I am going to tell you about a few different jobs that horses might have and you can tell me which you think you’d like the best.
I am a therapy horse. I get to interact with all kinds of different people and my job is to just be a horse and give them feedback on what they are doing that does and does not make sense. I LOVE my job.
Some horses are therapeutic riding horses. I have done some of this, too, and it is hard work! In this job, we have to behave REALLY well and take care of the people who are sitting on us. Sometimes they aren’t very balanced and often there is a human leading us. We get a lot of different signals from a lot of different people and it can be confusing. But we also get a lot of hugs in this job!
Other horses are working horses. I’ve done this, too. Working horses pull wagons or plow fields. This was my first job. It was HARD. I worked with another horse that was just my size and we had to pull the plow together or it wouldn’t move. We would do this for hours and hours and I would get really tired. Some horses like this job. It was too much work for me.
This is a different job than horses that pull carriages or wagons for human tourists. These horses don’t work very hard, believe it or not. A cart or wagon on wheels is just not that heavy for us. We are essentially pushing the wagon with the collar that goes around our chest, so our whole weight can pull that cart on wheels and it moves very easily. This can be a fun job. Sometimes we do it in teams and sometimes alone. We get a lot of attention in this job, but it’s not for everyone either because the city traffic can be scary.
Then there are sport horses. Some of them jump big jumps really fast; some jump jumps to look good; some do dressage, which is like horse dancing; some do a bit of all of it and jump big jumps over the river and through the woods. Sport horses have to be very fit and are usually judged on how well they do the job. I prefer not to work this hard, but a lot of horses love it. They think the excitement of going places and showing off is great fun.
There are race horses. These horses have to go REALLY fast. They are the fastest horses on the planet. I’m pretty sure I could keep up for a few seconds, but my legs probably aren’t long enough to keep up for long with a race horse. Humans make and lose a lot of money on race horses.
Then there are trail horses who are more like pets. They get to go ride through the woods occasionally and get well taken care of the rest of the time. Unless they are endurance horses. Then they have to go fast and far (like sometimes 100 miles!) and are competing with other horses.
Horses can have a job where people vault on and off of them; drive them; barrel race them; do western pleasure, saddle seat, contesting and more. The jobs are sort of endless.
What I can say about horses and our jobs, though, is that if we are grumpy and pinning our ears or swishing our tails; if we are trying to bite you or kick at you; if we are acting uncomfortable and unhappy, please listen to us. Something might be bothering us or we might not like our job! We are thankful to humans who help us work in the right jobs with humans that we get along with really well.