Horse trainer

What they do

Horse trainers work to ensure that their horses are at peak performance for a race or show. Horse trainers may feed, exercise and groom horses. They may also be involved in teaching jockeys, and ensuring stablehands are shown the ropes. They plan and supervise training programs for the horses in their care. They will attend race or show meetings and keep records of accounts. Many horse trainers are self-employed, and own their horses.

Working conditions

Horse trainers may be required to start work early and finish late. Even those that are self-employed may work long hours. The work may be in hot and not-so-clean conditions.

Tools and technologies

Horse trainers need to be proficient with bridles, saddles and other types of harness equipment.

How do I become one?

Education and training

You can work as a horse trainer without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. Some horse trainers begin by being a stablehand and gain experience working in stables under experienced trainers. Entry to this occupation may be improved by completing a qualification in equine or racing.

You can undertake a traineeship. The racing stablehand traineeship usually takes 18 months to complete, and is available as a school based traineeship. The racing trackrider and racing advanced stablehand traineeships usually take 36 months to complete.

The Certificate II in Equine Studies is offered at TAFE colleges throughout Western Australia. Browse courses through Jobs and Skills WA and My Skills to find a registered provider near you.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend  time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.

You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Required registration and licensing

To work as a horse trainer in Western Australia, you may need to obtain a license trainer from Racing and Wagering WA.