There are many great side jobs in the horse industry that allow you to earn extra income. Here are seven of our favorite business opportunities that you could pursue on a part time basis:
1. Teaching Lessons or Clinics
Teaching lessons is a great part time gig and there are usually many area stables willing to let you instruct students for a share of the profits. You can also work directly with students who have their own horses and keep your full fee. Many students are only available during evening and weekend hours (due to work or school commitments), so this is a perfect part time job option.
Experienced instructors can offer private lessons or group lessons. Pricing can vary wildly based on the going rate in the area and the length of the session, but most lessons will run in the $30-$50 range per student. Longer or private lessons tend to cost a premium rate.
Clinics can be another great way to supplement your income as an instructor, especially if you have a strong reputation in your specific discipline as an instructor, rider, or judge. Clinics are often two-day events held over the weekend, and they bring in much more money than a typical lesson (often a few hundred dollars per attendee).
2. Braiding and Clipping
If you have braiding and clipping skills (or are willing to learn) there are many stables that seek outside help with show preparation services. You can get started providing these services by canvassing local show barns in advance, or putting up signs at the show grounds.
An experienced braider with a good reputation usually attracts more customers than they are able to service at a horse show. There are many different styles of braids, and both the mane and tail may be braided depending on the discipline in which the horse will be performing. This is a late night or early morning type of job, as the horses must be ready for warm-ups and morning classes. Fees for braiding usually range from $50 to $100 per horse, and a skilled braider can complete their task in under an hour.
Body clipping is another grooming service that must be performed regularly for show horses, and some pros have turned it into an art form (adding patterns and designs to the coat). Clips range from partial to full and there are many different styles. A full body clip often runs $125 to $175, and a partial body clip $75 to $125. It can take from one to two hours to complete a full body clip including detailed work on areas like the face and legs.
3. Tack Cleaning
Busy horse owners are often in need of tack cleaning services, so this can be a great niche business. Tack cleaning prices usually run a few dollars per item, or a full set of tack for a flat rate of $20 to $30. Tack in especially poor condition could be priced at a higher rate. Some tack cleaners also have skill working with leather and are able to do minor repair work.
Photography services are utilized in all areas of the horse business: racing, shows, sales, breeding farms, and more. You can specialize in doing conformation shots or action shots, stallions, foals, yearlings, racehorses, or any specific breed or discipline. Videos are also an option if you have the equipment for that.
You can sell your photos directly to the owner of the horse or work as a freelancer and offer your work to equine publications and stock photo repositories. Payment is usually by the photo (which the owner or publication selects from available proofs).
5. Show Judging
If you are familiar with the rules and requirements of your discipline you might consider starting to work as a horse show judge at local shows. Judges usually earn a few hundred dollars per day and may also be compensated for travel and meals. Shows are also often hosted over the weekend, so this helps those who have limited availability during the work week.
6. Blanket Washing
Blanket washing is a time consuming task that many owners would rather pay someone else to handle. You can collect blankets (and saddle pads), washing them in commercial machines at Laundromats for a minimal cost and line drying them. A large blanket could bring in $20 to $40 per wash, with smaller items like saddle pads running $8 to $10. Most professional blanket washing services fold the blanket and package it in a plastic bag to return to the owner. Those with sewing skills and equipment could also consider doing repairs and monogramming for an additional fee.
7. Trail Rides
Leading trail rides can be a great way to supplement your income, especially if you are located near scenic areas or beaches. Trail guides may supply the horses to be used on the tour, or owners may bring their own horses to ride.
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