How to Get a Summer Job on a Horse Farm as a Student

How to Get a Summer Job on a Horse Farm as a Student

We all know that college students are on a tight budget. Handling tuition, rent and other expenses can obviously be hard when you are unemployed. However, finding a paying job during the academic year may not be the best solution. Managing work and studies is never easy. Besides, a job can distract you from the learning process and result in poor academic performance.

Although working throughout the academic year may not be possible, students can get a part-time job during holidays. The summer holidays are perfect for this – during this time you don’t have to attend classes or do loads of homework, so there is enough time to work. Thus, it is a great opportunity to save, and it is also a chance to gain some experience.

One good place for students to find a job is on a horse farm. Such jobs are physically demanding and they pay minimum wage, but they’re steady and they’re not difficult to come by.

How to Find a Summer Job on a Horse Farm

How to Get a Summer Job on a Horse Farm as a Student

If you love horses and want to pursue a career in this field, getting a summer job on a farm may be your best bet. However, starting your search, preparing a good application and surviving an interview can be rather tricky if you have no prior experience.

This step-by-step guide will help you cope with everything and land a good summer job.

Create a Resume

Unless you are getting a job from an acquaintance, you will need to prepare an application. This includes a resume, cover letter and maybe additional documents, depending on the employer. We recommend taking care of this in advance.

It may take some time to create a good resume if you don’t have any experience yet. The same goes for writing a cover letter. If you are not well-versed in writing such documents, you can seek professional help in your community or online. 

Ask Around

Some places across the United States are especially equestrian-friendly and have a high volume of farms. Just a few of these places are as follows:

  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • Wellington, Florida
  • Aspen, Colorado
  • North Salem, New York
  • Woodside, California
  • Lexington, Kentucky
  • Southern Pines, North Carolina

These areas are known to have a strong equestrian culture. If you live in such an area, the easiest way to find a summer job is by asking around. It’s possible that your friends, teachers or neighbors have a farm and need some help – asking them would be a great starting point.

Determine What Jobs You Qualify for

Although helping around a farm is something most people can learn to do quickly, there are some positions that require prior experience.

Assess your skills and experience to help you define what openings fit your level. If you’re thinking about becoming a farrier, you’ll first need formal training. If you want to manage a farm, be a coach or become a horse trainer, you’ll require certain skills and experience. If you have prior experience with property maintenance or working with large machinery, that will be a big help in securing a position.

However, there are also plenty of entry-level positions that almost anyone can do. If you have no special skills, some of the options left for you may include stall cleaning, baling hay and hot walking.

Search for Openings

As soon as you have an idea of what openings suit your level and have a full application package on hand, you can start discovering available opportunities. Start by checking job desk websites and local equestrian groups on social media to see what options are available in your area.

You can also visit farms, feed stores, stables and tack shops nearby to ask about available openings.

Finally, you can continue your search at specialized sites like Kentucky Horse, Yard and Groom and Equistaff. Keep in mind that you will have more options available if you expand your area of search. The ability to relocate can open the possibilities up quite a bit.

Send Applications

As you are searching for suitable openings, don’t hesitate to send applications to each offer that sounds interesting and for which you qualify. When sending applications, be sure to follow the instructions specified in a posting.

Be ready to write a few lines about yourself to grab the employer’s attention. Also, make sure you have a few references willing to confirm your skills, experience and character.

Be Prepared for an Interview

So, you’ve got an invitation for an interview. What’s next? Surviving an interview is probably the hardest part of the whole process, especially if you are a student and don’t have much experience yet.

Depending on the position you are applying for, your interview may also include some practical showcase of your skills. You should be ready to show what you know and what you can do.

The Bottom Line

Even if you are applying for your first job, all you need to succeed is a bit of perseverance and preparation. The tips above should help you find just the right summer farm position with ease, and once you get some experience, you may eventually want to start your own farrier business

In conclusion, one more tip we have for you is to get ready for what is waiting for you on a farm. Keep in mind that such jobs can be physically harder than they seem like they’re going to be. Working on a farm often involves long hours and a lot of physical activity.

Some positions, especially caretaking ones, may mean losing your weekends and holidays, as horses must be cared for daily. In some cases, such positions may also require working night hours, for example, when horses are sick.

Another thing to keep in mind is the pay. Some opportunities pay well enough for employees with a good deal of experience, but if you’re just starting out, you can expect minimum wage. However, in some cases there are perks like accommodation, riding opportunities or the use of a vehicle. Be sure to keep all these nuances in mind when you’re planning your summer.

Feature image: Stephen Luke; Image 1: Jon Clegg


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  • markus
    markus May 13, 2021 at 6:53 AM

    Some positions, especially caretaking ones, may mean losing your weekends and holidays, as horses must be cared for daily. In some cases, such positions may also require working night hours, for example, when horses are sick.

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