There are several ways to make money with horses that have worked for horse owners worldwide.
Horses are known as one of the most fun yet most expensive hobbies you can have. Horses require a lot of attention, space, and of course, food. Plus, certain horse breeds are significantly more expensive than others due to traits like their appearance or intelligence.
Since your equine friends can be expensive, you may want to supplement the costs. Making money with horses doesn’t seem like the easiest thing to do. After all, their upkeep and care costs can quickly reach several thousand dollars every year.
However, if you have a love for horses and want to be around them all the time, you’re in luck! If you stick to it, you can use your experiences with horses to start an excellent side hustle for yourself, and you can save up a fair bit of cash.
If you have the means and the time to commit to money-making horse activities, you may even be able to make a full-time job out of it. Remember, though, horses are expensive to take care of, and you’ll need plenty of savings set aside to cover initial fees, maintenance, and other costs.
Whether you want to start a horse business empire, or just generate extra cash flow, there’s plenty of ways to make money with horses that don’t involve lots of time or equipment.
We’ve made a list to get your equestrian business wheels turning…
Here Are 15 Ways To Make Money With Horses
Table of Contents
- Here Are 15 Ways To Make Money With Horses
- 1. Board Horses In Your Own Stable
- 2. Offer Riding Lessons
- 3. Charge for Braiding Services
- 4. Rent Out Your Horse Arena
- 5. Exercise Horses
- 6. Horse Stable Cleaning Services
- 7. Pasture Care
- 8. Transport Horses to Events
- 9. Horse Tack Cleaner
- 10. Horse Manure Cleanup Service
- 11. Leasing Your Horse
- 12. Affiliate Marketing for Horse-Related Items
- 13. Offer Tours of Your Area
- 14. Horse Photography
- 15. Buy, Sell, Review Horse Products
1. Board Horses In Your Own Stable
You’re already boarding your horse, so why not board some others as well? If you have the room for it, boarding horses in the area can be an easy way to make a little extra cash without going out of your way too much. You do need on-site amenities like plenty of hay, a spare stall or two, and a safe environment for the horses to spend time outdoors.
How to Do It
If you have extra space, you can offer your stability to other horse owners for boarding purposes on a month-to-month basis. Through extensive facilities, boarding services sometimes include care for the horses, including grooming, stall cleaning, and blanketing. Other facilities may only provide the boarding.
Boarding horses is often referred to as the most expensive aspect of owning a horse.
The best way to profit from boarding horses is by checking out how much other stables in your area are charging for the same service. If you charge a bit below the competition and attract more clients, you will do better in profits and can even find repeat clients for the future.
- Generally inexpensive to do if you have the room for it, unless providing full-care boarding options
- Can be very profitable if money is allocated appropriately
- Can be done virtually any time and in any season
- Must already have the space to board more than one horse
- May need to hire help to keep up with multiple horses if you opt for full-care boarding availability
2. Offer Riding Lessons
Horse riding lessons are one of the most popular ways to make a little money on the side while still enjoying time with your pets. Lessons improve riding abilities and help instill confidence in young riders who are just getting into working and playing with horses.
How to Do It
Horse owners who offer lessons should make sure their stable and horse are ready for visitors. You want to be sure to provide a positive experience to all of your clients so you can create a community of clients that trust you and continue to come back to you. These experiences will also help make a good reputation for you and your business. Remember, word of mouth is the best and most effective advertising around!
Before you start giving lessons, make sure you are confident working with other riders and communicating with them about what they need to do while on the horse. You should set your prices beforehand and stick to them, even if you realize you are undercharging a little bit. You can always raise the price once you become more established.
Prices for horse riding lessons often fall anywhere around $40-$75 for about one hour’s worth of lessons. While starting, you can self-advertise on social media websites. As you continue to progress, you could consider creating a website or entire business plan model based on the lessons you offer.
- Relatively inexpensive to begin offering lessons
- Giving lessons could start as a side hustle but grow into a more profitable job
- Success is based on self-advertising to gain more clients
- Earnings may be inconsistent
3. Charge for Braiding Services
Horse lovers who attend shows to offer their braiding services to owners have figured out an excellent way to make some side money without hefty startup fees. It costs virtually nothing to braid manes and tails, yet you can walk away with hundreds of dollars after several clients utilize your services.
How To Do It
If you don’t already, you should learn various ways to braid horse manes and tails for competitions. Some shows will merit fancier braids, while others may not have many horses with braids at all.
You’ll need to market your services to the right clients to nail down your first few customers. Once you prove to be a reliable and trustworthy addition to the horse grooming team, you can rack up clients and go horse to horse in shows near your home.
Time management is a huge part of hair braiding as a side hustle. To make a viable profit, you’ll need to make sure you have enough time to do all of the horses’ braids you signed up for, which may mean running around during competitions and scheduling your horses for specific time slots.
On average, braiders charge $40-50 per mane and about $25 per tail. These prices can fluctuate with experience and types of braids. The better and tighter braids you produce, the more clients will want to use your services.
- Inexpensive to offer in terms of equipment
- Braiding skills are relatively easy to learn
- Can work with several clients in a single day
- Requires learning and perfecting a new skill as well as organizing your time to work with the most clients possible
- Profit margins are not super high
4. Rent Out Your Horse Arena
If you’re fortunate enough to have already a great place to take your horse riding, then you should consider sharing that space with others for a small cost.
Owners who take their horses to competitions are often looking for a welcoming and safe place to practice. Even owners who ride for fun may want to change their scenery by exercising their horse in a different arena from time to time.
How to Do It
To get started, you can inform your horse-riding community of friends that you are offering your stable for a reasonable price for specific blocks of time. Some riders will want the space for just an hour, while others may request it for several hours.
Clients should be able to trailer their horses into the arena with ease, which will make your arena a spot they will want to come back to time and time again.
Depending on how much time you want to dedicate to this hobby, you should find a set price per hour for riders using your arena.
Most horse owners offer up their arenas for well under $100 for a few hours. If clients want the arena to themselves, you could upcharge the price slightly or work out a plan to accommodate their needs. Make sure the price you charge covers any overhead fees like electricity costs or arena maintenance.
- Doesn’t take much time or extra maintenance
- A relaxed way to make some money on the side
- Not a huge profit margin
- The business may fluctuate with the time of the year
5. Exercise Horses
Although it’s challenging to find time to ride every day, horses need their exercise as often as possible. If you have extra time to spare, you could offer to exercise other people’s horses for a small fee.
How To Do It
If you know how to ride a horse, you know how to exercise a horse! Horses need a long walk pretty frequently, so when you’re offering to exercise a horse, you’re just offering to ride the horse for a while.
You don’t need to know any of the training tips or commands to exercise a horse. All you need is confidence and an ability to work with horses; you may not be familiar with right away.
Horse exercisers typically charge somewhere between $15 and $40 per hour. The rate you charge should depend on how experienced you are as a rider and how confident you will exercise the horse appropriately and regularly.
- A fun way to blow off steam and ride horses for money
- Does not require extra equipment
- Requires travel
- May be difficult to find clients
6. Horse Stable Cleaning Services
As a horse owner, you already know how important and time-consuming it can be to keep your horse’s stable clean.
How To Do It
Cleaning a stable involves taking out and rinsing off the mats, sweeping and disposing of the waste, cleaning food troughs and water bowls, and sometimes washing blankets. Most anyone can complete the tasks involved in keeping a stable clean.
Some horse owners like to employ teenage kids to clean their stables for a bit over minimum wage, usually around $10-$15. If you offer specialized services or work with a stable with several horses boarded, you can probably charge more per hour and work out a schedule with the stable owner that accommodates you both. Some facilities offer premium cleaning services through a team of certified cleaners.
- Relatively easy and mindless work that can be completed at virtually any time
- Easy to find repeat customers who want to utilize your services consistently
- Work definitely requires getting dirty and traveling
- Not a huge profit margin
7. Pasture Care
Like taking care of stables, pastures should get tended frequently to keep grass levels low and keep weeds from taking over.
How To Do It
Like having your home’s lawn tended, pasture care is usually done once or twice every two weeks. You will need to transport any machinery you need to complete the task.
You’ll need some equipment to start the process of pasture care, including a weed eater and lawnmower at the minimum. Though start off costs may be high if you don’t own these devices, you should be able to easily make more than $20 per hour for the pasture work you provide.
- Easy to find consistent clients
- Work is not too time-consuming
- Easy to save overhead costs if you already have the equipment needed
- Will need to have the means to transport all machinery required for cleaning
8. Transport Horses to Events
Though it would be quite an investment, another way to make money with horses is by offering transportation services to large events.
How To Do It
To transport several horses at one time to an event, you’ll need access to a large trailer. The trailer should be cleaned and checked regularly to ensure the horses are comfortable and can arrive safely at the destination.
Since the horses’ riders will all also be going to the event, transportation costs should not be too outrageous. Consider the trailer’s fee and the extra gas or effort required to pull the horses, then make your price from there. Depending on the distance of the show, some transporters may charge per mile or per hour traveled.
- Extremely cost-effective if you already own a trailer that could be used
- Requires certain equipment you may not already have
- May cause additional wear and tear on your trailer and truck
9. Horse Tack Cleaner
Saddles, bridles, martingales, girths, and breastplates are all pieces of equipment that should get cleaned daily to promote the best life of the items. If possible, try to find a horse owner you could tag along with or form a good relationship with their trusted tack cleaner.
How to Do It
The only thing you’ll need to perform this job is how to clean all tack items correctly and the correct cleaning products to complete the task. Once you understand and have practice with the cleaning tack, you can offer your services to just about anyone.
Tack cleaning can be broken down into several categories specified by the piece of equipment being cleaned. Some tack cleaners charge $50 to clean and oil a saddle, while others charge $100 to deep clean everything.
- Relatively easy to learn and practice
- Easy to make a profit after making back the funds used to purchase cleaning supplies
- Can be a time-consuming hobby
- Requires purchasing specific cleaning products
10. Horse Manure Cleanup Service
If a pasture or an entire stable seems like too much to tend to, you can opt to focus on the one thing that makes the most significant difference when it comes to cleaning for horses — the manure. Of course, if you start a business of manure removal coupled with fertilizer delivery, you might be able to corner that (admittedly smelly) market.
How To Do It
Shoveling and disposing of manure is never a fun task. However, if you choose to focus on that, you may be able to make quite a profit from all of the horse owners who are tired of doing the dirty job themselves.
The task is simple, yet it’s one that no one wants to do. Manure clean up can easily cost a little more than minimum wage for owners looking to hire someone else for the task.
Teenagers and young riders can make pocket money by offering this service for pastures or stables in their area. The manure can be repurposed as fertilizer or disposed of completely.
- Simple, easy way to make some extra money
- Dirty work that requires transportation availability
11. Leasing Your Horse
An interesting and somewhat new way to make money with horses is by allowing others to use your horse for a few hours at a time to practice riding.
How To Do It
Your market for horse leasers will be the riders that are graduating from one division to the next. If a rider is outgrowing a pony but does not yet have another horse, leasing your horse is an excellent way for them to get used to the change and for you to make a little extra money.
Leasing your horse is one of the easiest ways to reduce the cost of taking care of your horse.
Check out the Equine Legal Solutions guidelines before completing a lease agreement.
- Reduces the cost of upkeep for your horse
- Can be a mutually beneficial agreement
- Helps guarantee plenty of exercise and attention for your horse if you are too busy
- Requires paperwork and extensive research into the person to whom you are leasing your horse
- Could put your horse’s health and life in danger if the lessee turns out untrustworthy or problematic
12. Affiliate Marketing for Horse-Related Items
If you have had horses for a long time, there’s no doubt you are familiar with the various brands of horsing equipment available. A pretty passive way to make some cash on the side is by partnering with an affiliate program for a brand of horse materials you like to use.
How To Do It
Most affiliate programs work based on commission. To make money, you post an endorsing link to the company’s website for the specific products they sell. When people use that link to navigate to that product’s page and then purchase that item, you receive a commission from the sale.
The money you make from affiliate marketing is based on how wide of a scope of followers you have on the Internet. If you have a platform that people refer to and reference for horse-related conversations, you could do well to market your favorite brands. Not only will this help with brand exposure, but it can help new riders learn what brands are better for them.
- A passive way to make money that does not require a lot of effort
- You do not have to change your spending habits or make extra time.
- Not as profitable as other methods because you only make money when there is a purchase.
13. Offer Tours of Your Area
Horse-guided hikes and tours are very popular in some of the most beautiful areas of the country.
How To Do It
You can volunteer you and your horse to work as “equitours” almost anywhere in the world. These horseback-riding vacations are a form of tourism that is still thriving in many places.
Even without an agency, horse-guided tours are also popular for local trails that are accessible by horse.
If you organize your tour, you can probably make some pocket cash for the effort of collecting the trip and using your horse for the journey. Agencies for horse tourism usually have steep prices for their customers, so the profits are generally higher, but the days are much longer, too.
- A fun way to be in nature, with your horse, and around new people
- Can discover new trails and travel
- May be difficult to organize or start working with agencies
- The potential need for insurance and other overhead costs
14. Horse Photography
If you have a good camera and some knowledge of the skill, you might do well working as a horse photographer on the side. Understanding horses and events in a show will help photographers of all experience levels capture the best photos.
How To Do It
If you know how to work a camera, all you need to do is attend an equestrian show and try to snap some shots. The more experience you get behind the lens, the better you will be and the better photos you will capture.
Once you are confident in your skills, you can sell your photographs or offer sessions for riders with their horses.
This hobby might have the steepest initial costs because of the necessity of a good camera and laptop for editing and sending the photos. However, if you have that equipment, you stand to make more profit as you continue to refine the skill and grow your client base.
Some professional equestrian photography agencies will charge up to $750 per day for their services.
- Fun, hands-off way to still be involved with horses
- Can meet new people and make connections with a large client base
- Understanding of photography and accessibility to equipment is required
15. Buy, Sell, Review Horse Products
Social media is playing a bigger and bigger role in our lives in every way. Fortunately, there’s a market for just about everything on there — including horse equipment.
How To Do It
Instagram users who have a large following, also known as influencers, could make some extra cash by reviewing and marketing products from various brands.
Similar to affiliate marketing, influencers who advertise and get more potential customers interested in a product will profit from the exposure.
The larger following you have, the more money you stand to make. But even if you don’t have a large following now, you could start slow and build up more attention to your items, especially if you are the only one reviewing them.
Even content marketing for websites about horse products can bring in a little extra money. Most agencies will offer around five cents per word or less.
- Does not require that much extra time or equipment
- Can become a passive, fun way to make money and engage with like-minded people
- May require a large social media following
- May require proven experience with social media marketing or content writing
Whether you choose to offer cleaning services, riding lessons, or other horse-related services, there are plenty of ways to start a side hustle and still be around horses every day. The most dedicated and hard-working individuals may even be able to create an entire business out of their horse hustle.
Discovering how to make money with horses requires some patience and creativity, and perhaps a bit of startup funding. But once you find your niche, you will see the profits rolling in! Remember to stay organized and always take special care of the horses you are around — they’re counting on you!