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Horse Training Certification

Through horse training programs, you'll learn the correct techniques for approaching and handling horses, training horses, and instructing riders. Find out about training opportunities, coursework and certification.

What Horse Training Opportunities Are Available?

Many schools offer campus-based horse training programs, particularly at the associate's degree and certificate levels. Specific programs are offered in equine training, equine science, and horse training. These programs typically take 1 to 2 years to complete.

Due to the hands-on nature of training horses, these programs aren't readily available online, though you may find some online courses that deal with various equine training areas, such as horse management and racing competition.

Programs Available Certificate program, associate's degree
Common Courses Training and riding equipment, handling techniques, age-appropriate training methods, nutrition, identifying and treating lameness
Certifications Available Riding, equine facility management, riding instructor
Job Outlook (2016-2026)22% (animal care and service workers)*
Median annual Salary (May 2018) $29,290 (animal trainers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Learn?

Courses cover training tools, riding equipment, and items used to guide horses, such as bits, saddles, and reins. Through campus-based horse training programs, you receive experience breaking horses at different ages to study the techniques and training tools used. You may learn to identify lameness, study basic treatments and use preventative measures. Other topics of study include:

  • Disease management
  • Nutrition
  • Pattern-based commands
  • Training students to ride
  • Handling techniques
  • Showing horses

What Certifications Are Available?

The Certified Horsemanship Association also offers certification that requires the ability to lead and ride horses competently. You must be able to canter, trot and gallop, as well. They offer certifications evaluating your ability to manage barns or large equine training companies and to instruct riders of varying skills levels. The United States Dressage Federation also offers instructor certifications, which enable the bearers to train horses and teach riders (Source: www.usdf.org).

How Can I Use Horse Training Certifications?

Horse training certifications demonstrate your dedication to the trade and your proficiencies with the work. Certifications are available at different levels based on your training, skillset, and experience. Your level of certification also regulates who you're able to teach because you can't work with students who've reached your level or a level beyond your own. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics animal trainers, including horse trainers, made a median annual salary of $29,290 as of May 2018.