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Horse Trainer

No Formal Qualifications Year 10 Preferred On The Job Training VOC Course Subject Prerequisites Traineeship Year 10 Preferred

Horse trainers supervise the preparation of horses for thoroughbred or harness races, advise and consult with owners and instruct stable staff and jockeys/drivers.

Horse trainers usually specialise in thoroughbreds for galloping races, standardbreds for pacing or trotting (harness) races, or performance horses for events, show jumping and dressage.

Horse trainers may be required to work long hours.

Much of their work is carried out very early in the morning and they may continue to work all day.

Regular weekend work is also required.


    Horse trainers may perform the following tasks:

  • carry out practical daily tasks, such as saddling, bridling, feeding and grooming horses
  • accustom horses to racing equipment such as bridles, saddles, harnesses and sulkies (two-wheeled carriages)
  • support the training of apprentice jockeys, drivers and track riders in horse riding or driving techniques and horse handling skills
  • supervise and direct stable staff, jockeys, harness drivers and other workers
  • plan, supervise and carry out training programmes for horses
  • plan and select race programmes to achieve the best placing for a horse
  • plan, supervise and carry out nutritional programmes for horses
  • monitor the health of the horses and consult veterinarians and farriers on injuries and ailments
  • advise and consult with horse owners
  • attend race meetings or other horse-related events
  • keep accurate records of accounts and use correct credit procedures


  • a keen interest in horses
  • patient
  • able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • enjoy outdoor work
  • good communication skills

Interest Area

Manual/Practical Outdoor


No Formal Qualifications Year 10 Preferred On The Job Training VOC Course Subject Prerequisites Traineeship Year 10 Preferred

You can work as a horse trainer without formal qualifications, but employers usually require Year 10. You will probably get some informal training on the job.

Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications.

You may like to consider a VOC qualification in racing, specialising in jockey, racehorse trainer, trackrider, harness race driver or stablehand. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information.

You can also become a horse trainer through a traineeship in Racing (Jockey/Racehorse Trainer/Trackrider/Harness Race Driver/Stablehand/Advanced Stablehand).

Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Additional Information

    Once you are employed, you may be able to develop, and have recognised, additional skills under the Racing Training Package that will expand your career opportunities within this industry.

    Licensing is required for both racehorse and harness racing employees and trainers. Contact Racing NSW or Harness Racing NSW for further information.


Horse trainers are mainly employed in the horse racing industry. They work in horse studs, racing and training stables and riding schools. Some work as freelance coaches and trainers, breaking in, schooling and retraining horses from the racetrack for careers in show jumping, events and dressage.

In the larger stables, and with experience, horse trainers may progress to supervisory and managerial positions.

Many horse trainers operate their own business, training their own horses or training horses for outside owners and racing syndicates.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Horse Trainer Racing Australia Australian Trainers' Association Harness Racing NSW Racing NSW Rural Skills Australia

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