The Most Surefire and Profitable Ways to Make Money With Horses


How To Make Money With Horses

We’ve all heard there’s no money in horses, and by the conventional sense, that statement may be true. However, thanks to modern culture and technology, making money can be relatively easy while being around the animals you love. I have made working with horses my full-time job. In this article, I will share the most surefire and profitable ways to make money with horses!

How do you make money with horses? Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need high start-up costs or even much experience to start working with horses. Check out this list; from the least experience necessary to education and training required, here are the most surefire and profitable ways to make money with horses:

  • Customized Horse Products
  • Social Media Influencing
  • Equine Photography
  • Farm-Sitting
  • Grooming Services
  • Horse Motel
  • Stud Services
  • Equine Massage
  • Farrier
  • Equine Chiropractor

I have dabbled in a few of these areas and had great success. For each job, I will share the work that goes into getting started, how to draw customers, and how much you can expect to make. Read on!

Making Money With Horses #1: Customized Horse Products

If you consider yourself creative, producing customized horse products may be the way to go. Here are some ideas of products you can make for horse lovers:

  • Horse Hair Bracelets
  • Stall Nameplates
  • Engraved Halters
  • Painted Halters
  • Artwork
  • T-Shirts/Clothing
  • Mugs
  • Jewelry
  • Recycled Saddle Leather Purses
  • Memorial Plaque
  • Embroidered Saddle Pads
  • Engraved Horse Brushes
  • Crochet Ear Bonnets
  • Hand-Made Rope Halters

Some of these products require more skill to produce than others. I have an Etsy store where I use print-on-demand to produce clothing. All I have to do is make the design, and the print-on-demand company handles the rest. That will take less time to produce than making a purse out of recycled saddle leather. These are all things to consider.

I make anywhere from $500 to $2,000 monthly on Etsy, depending on the season. If I were to dedicate more time to it, I would probably make more! I sell my T-shirts for around $25 each. If you have a more specialized product, you can charge more money for it. Check out my Etsy Store here!

Besides Etsy, you can also market through Amazon and Facebook. Try to get your products in front of as many horse people as possible. Horse people are great about spreading the word if they can find a product they love!

Making Money With Horses #2: Social Media Influencing

Everyone wants to be a social media influencer, yet many people don’t realize the work and time dedication that goes into making your brand successful. The good news is becoming a social media influencer is very formulaic, and is relatively easy in a small niche like horseback riding.

What are you actually making money from as a social media influencer? Here are the most common avenues:

  • Ads on content (YouTube, TikTok, etc.)
  • Sponsorships
  • Affiliate Marketing/Commissions
  • Brand Merchandise/Products
  • Online Courses
  • Memberships/Subscriptions

The more you can diversify your brand, the more money you are able to make as a social media influencer. The earnings potential is exponential. But how do you get started?

Firstly, understand that most people don’t succeed at becoming social media influencers because they aren’t willing to commit the time needed to grow the brand. You often won’t start making money until you have been actively posting for 1-2 years. For example, I went from 0 – 300 subscribers in my first year on Youtube. In the second year, I went from 300 to 50,000. In the third year, I went from 50,000 to 150,000. At first, you’ll get hardly any views and feel like giving up, but if you keep at it, you should start to build traction.

You also need to be able to evaluate your content. If you notice that you post a certain video that gets more views than your other videos, ask yourself why. Consider steering your content more in that direction because people obviously like it.

Administration is another key area to get experience in to become a social media influencer. When you diversify your brand, balancing all the puzzle pieces is more challenging. Having experience in administration and communication can go a long way in making your brand professional.

Making Money With Horses #3: Equine Photography

Photography is a relatively easy skill to learn. There are plenty of videos on YouTube about how to use a camera, change settings, and edit photos. A quality entry-level camera costs $500-$1500. You can also incorporate portrait, school, and even wedding photography into your repertoire to diversify and have a more steady income.

Horse shows often hire photographers to capture the day and each class. Many horse owners also hire photographers to get quality photos of their equines. I’ve paid photographers $100 for an hour-long shoot and 25 edited photos. Wedding photographers can make over $2,000 a wedding.

Start off taking photos for free until you feel comfortable booking a real job. The good news is it shouldn’t be hard to find people to practice on; horse people adore getting their pictures taken! Join local Facebook horse groups and post your services there. I would also create a business page on Facebook where you can showcase your previous work.

Making Money With Horses #4: Farm-Sitting

There is nothing more stressful to a horse owner than going on vacation and having to leave their equines. I speak from experience. Not only that, but it is extremely difficult to find people with horse experience who are willing to “horse-sit.” Knowing the gap in the market, I offered farm-sitting services for a few years. I would stay on the property if needed and send daily updated pictures of all the animals. I stayed busy, often booking two farms a week during Summer and around Christmas time.

Determining your farm-sitting fees can be tricky. You can try to do it by the animal, like $15/day per animal, or you can throw out a number and be willing to negotiate. Many farms have multiple animals, and pricing it per animal could be expensive. I found that most people are willing to pay you well to farm-sit; you have to be willing to negotiate and know what your time is worth.

One of the reasons I believe I had so much business farm-sitting is that I was plugged into my local horse community. I was in a fox-hunting club, volunteered at a riding center, and grew up showing and working in a lesson program. Many people knew me and already trusted me to watch their homes. From there, my business spread through word-of-mouth. If this is a business you would like to try, I would recommend getting involved in the local horse community so you can start meeting people and making connections with potential customers.

Making Money With Horses #5: Grooming Services

Do you live close to a popular horse center or showground? Consider offering grooming services for horses! Here are the services you should consider offering and the average fee for each of them:

  • Full-Body Clip: $130/horse
  • Mane Pulling: $40/horse
  • Mane Plaiting: $40/horse
  • Tail Plaiting: $40/horse
  • Bathing: $25/horse
  • Sheath Cleaning: $25/horse
  • Basic Groom & Tacking Up: $25/horse

As I mentioned, if you live in a large horse community or are close to popular showgrounds, you could make a week’s wages in a weekend! I recommend having business cards with your contact information and a brochure of your services and pricing that you can hand out at local horse shows to start drumming up business. As always, I would also create a Facebook business page and share your page in local horse Facebook groups so more people can learn about your services.

Making Money With Horses #6: Horse Motel

Running a boarding stable can be more work than it’s worth. Usually, the few hundred dollars you may charge for board will barely cover the cost of shavings, grain, hay, and your time! However, there is a better option that can be considered the Airbnb for horses!

Horse Motels are stables that provide short-term boarding options. Usually, they act as layover spots for horses being transported across the country, horse riders visiting the area with their equines, or people just looking for a place to leave their horses while they go on vacation. Board is charged on a per-night basis rather than per month, and this is why you can potentially make way more money running a horse motel than you could with a boarding stable.

Depending on the location, amenities, and facilities, horse motels can cost between $25/horse/night and $100/horse/night. To get more of a price point for your area, click here.

Making Money With Horses #7: Stud Services

There is a lot of money in horse breeding, but rarely is that money made off the mare of the produced foal. The majority of many made in horse breeding comes from stud services. While a mare can only be pregnant with one foal over the course of a year, a stallion can impregnate hundreds of mares through live cover and artificial insemination. The average stud fee ranges from $500 – $2,000.

If you want to make money from stud services, you need to have the education and knowledge to handle a stallion and manage animal husbandry. It is not difficult, and there’s nothing research can’t teach you; however, dealing with stallions, especially in a breeding environment, can be tricky and sometimes dangerous.

Registering your horse with their breed registry and a stallion directory is the easiest way to market stud services. You can also have a website to advertise your stallions and conduct transactions.

Making Money With Horses #8: Equine Massage

I ran a successful equine massage business for a number of years. It is an up-and-coming industry that more and more horse owners are willing to invest in for their horses.

Becoming a certified equine massage therapist requires some education. You can get a college degree in equine bodywork or get certified through a separate program. I took a correspondence course through Equissage and continued my education through research and studying other methods. While there isn’t much regulation to practicing equine massage in America, you’ll want to check your state’s laws. Some are more strict than others in what they require from you.

I built steady business through word-of-mouth, community promotion through fox-hunting and riding clubs, and a Facebook business page. I also posted in the local Facebook horse groups and could always secure jobs from that. Depending on your location, you can charge anywhere from $75 – $150 for a full-body massage. I always completed a massage in 1 – 2 hours, depending on the horse.

Making Money With Horses #9: Farrier

As long as there are horses, there will be farriers. These craftsmen trim and shoe horses and are oftentimes in short demand. The average price for a barefoot trim is $40, and it takes around 15 minutes to complete. Putting on a full set of shoes may take a farrier 45 minutes to 1 hour to do. Most farriers I know travel to numerous farms daily, making good money.

There are many different ways to train to become a farrier. You can attend a professional farrier school, which will register you with an association and give you a professional certification. You can also apprentice with another farrier and learn from them.

Being a farrier isn’t for everyone. It is hard work and can be hard on your body. I have been learning to trim my own horses’ feet, and I am always so worn out by the end of it. Secondly, you will work with many types of horses…the good and the bad. It’s inevitable that you will have some bad run-ins. It’s what you make of it. All that said, if you are a valued farrier of your community, you can always refuse to do more difficult horses, or you can charge more to do them.

Making Money With Horses #10: Equine Chiropractor

Equine Chiropractor is last on my list because it takes the most education and money to get into. To become an equine chiropractor in America, you must be a doctor, either a human doctor or a veterinarian, and then get certified in chiropractic work. So, if you want to be a horse chiropractor, you first must go to college, go to med/vet school, and then go through a certification class.

Contrary to popular belief, equine veterinarians do not make much money. There is a shortage in America of equine veterinarians because the work is hard and often has little reward. Many vets are making the transition to solely doing chiropractic work. They can make around $150/horse, and the sessions only take 15 – 30 minutes. Many horse owners are also transitioning to more holistic medical approaches like chiropractic work, placing this career in high demand.

If you would like more information about careers with horses, visit these articles:

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Carmella Abel, Pro Horse Trainer

Hi! I’m Carmella

My husband and I started Equine Helper to share what we’ve learned about owning and caring for horses. I’ve spent my whole life around horses, and I currently own a POA named Tucker. You can learn more here.

Thank you for reading, and happy trails!

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