The Natural Job Market

By Angelia Almos

The second edition of "Horse Schools: The International Guide to Universities, Colleges, Preparatory and Secondary Schools, and Specialty Equine Programs" by Angelia Almos has just been released. Whether parents seeking a preparatory school, a college-bound equestrian with a competitive edge, or a student desiring an education leading to a career with horses, readers will find this manual the most comprehensive guide to horse-related schools and programs available.

Beginning with a self-quiz to help determine what kind of school is most appropriate, this book then lists hundreds of possible fields of study and equestrian careers to help the unsure individual choose a path of interest. Updated sections on equine-oriented scholarships, intercollegiate associations, and equestrian federations from around the world provide readers a vast pool of information sources. School descriptions include contact information, degrees and majors offered, and summaries of facilities and expenses. This book is indispensable for students and parents in the search for horse-related educational programs and careers.

For more information on 'Horse Schools' contact Angelia at or Trafalgar Square Publishing at (800) 423-4525.

Horse owners wanting to give the best to their horses are looking toward the natural market to fulfill their horses' needs. From herbs to natural training to trimming to massage therapy, etc., all are gaining in popularity as horse owners try to supply their horses with the finest possible care.

If you're thinking about having a career in horses this is good news for you. The demand for natural practitioners is steadily climbing and in many areas the demand is larger than the practitioners can supply. Many of the natural method practitioners started out as clients and then learned the trade to become a practitioner. A lot of them either apprenticed or took their current practice and changed it to a more natural method (many natural trimmers started out as farriers).

With the rise in demand, many schools have been founded that can teach you the skills you need to become a professional practitioner in the natural market of your choice. One thing you need to be aware of is that current state laws and regulations may prohibit the practice of natural and alternative/ complementary modalities, including massage, by non-veterinarians. Laws are, however, currently being addressed in many states, and they affect owners as well as practitioners and veterinarians. Some organizations working toward improving the laws through education and/or legislation are:

The International Alliance for Animal Therapy and Healing (IAATH)

P.O. Box 191
Jacobus, PA 17407
IAATH Chairperson, Huda Baak
(925) 229-2133

IAATH is dedicated to the advancement and awareness of healing and health options for animals. IAATH presents clear descriptions of the options available.

The Coalition for Natural Health (CNH)

The mission of CNH is to protect every citizen's right to freedom of choice for animal health care. This includes the practitioner's right to practice and the consumer's right to access natural health options.

Ancient Healing Arts Association, LLC (AHAA)

15251 N.E. 18th Avenue Suite #1
North Miami Beach, Florida 33162
(866) 843-2422 (TOO-THE-AHAA)

Acupressure is noninvasive, gentle, and powerful - an ancient form of medicine for balancing energy within the horse's body.

The purpose of AHAA is to develop legislative channels to protect our members' right to practice, and the public's right of unfettered choice.


Acupressure is a noninvasive, gentle, and powerful ancient form of balancing energy within the horse's body using Traditional Chinese Medicine philosophies. It's similar to acupuncture except the acupressurist uses his hands rather than a needle. Acupressure can be used alone or in conjunction with other treatments to relieve muscle spasms, build a stronger immune system, enhance mental clarity and calmness, release natural cortisones to reduce swelling, release endorphins necessary to reduce pain, resolve injuries more readily by removing toxins and increasing blood supply, and more.

An acupressurist can make around $30-$100 per session depending on the area's market. It can take about six months to a year to become an acupressurist.

If you're interested in learning more about this profession talk with your local practitioner or contact Tallgrass Animal Acupressure, 4559 W. Red Rock Dr., Larkspur, CO 80118; (888) 841-7211;


An acupuncturist inserts a small needle into a certain point, to a certain depth, and for a certain length of time to restore the body's energy flow

Acupuncture uses the Traditional Chinese Medicine philosophy of Chi, the life-giving energy that flows through meridians in a horse's body. When the energy flow is stopped or disrupted, health problems can occur. An acupuncturist uses a small needle that is inserted at a certain point, to a certain depth, and for a certain length of time to restore the energy flow.

An acupuncturist must be a certified veterinarian to practice acupuncture in many of the United States (check your state laws at, For Animals, State By State). If you are interested in adding acupuncture to your practice contact the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS), P.O. Box 1478, Longmont, CO 80502-1478; (303) 682-1168;


The equine aromatherapist can assist the horse on a physical and behavioral level. On the behavioral level, the aromatherapist will have the horse smell particular scents to trigger certain reactions to help with training issues, for example. On the physical level, the aromatherapist can use a combination of massage and essential oils to relieve physical soreness, healing wounds, and to help with recurring physical diseases or imbalances.

An aromatherapist utilizes essential oils to help with physical and emotional problems

It can take about a year to complete the Healthy Happy Horses, Naturally independent study course in Equine Aromatherapy (some take longer). Prior skills aren't required, but many people combine a type of massage therapy with their skills as an aromatherapist. Charges vary from $35-$100 per session depending on the area's market and the individual's level of expertise.

If you're interested in becoming an equine aromatherapist talk with your local practitioner or check out A Healthy Horse the Natural Way, P.O. Box 670, Randwick, NSW, 2031, Australia; Phone +61 2 9314 7002;


The chiropractor performs adjustments to help restore normal joint function and relieve areas of pain. These adjustments can help horses that are having issues with lameness, behavioral problems, or are not performing up to their capacity.

To be certified to become an equine chiropractor by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association a candidate must already be a human chiropractor or a veterinarian. An equine chiropractor can earn around $80-$150 a session depending on the area's market and his or her level of experience.

To learn more about becoming an equine chiropractor talk to your local practitioner or check with the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association, 442154 E. 140 Rd., Bluejacket, OK 74333; (918) 784-2231;


An equine herbalist uses herbs to help the horse maintain a healthy balanced body and to recover from illnesses or injuries.

An equine herbalist uses herbs to assist the horse in maintaining a healthy balanced body and to help with illnesses or diseases by supplementing the horse's diet with herbs.

Currently there are no equine herbalist courses, so it's recommended that someone interested in becoming an equine herbalist study herbs for humans first. Most courses take from three to five years. Once you're a certified herbalist you can adapt your practice to horses by learning from current equine herbalists or doing postgraduate studies in animals. Herbalists can make anywhere from $30-$50 for consultation. They then refer their clients to a supplier or supply the herbs themselves on top of the fee. Other herbalists blend their own herbs and may not charge for a consultation if the client buys the herbs directly from them.

To learn more about becoming an equine herbalist talk to your local practitioner or talk with a known equine herbalist, or contact Catherine Bird, A Healthy Horse the Natural Way, P.O. Box 670, Randwick, NSW, 2031, Australia; Phone +61 2 9314 7002;

Massage Therapist

There are currently several methods of massage (sports massage therapy, Integrated Touch Therapy, etc.), and hands-on therapy (TTouch, Equine Touch, Reiki, Equine Craniosacral, etc.) that a person can practice. A massage/ hands-on therapist uses her hands to help with health problems, lameness, and soreness, as well as to maintain the overall health and happiness of the animal.

A massage/ hands-on therapist uses the hands in any number of ways to help with health problems, lameness, and soreness, as well as to maintain the overall health and happiness of the animal. Clockwise from upper left: Massage, Equine CranioSacral, TTouch, and Equine Touch.

Some equine massage therapy courses take only a few days to a month, while others can take a year or more to learn. An equine massage/ hands-on therapist can charge $50-$100 a session depending on the area's market and on his or her level of expertise.

If you're interested in learning more about massage therapy, talk with your local practitioner or check out a massage/ hands-on therapy school:

Equinology, P.O. Box 1248, Grover Beach, CA 93483; (866) 829-2086;

Equissage, P.O. Box 447, Round Hill, VA 20142; (800) 843-0224;

Equitouch, P.O. Box 7701, Loveland, CO 80537; (800) 483-0577;

TTouch, P.O. Box 3793, Santa Fe, NM 87501; (800) 854-8326

The Equine Touch Foundation, Inc., 3100 Harris Hill Rd.; San Marcos, TX 78666;

Equine CranioSacral Workshops, P.O. Box 696, Aptos, CA 95001; (831) 642-2210;

Natural Horsemanship

To be involved in natural horsemanship is to utilize training and interaction with a horse following the horse's natural behavior and instincts. You don't necessarily need to attend a specialized school to learn about natural horsemanship. Finding a good natural horsemanship trainer to apprentice under and reading a lot on the subject may suffice, but being certified by one of the names in the natural horsemanship field can help with legitimacy and widening your client base.

Natural horsemanship involves training and interacting with a horse following the horse's natural behavior and instincts.

Natural horsemanship trainers wages can run anywhere from $20-$150 an hour for a lesson and $300-$1,500 a month for training. It all depends on your level of skill, reputation, and what the area's market will allow.

If you're interested in checking out natural horsemanship, talk to a local trainer you respect or contact one of the natural horsemanship centers such as: Parelli Natural Horse-Man-Ship at Pat and Linda Parelli's International Study Center, P.O. Box 3729, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147; (800) 642-3335; John Lyons Certification Program, John Lyons Symposiums, Inc., P.O. Box 479, Parachute, CO 81635; (970) 285-9797; Monty Roberts International Learning Center, Flag is Up Farms, 901 E. Hwy. 246, P.O. Box 246, Solvang, CA 93464;

Natural Trimmer

A natural trimmer trims the hoof in a way that allows it to function as nature designed whether the practitioner uses the Natural Trim, the Wild Horse Trim, the High Performance Trim, the Strasser method, or another method (all are based on similar ideas). A natural trimmer doesn't use horse shoes because metal shoes impede the proper functioning of the hoof.

A natural trimmer trims the hoof in a way that allows it to function as nature designed.

You can either apprentice under a natural trimmer you respect or attend an organized school to learn how to become a practitioner. It can take several months for you to become proficient enough to begin to take on clients. For those who are already horseshoers and wish to switch to natural trimming it doesn't take as long.

A natural trimmer can make anywhere from $25 a trim to $150 an hour depending on the area's market, and if the trimmer specializes in a particular breed, sport, or corrective trimming.

If you're interested in learning more about natural trimming talk to your local trimmer or the International Institute of Equine Podiatry, PO Box 207, Kenton, DE 19955; (410) 937-6610, (410) 937-4929;; American Association of Natural Hoof Care Practitioners, c/o Star Ridge Publishing, P.O. Box 2181, Harrison, AR 72601; (870) 743 4603;; Strasser Hoofcare, Zen Equine Corporation, P.O. Box 792, Fort Langley BC Canada V1M 2S2; (604) 888-3356;

Adapting Current Career

If you already have a career in horses, you can adapt your focus to a more natural bent. Barn managers can use natural horse care philosophies for their barns. Veterinarians can learn a more holistic approach to medicine. Farriers can switch over to natural trimming. Trainers can use natural horsemanship approaches. Equine nutritionists can use organic feeds and develop feeds based on a horse's natural diet. Sales and corporate jobs can work for a company producing and selling natural horse care products, such as bitless bridles, herbs, etc.

If you already work in a natural field (acupressurist, massage therapist, herbalist, etc.) and wish to expand your practice into horses, check any of the above sources, and with some instruction and knowledge of equine anatomy and behavior, you should have no problem adding or switching your practice to horses.

Many avenues are available to those interested in a natural horse career. Talk with and observe those already practicing, and ask questions. Seeing the modalities performed will help you decide which path to take. Do an internet search and check with the governing associations of the career you're interested in to find a full list of schools available. Be sure to ask for references when choosing your educational institution or instructor.

About the author:

Angelia Almos, author of "Horse Schools: The International Guide to Universities, Colleges, Preparatory and Secondary Schools, and Specialty Equine Programs" has been riding and training horses in a variety of disciplines ever since the age of 5 when she convinced her parents to let her take riding lessons. Angelia writes for various publications, often advising and discussing the daunting aspects of choosing the right horse school or equine-oriented career. She travels nationwide providing her unique seminars to clubs and associations and provides one-on-one counseling to prospective students through her website, She lives in Lake Tahoe, CA with her husband and daughter.