are found all around the world but somehow the American horse epitomizes the spirit of our nation as together a nation was forged.

Again, this company has paid $25+ million to members:

SurveyJunkie (only USA, Canada, Australia residents allowed). You can earn money sharing your thoughts. They have already paid $25+ million to their 20+ million members just for sharing their thoughts and opinions. Click here to join SurveyJunkie for FREE

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Apart from being a seasoned Personal Finance expert who has written for top publications around the world, I bring significant personal financial experience. Long story short... through bad financial choices... I found myself $100,000 plus in debt. I was able to dissolve this indebtedness and regain financial solvency. This financial turn around was accomplished through reading, studying and implementing a financial plan. My financial plan included paying down my debt through budgeting, being cognizant of where my financial resources were being spent, changing my attitude about money and understanding the binding chains of the improper use of credit. Today, and for 10 years, I have been debt free and have invested wisely to enjoy my current retirement. This is allowing me to write to help others make, save and grow money wisely!