Well, I found the usual careers, such as farrier, equine veterinarian, horse trainer, and riding instructor. I also found a niche for those of us who are artists and love to draw or paint horses. Horse boarding of course came up. There is always someone who has or wants a horse and who needs a place to board one.
Then, I found a few ideas that I hadn’t thought of before. While they may bring in only a small amount of money and won’t perhaps replace your current non-horse-related job, they still include earning some money and – here’s the real plus – they still include horses in some way!
These jobs include things like working in a tack store, having a sale using your own garage (or using the services of Craig’s list or eBay) to sell those saddles, blankets, and apparel items you haven’t used in a while. These may include anything from riding boots you no longer wear to the never-used halter someone gave you.
I even found suggestions concerning working as a caretaker on a ranch.¹
This week I will focus on those “caretaker” jobs I heard about. One thing I strongly suggest you do if you may be interested in these types of jobs is research as much about them as possible. Find out if this type of work would be right for you, and just what is involved in this hard yet rewarding job.²
Just where are they and how do you find them?
First I typed, “ranch caretaker” into my little Google search box and clicked the hour glass icon. From there I got an entire page, as you may imagine, of all kinds of links and bold advertising claims.
Hmmm, where to begin?
Well, I clicked on the first link Google gave me. (Not always the best choice, but I had to start somewhere.) I got a questionnaire type of search page prompting me to enter what country, what state, and even the prospective employer’s ID number (if I knew it) to get a listing of those specific jobs. I directed the site to look for jobs in the United States and clicked. I got a list of about 30 different jobs. These jobs were in New York, Oregon, Nevada, Montana, Tennessee, etc. etc. Some were looking for cooks, some for a nanny, some for a dog care giver, and – ah yes – some specifically for horse ranch caretakers!
I clicked on one of these, a remote ranch in Colorado. It sounded wonderful. It was an arrangement in which you were provided with an apartment on the ranch and boarding for your horse(s). Per the description the apartment included appliances, utilities, phone, internet, dish TV and furnishes. The description also made it clear that there was no cash wage. The exchange was the ability to have full use of the property’s trails, stalls and apartment. This one was “long-term” and other offers listed ranged from 12 months to 12 weeks in duration.
Okay, so there many, many, many such links on the web for care-taking jobs, and it didn’t take me long to come across probably one of the best sites to find such jobs, The Caretaker Gazette.³ It has been around since 1983 and you can even subscribe, depending on just how serious you are about finding a care-taking job. It is also a great place for someone looking for a caretaker to advertise.
¹ Chris, Five Star Ranch Staff Writer. “Finding Horse Jobs. How to Monetize Your Interest in Horses” 2004-2012. Five Star Ranch <http://www.fivestarranch.com/articles/horse-job-ideas.html>
² Grabianowski, Ed. "How Ranch Caretakers Work" 01 December 2009. HowStuffWorks.com. <http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/outdoor-activities/ranch-life/ranch-caretakers.htm> 17 February 2012.
³ The Caretaker Gazette. 1983.< http://www.caretaker.org/>