Exercise Rider

Ride horses to keep them healthy.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$16,000 – $35,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Exercise Riders do?

For a horse lover, nothing beats riding horses for a living. An Exercise Rider takes horses on their morning workouts, and teaches them the skills they’ll need to compete in races, whether it’s passing another horse or ignoring the dirt flying all around them. As an Exercise Rider, you understand each horse so well that you can spot even the smallest injury the instance the horse sets foot on the track.

Properly training a horse is partially about knowing how to handle it and partially about communicating with the Horse Trainer. The Trainer lets the Exercise Rider know how hard to work the horse and what problems need correcting. For newer horses, it’s especially important to correct poor behavior, such as leaning on the bit too hard, before this behavior becomes habit.

Soon, the horse will understand how to control itself and use its speed to pass other horses. Now is the time for practice, practice, practice. You train the horse for each stage of the race, from standing still in the starting gate to keeping its stride while racing around the track. The horse needs to learn other tricks as well, like how to pass between two horses, and when to use a burst of speed to overtake another rider.

In addition to exercising and caring for the horses, you constantly assess how they’re feeling. From a grumpy horse to one with a hurt leg, you understand and constantly check on each horse’s condition. Soon, your friends will be calling you the “horse whisperer.”

Should I be an Exercise Rider?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.

  • Also known as: Cow Rider, Fence Rider, Lead Rider, Pen Rider, Ranch Rider, Range Rider, Rider

    How to become an Exercise Rider

    Most Exercise Riders have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9baaaa&chl=no+college+%2896%25%29|certificate+%283%25%29||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,96,96
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