Therapeutic Riding Careers

Another area of the equine industry which is experiencing growing support is therapeutic riding.  Therapeutic riding is used to improve the quality of life for individuals with physical or mental disabilities.  National certification is available for facilities offering equine facilitated therapy through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International. (  Therapeutic riding programs often operate with many volunteers.  Paid positions are available at some programs.  Opportunities range from hourly to salaried positions.  Career opportunities at a facility fall under four major areas - Administrative Positions, Facility Management, Instructional Positions and Animal Care Positions.  Many times, these positions may be combined so that one person is covering many areas.  Some important skills that are needed in the various areas are listed below.

Area Positions Important Skills
  • Executive Director
  • Member, Board of Directors
  • Program Director
  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • Development Officer 
  • Meeting management
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Public relations
  • Event planning
  • Business management
  • Understanding of issues related to:
      • Corporate structure
      • Nonprofit status
      • Insurance
  • Human resource management
  • Accounting
  • Purchasing
  • Availability of support resources
  • Data/records management
  • Volunteer recruitment, rewards and training
  • Scheduling
Facility Management 
  • Stable Maintenance
  • Grounds Maintenance 
  • Understanding of zoning regulations land use issues
  • Pasture management
  • Arena management
  • Building design, construction and maintenance
  • Equipment purchase, use and maintenance


Animal Care 
  • Barn Manager
  • Horse Caretaker 
  • Animal care -  Understanding of anatomy and physiology of the horse
  • Horse health
      • Veterinary issues
      • Farrier - hoofcare
  • Horse selection and training
  • Equine nutrition
  • Track and equipment use and maintenance
  • Horse behavior and handling
  • Equine transportation
Instructional Positions 
  • Head Instructor
  • Assistant Instructors
  • Volunteers 
  • Riding program management
    • Participation
    • Lesson plans
    • Scheduling
  • Training
  • Certification


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