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Description: Farriers prepare and treat horses' feet, and make and fit horseshoes.
Salary: £16000.00 to £30000.00 per year
Hours: Variable
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Description: Grooms care for horses and maintain the stable yards. You might work in a racing stable, a livery yard, a stud farm or a private stable.
Salary: £15000.00 to £20000.00 average per year
Hours: 40 per week, weekends included
Description: Horse riding instructors work with people of different ages, riding ability and experience.
Salary: £14000.00 to £25000.00
Hours: Variable
Description: This term usually applies to training racehorses. It is an exciting and vibrant career with prospects.
Salary: £15000.00 to £45000.00 average per year
Hours: Working hours are long, starting early with supervising exercising the horses. Weekends, especially during racing season.
Description: A riding leader takes groups of riders on treks. It is an enjoyable career if you love riding and horses.
Salary: £13000.00 to £23000.00 average per year
Hours: Possibly long hours and at weekends
Description: A saddle fitter fits the saddles and advises on the best saddles to suit the horse and the rider. Whereas a saddler makes the saddles. Some professionals fit the saddle and make it as well. Saddle Fitter: You may work for a saddle and tack manufacturing company or for a bespoke saddler and fitter. You may be employed to represent a specific manufacturer; or in a small individual company; or be self-employed representing a manufacturer; or self-employed making bespoke saddles. Your work will take place at stable yards. Saddler: You may be making saddles in a manufacturing environment using machinery or you may be making hand-made saddles for a small company
Salary: £15000.00 to £30000.00 average per year
Hours: Saddle Fitter hours are variable and sometimes out of hours. Saddler: 8.30 – 5.00 weekdays.

Saddle Fitter/Saddler

Description: A saddle fitter fits the saddles and advises on the best saddles to suit the horse and the rider. Whereas a saddler makes the saddles. Some professionals fit the saddle and make it as well. Saddle Fitter: You may work for a saddle and tack manufacturing company or for a bespoke saddler and fitter. You may be employed to represent a specific manufacturer; or in a small individual company; or be self-employed representing a manufacturer; or self-employed making bespoke saddles. Your work will take place at stable yards. Saddler: You may be making saddles in a manufacturing environment using machinery or you may be making hand-made saddles for a small company
Salary: £15000.00 to £30000.00 average per year
Hours: Saddle Fitter hours are variable and sometimes out of hours. Saddler: 8.30 – 5.00 weekdays.

Entry Requirements

A good knowledge of horses and extensive experience in handling horses and riding. Knowledge of the anatomy of horses and of the different demands on horses depending on their use.

It is an initial 3-4 year training involving practical and theoretical work with continuing development to upgrade your professional qualifications. It is most common to start as an apprentice while also studying for qualifications with the Society of Master Saddlers (SMS)

Skills Required

• practical skills
• ability to handle a horse
• a driving licence is essential for a saddle fitter.

Typical Day

Saddle Fitter

Your day-to-day tasks will vary.

Loading the saddles needed for the day’s appointments into your van.  
Driving from appointment to appointment at private stables or livery yards.
Handling horses, exploring what is expected of the horses and their riders.
Assessing their saddle requirements.
Back in the office, quoting for the orders.
Saddler:

Making new saddles to order or adjusting old ones.   
Working in a manufacturing environment, using leather machinery to stitch.
Or working in a small workshop, hand stitching saddles.

Working Hours, Patterns and Environment

Saddle Fitter: outside at stable yards.  

Saddler: in a manufacturing environment or a small leather workshop

Career Path

This is a buoyant career at present, partly because it is often forgotten as a career for horse lovers. But as horse riding becomes more and more popular so does the demand for good saddle fitters.

With a good reputation, you could work freelance.

Katrina Robb

A really rewarding industry

“It’s important to keep rural jobs going. There are not that many (farrier) apprentices being trained in Scotland, so it would be good to encourage more people to do the job.”
Katrina Robb , Farrier
Stuart Lowe

No such thing as an average day

“There’s no such thing as an average day. It can be anything from ploughing to driving in the grain or repairing dykes and fencing. That’s what keeps it interesting.”
Stuart Lowe , Agricultural Contractor