Horse Safari Guide Career Profile

Do you want to work as a Horse Safari Guide?

READ: This page helps you to read about the career and the info you need to decide on whether this is indeed the career you want to follow.

RESEARCH: ​Learn about the skills required and minimum subjects to enter this career, as well as the places where you can study further after school.

PREPARE: If you want to plan and prepare for your career, then join the OZT Community! Members have access to tools while chatting with other students and experts from around the world. Prepare to be amazed!


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3 February 2024

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What is a Horse Safari Guide?

A horse safari guide is a person who leads and facilitates horseback safaris. Horse safaris are a unique and adventurous way to explore natural landscapes, wildlife, and cultural areas. These guides are responsible for ensuring the safety and enjoyment of the participants during the safari.

horse 1

Alternative Names

The term “horse safari guide” is quite specific and may vary based on the region or type of horseback adventure. Here are some alternative names or titles that might be used interchangeably or in related contexts:

Trail Guide:

This is a general term for someone who leads individuals or groups on trails, including horseback trails.

Horseback Tour Guide:

Describes a guide specifically focused on leading tours on horseback.

Equestrian Guide:

“Equestrian” pertains to horse riding, so an equestrian guide may lead horseback riding excursions.

Safari Leader:

In regions where horse safaris are common, the guide may be simply called a safari leader.

Horse Trek Guide:

“Trek” implies a journey or adventure, so a horse trek guide leads riders on adventurous journeys.

Horse Expedition Guide:

This title emphasizes the expeditionary nature of the horseback experience.

Horseback Adventure Guide:

Highlights the adventurous aspect of the horseback experience.

Remember that the specific terminology used can vary depending on the location, the type of horseback experience offered (such as a safari in Africa, trail riding in North America, or trekking in Europe), and the organisation providing the guided horseback activities.

Career Categories

The Horse Safari Guide career can be found within the following OZT career categories:

  • Business

What does a Horse Safari Guide do?

Groups of animals a Horse Safari Guide works with

Farm Animals Icon OZT
Farm Animals

What is the level of Interaction with the Animals?

With whom does a Horse Safari Guide work?

A horse safari guide typically works in environments where horseback tours or safaris are offered. Their work involves interacting with various individuals and groups. Here are some key stakeholders and collaborators with whom a horse safari guide may work:

Tour Participants:

The primary people a horse safari guide interacts with are the participants or riders. These can include individuals, families, or groups who have chosen to experience a horseback tour.

Tour Operators and Companies:

Horseback tour guides often work for tour operators or companies that specialise in organising and conducting horseback tours. They may collaborate with management and administrative staff to ensure smooth operations.

Fellow Guides and Staff:

In larger operations or during peak seasons, multiple horse safari guides may work together. They collaborate to coordinate schedules, share information about trail conditions, and assist each other during tours.

Trainers and Instructors:

In settings where riding lessons are offered alongside tours, guides may collaborate with riding instructors or trainers to enhance participants’ skills and confidence.

Local Authorities and Land Managers:

Depending on the location of the horseback tours, guides may need to coordinate with local authorities, park rangers, or land managers to ensure compliance with regulations and to access specific trails or areas.

Equipment Suppliers:

Guides work with suppliers or equipment providers to ensure that saddles, bridles, helmets, and other necessary gear are in good condition for participants.

Wildlife and Environmental Experts:

In ecologically sensitive areas, guides may work with experts who provide information about the local flora and fauna. This collaboration enhances the educational aspect of the tour.

Emergency Services:

While rare, guides must be prepared for emergencies. They may collaborate with local emergency services or have communication systems in place to address any medical or safety concerns during a tour.

Customer Service and Sales Teams:

In some cases, guides may interact with customer service or sales teams to address inquiries, provide information about tours, and assist with bookings.

Effective communication and collaboration with these various stakeholders contribute to the success of horseback tours and the overall experience for participants.

What does a Horse Safari Guide focus on?

Guides are responsible for leading the group of riders through various terrains, such as forests, plains, or mountains, depending on the location of the safari.

What are the daily tasks of a Horse Safari Guide?

The daily tasks of a horse safari guide can vary depending on the specific nature of the tours, the location, and the organisation they work for. However, here are some common tasks that horseback tour guides may perform on a daily basis:

Preparation and Inspection:

Before the tours begin, guides often need to inspect and prepare the horses and equipment. This includes checking saddles, bridles, and other gear to ensure they are in good condition.

Meeting Participants:

Greeting and meeting participants at the start of the tour. Guides may provide a brief orientation, discuss safety guidelines, and assess the riders’ experience levels.

Matching Riders with Horses:

Evaluating participants’ riding skills and matching them with suitable horses. This involves considering factors such as the rider’s experience, comfort level, and the temperament of the horses.

Leading Tours:

Actively leading horseback tours through designated trails or areas. Guides are responsible for setting the pace, ensuring the group stays together, and providing guidance on navigating different terrains.

Educational Commentary:

Providing educational commentary about the environment, local wildlife, and any historical or cultural aspects of the area being traversed during the tour.

Ensuring Safety:

Throughout the tour, guides must maintain a focus on safety. They need to be prepared to handle any unforeseen circumstances, such as sudden changes in weather or unexpected challenges on the trail.

Customer Interaction:

Interacting with participants and addressing their questions or concerns. Guides may also share interesting stories and engage in conversation to enhance the overall experience.

Care of Horses:

Guides are responsible for the welfare of the horses. This includes monitoring their health, ensuring they are well-hydrated, and managing their behaviour during the tour.

Emergency Response:

Being prepared to handle emergencies, whether they involve participants or horses. This may include basic first aid, communication with emergency services, and implementing contingency plans.

Post-Tour Responsibilities:

After the tour, guides may need to assist with unsaddling horses, checking and storing equipment, and providing feedback to participants if needed.

Administrative Tasks:

Depending on the structure of the organisation, guides may be required to complete administrative tasks such as recording participant information, maintaining equipment logs, and submitting reports.

It’s important to note that the daily tasks can be physically demanding and may vary based on the season, weather conditions, and the overall itinerary of the horseback tours. Adaptability, strong communication skills, and a passion for both horses and the outdoors are essential qualities for a successful horse safari guide.

In which environment does a Horse Safari Guide work in?

What are the environment and places of employment like?

The specific working environment and place of employment can vary widely based on the type of horseback tours offered and the geographic location of the guiding services.

Indoor Working Environment:

Office or Base Camp:

Some horseback tour guides may have indoor office spaces or base camps where they perform administrative tasks, conduct briefings, and interact with clients before and after tours.

Training Facilities:

In situations where riding lessons are offered alongside tours, guides may work in indoor riding arenas or training facilities.

Equipment Storage:

Guides may spend time indoors organising and storing equipment such as saddles, bridles, helmets, and other riding gear.

Administrative Work:

Completing paperwork, updating tour schedules, and communicating with management or administrative staff may require time in indoor settings.

Outdoor Working Environment:

Trail and Natural Environments:

The primary working environment for a horseback tour guide is outdoors, leading tours through a variety of natural landscapes such as forests, mountains, plains, or coastal areas.

Wildlife Reserves or Parks:

Guides may work in wildlife reserves or national parks, offering tours that provide participants with the opportunity to observe local wildlife in their natural habitats.

Cultural or Historical Sites:

Some tours may include visits to cultural or historical sites, adding an educational element to the outdoor experience.

Adventure Tourism Locations:

In areas known for adventure tourism, such as mountainous regions or scenic landscapes, guides may lead tours that emphasize the thrill of exploration.

Remote or Rural Areas:

Tours might take place in remote or rural locations, requiring guides to navigate less-developed trails and handle logistical challenges associated with more secluded settings.

Weather Considerations:

Guides need to be prepared to work in various weather conditions, including rain, sunshine, or even snow, depending on the location and the season.

Places of Employment:

Tour Companies: Many horseback tour guides are employed by tour companies that specialize in outdoor adventures, horseback safaris, or trail rides.

Resorts and Ranches:

Guides may work at resorts or ranches that offer horseback riding as part of their recreational activities.

Wildlife and Nature Reserves:

Employment opportunities exist in wildlife reserves or nature parks where horseback tours provide a unique way for visitors to experience the natural environment.

Adventure Tourism Centers:

Guides may find employment in adventure tourism centers that offer a variety of outdoor activities, including horseback tours.

Educational Institutions:

In some cases, guides may work for educational institutions that provide riding lessons or experiential learning programs on horseback.


Some guides choose to operate independently, offering private horseback tours or partnering with other local businesses in the tourism industry.

What is the Average Annual Salary for a Horse Safari Guide?

Salaries for horse safari guides can vary widely based on factors such as experience, location, the level of demand for horseback tours, and the specific industry or company they work for. Additionally, compensation structures may differ, with some guides earning a fixed salary and others relying on tips or a combination of both.

United States:

$25,000 to $40,000 per year, depending on experience and location.


$25,000 to $40,000 per year, with variations based on factors like location and experience.

United Kingdom:

£18,000 to £30,000 per year. Salaries may vary in different regions.


₹2,00,000 to ₹4,00,000 per year. Compensation can vary based on the location and the scale of the horseback tour operation.


AU$45,000 to AU$70,000 per year. Salaries may vary depending on factors such as experience and location.

New Zealand:

NZ$40,000 to NZ$60,000 per year. Compensation may vary based on factors like experience and the popularity of horseback tours in the region.


₦600,000 to ₦1,200,000 per year. Compensation can vary based on the type of tours offered and the local demand.


KSh 500,000 to KSh 1,000,000 per year. Salaries may depend on factors such as the location and the popularity of horseback tours.

South Africa:

R120,000 to R300,000 per year. Compensation may vary based on factors like experience and the demand for horseback tours.

South America (General):

Salaries can vary widely across South American countries, ranging from $10,000 to $30,000 per year or more, depending on factors such as location and demand.

Europe (General):

Salaries in Europe can range from €20,000 to €40,000 per year, with variations based on the country, experience, and demand for horseback tours.

Southeast Asia (General):

Salaries in Southeast Asia can vary widely. In countries like Thailand or Vietnam, for example, they may range from $5,000 to $15,000 per year or more, depending on factors like location and demand.

Can a Horse Safari Guide be promoted?

Promotion levels for a horse safari guide may not follow a traditional corporate hierarchy, but career advancement can occur through gaining experience, expanding responsibilities, pursuing additional education, and obtaining relevant certifications. Here are three or four potential promotion levels with corresponding considerations:

Entry-Level Horse Safari Guide


High school diploma or equivalent. Basic horsemanship and riding skills. First aid and CPR certification.


Leading introductory horseback tours. Assisting with basic administrative tasks. Ensuring the safety of participants.


Basic horsemanship certification. First aid and CPR certification.

Experienced Horse Safari Guide


Continued horsemanship education. Training in environmental interpretation. Customer service workshops.


Leading more advanced and diverse tours. Providing educational commentary about the environment. Training new guides.


Advanced horsemanship certification. Environmental interpretation training.

Senior Horse Safari Guide / Lead Guide


Leadership and management courses.
Specialised training in specific tour types (e.g., adventure tours, cultural tours). Wilderness first aid certification.


Overseeing daily tour operations. Managing a team of guides. Developing and implementing new tour routes.


Leadership and management certification. Specialised tour training. Wilderness first aid certification.

Supervisor or Manager in Horse Safari Operations


Advanced degree in tourism management or related field. Marketing and business development courses. Continuous professional development.


Managing the entire horseback tour operation. Developing marketing strategies to increase business. Budgeting and financial management.


Advanced management certification. Business development courses.

What difficulties does a Horse Safari Guide face?

Horse safari guides may encounter various challenges in their profession, spanning physical demands, safety concerns, working conditions, emotional challenges, business management, regulatory compliance, continuing education, and unpredictable work hours. Here are some of the challenges they might face:

Physical Demands:

Long Hours in the Saddle:

Guides may spend extended periods on horseback, leading to physical strain and fatigue.

Outdoor Exposure:

Exposure to various weather conditions, such as heat, cold, or rain, can be physically demanding.

Safety Concerns:

Animal Handling:

Dealing with unpredictable behaviour from horses and ensuring the safety of both riders and the animals.

Emergency Situations:

Being prepared to handle unexpected emergencies, such as injuries to participants or horses.

Variability in Working Conditions:

Terrain Challenges:

Navigating through diverse terrains, which can be physically challenging for both guides and participants.

Environmental Factors:

Dealing with changing weather conditions and their impact on trail conditions.

Emotional Challenges:

Participant Reactions:

Managing the emotional reactions of participants, especially in challenging or unexpected situations,.

Animal Welfare:

Balancing the emotional connection with the horses and ensuring their well-being.

Business Management:

Seasonal Demand:

Handling fluctuations in demand for horseback tours, which may be more prominent during certain seasons.

Marketing and Competition:

Attracting customers and competing with other tour providers in the industry.

Regulatory Compliance:

Permitting and Licensing:

Ensuring compliance with local regulations, obtaining necessary permits, and maintaining required licenses.

Environmental Conservation:

Adhering to regulations related to preserving natural habitats and wildlife.

Continuing Education:

Skills Development:

Staying updated on horsemanship techniques, safety protocols, and any changes in regulations.

Environmental Knowledge:

Keeping abreast of changes in the local environment, wildlife, and cultural aspects for informative tours.

Unpredictable Work Hours:

Flexible Schedule:

Adapting to varying work hours, which may include weekends, holidays, and evenings based on tour schedules and demand.

Customer Satisfaction:

Managing Expectations:

Ensuring that participants have realistic expectations and addressing any dissatisfaction promptly.

Communication Skills:

Effectively communicating with diverse groups of participants and handling different personalities.

Health and Well-being:

Physical Fitness:

Maintaining personal fitness to cope with the physical demands of the job.

Mental Health:

Managing stress and emotional challenges associated with the responsibility of guiding groups.

Financial Stability:

Income Variability:

Dealing with income fluctuations, especially during offseason or periods of low demand.

Budgeting and Expenses:

Managing personal finances, especially if working as a freelancer or in a seasonal position.

Horse safari guides need to be adaptable, resilient, and continuously focused on enhancing their skills to navigate these challenges successfully. Training programs, support from management, and a commitment to safety and customer satisfaction are essential components of a thriving horse safari guide profession.

​Future growth and Possibilities

Job market projections can vary by region, and they are often influenced by factors such as economic conditions, tourism trends, and environmental considerations.

Here are some insights into trends and possibilities that may influence the future of the horse safari guide industry:

Growing Interest in Outdoor Activities:

The increasing popularity of outdoor and adventure activities may contribute to a rise in demand for horseback tours. People are seeking unique and immersive experiences in natural settings.

Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Tourism:

There is a growing trend towards sustainable and eco-friendly tourism. Horseback tours, when conducted responsibly, align with these preferences, offering a low-impact way to explore natural landscapes.

Technological Integration:

The use of technology, such as online booking platforms, mobile apps, and virtual experiences, may become more prevalent in the horseback tour industry, enhancing the customer experience and streamlining operations.

Focus on Educational and Cultural Experiences:

Horseback tours that incorporate educational elements, such as environmental interpretation and cultural insights, may see increased demand as travellers seek more enriching and educational experiences.

Health and Wellness Tourism:

The emphasis on health and wellness may lead to increased interest in activities like horseback riding, which provide physical exercise, outdoor exposure, and stress reduction.

Rise of Niche Markets:

Niche markets within the horseback tour industry, such as themed tours, specialised trail experiences, or exclusive packages, may emerge to cater to specific interests and preferences.

Community and Local Engagement:

Tours that involve engagement with local communities and support for local economies may gain popularity as travellers seek authentic and responsible tourism experiences.

Regulatory Changes and Safety Standards:

Evolving regulations related to safety, environmental conservation, and animal welfare may impact how horseback tours are conducted, influencing the standards and practices within the industry.

Global Events and Travel Restrictions:

Global events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, can significantly impact the tourism industry. Travel restrictions, health concerns, and economic conditions may influence the pace of recovery and growth.

Climate Change and Environmental Conservation:

Climate change awareness may shape tour offerings, with an increased focus on sustainable practices, conservation initiatives, and the protection of natural habitats.

It’s important to note that the future of the horse safari guide industry is subject to various external factors, and trends may evolve over time. Professionals in this field can benefit from staying informed about industry developments, embracing sustainable practices, and adapting to changing consumer preferences and expectations. Additionally, local and regional economic conditions can play a crucial role in determining the growth prospects of the industry.

Availability of Jobs


Which Skills do Horse Safari Guides need?

The skills required for a career as a horse safari guide can be divided into two very important gSafari Guideroups. The first is the group containing life skills, which are the core skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life. The second group is career skills, or the specific skills required to allow a person to enter and operate effectively within a specific career. Some or maybe even all of the life skills can assist in strengthening the career skills, and they might even be the same for specific careers.

Life Skills

  • Self-awareness
  • Empathy
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Decision making
  • Problem Solving
  • Effective communication
  • Interpersonal relationship
Life Skills

Career Skills

  • Animal care
  • Animal handling
  • Customer service
  • Handle instruments
  • Good overall health
  • Computer literate
  • Business knowledge
Career Skills

Which Subjects must I have at School to help me prepare for this career?

The subjects you choose at school are important as they lay the foundation for further studies at college or university. While still at school, it’s also important to learn more about the animals you will work with, as well as gain some experience.

OZT has a list of various tertiary institutions where you can study further, after school. Each of these institutions also have their own Group page on OZT where you will find the exact subjects they require of you to have passed in school. Keep these requirements in mind, and discuss it with your school, guidance counselor and parents to ensure that you are prepared!

What will I need to Study to become a Horse Safari Guide?

Minimum Requirements

A high school diploma or its equivalent is typically the minimum educational requirement for becoming a horseback tour guide.

Study Focus

Subjects if Further Study is Required:

Equine Studies or Animal Science:

Consider enrolling in courses related to equine studies or animal science to gain a deeper understanding of horse behaviour, care, and anatomy.

Environmental Science or Biology:

Courses in environmental science or biology can enhance your knowledge of ecosystems, flora, and fauna, which can be valuable when providing educational commentary during tours.


Knowledge of geography is useful for understanding and navigating diverse terrains, especially if you plan to work in various locations.

Tourism and Hospitality Management:

Explore courses in tourism and hospitality management to learn about the principles of customer service, marketing, and business operations in the tourism industry.

Outdoor Education or Adventure Tourism:

Courses in outdoor education or adventure tourism can provide insights into guiding techniques, safety protocols, and outdoor leadership skills.

Advanced Studies (if necessary):

Degree in Tourism Management or Related Field:

Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in tourism management or a related field can provide a more in-depth understanding of the tourism industry, business management, and strategic planning.

Certification in Leadership or Management:

Advanced studies in leadership or management can be beneficial for those aspiring to take on supervisory or managerial roles within the tour operation.

Optional Short Courses:

First Aid and CPR Certification:

Obtain certifications in first aid, CPR, and wilderness first aid to ensure you are well-prepared to handle emergencies and prioritise the safety of participants.

Guiding and Interpretation Courses:

Short courses in guiding and interpretation can enhance your skills in providing engaging and informative commentary during tours.

Language Courses:

If you plan to work in areas with international tourists, consider taking short courses in commonly spoken languages to improve communication with a diverse range of participants.

Riding Instructor Certification:

If you are interested in providing riding lessons alongside guiding, consider obtaining a riding instructor certification to demonstrate your expertise.

Environmental Interpretation Training:

Training in environmental interpretation can deepen your knowledge of local ecosystems, enabling you to offer richer and more educational experiences to participants.

Study Duration

The duration of a a College Diploma is between 2 and 3 years. Time spent on a Bachelor’s Degrees can be up to 4 years, and another 4 years for a Doctorate. Short Courses are usually between a few weeks and a year.

Possible Career Preparation Paths

If this is your dream career that you want to pursue, then it’s important to plan the way forward.

Why is planning important?

​To ensure that you understand the requirements for your career, and that you are always prepared for the next step on the road towards your dream. A preparation path is like a road map to where you want to be.

Possible Paths:

Here’s a comprehensive career preparation path for a high school student aspiring to pursue a horseback tour guide career:

1. Attend Career Guidance Sessions:

Attend career guidance sessions, workshops, or seminars to gain insights into the various career options within the tourism and outdoor industries.

2. Research All Possible Careers:

Explore different careers related to outdoor and adventure tourism, with a focus on horseback tour guiding. Research the responsibilities, qualifications, and potential paths for advancement.

3. Explore Educational Paths:

Investigate educational paths that align with a career in horseback tour guiding. Look into relevant programmes in fields such as equine studies, tourism management, or environmental science.

4. Align High School Subjects:

Choose high school subjects that align with the chosen educational path. Consider subjects like biology, geography, environmental science, or physical education to build a foundation for the required knowledge and skills.

5. Obtain a High School Diploma or Equivalent:

Focus on academic performance to secure a high school diploma or its equivalent.

6. Learn About Animals:

Gain knowledge about horses and their behaviour. Consider volunteering at local stables or participating in riding lessons to build hands-on experience with horses.

7. Align Post-School Path:

Evaluate whether to enter the workforce directly, pursue further studies (such as a diploma or degree), or explore entrepreneurship in the horseback tour guide industry.

8. Gain Experience:

Seek opportunities for hands-on experience through volunteering, internships, or mentorship programmes at stables, riding schools, or outdoor adventure companies.

9. Pursue Extracurricular Activities:

Engage in extracurricular activities related to horseback riding, outdoor adventures, or environmental conservation. This can demonstrate a genuine passion for the field.

10. Join Professional Associations:

Connect with relevant professional associations or organisations related to horseback riding, adventure tourism, or guiding. Attend events and network with industry professionals.

11. Gain specialised Skills:

Acquire specialised skills through training programmes or short courses. This could include certifications in horsemanship, first aid, or environmental interpretation.

12. Network with Professionals:

Build a network by attending industry events, workshops, and conferences. Connect with professionals in the field, seek advice, and explore potential mentorship opportunities.

13. Enter the Job Market, Finish Tertiary Studies, or Launch a Business:

Decide whether to enter the job market as a trainee guide, pursue tertiary studies in a related field, or consider launching a small-scale horseback tour business.

14. Stay Updated and Pursue Continuing Education:

Stay informed about industry trends, safety standards, and best practices. Pursue continuing education to enhance skills and knowledge throughout the career.

Possible Combined Career Paths

It is possible to sometimes combine two or more related careers. This normally happens when you study and practice a specific main career, but the knowledge and experience gained also help you to have a paying hobby or secondary income career.

Possible Alternatives (there are a lot more):

Stepping-stone Paths

A career as a horse safari guide can provide individuals with a unique set of skills and experiences that may open doors to various related professions. Here are some potential career paths that individuals who start as horse safari guides might consider as future opportunities:

Training and Apprenticeship

On-the-job training and apprenticeship play a crucial role in preparing individuals for a career as a horse safari guide. Here are common on-the-job training and apprenticeship requirements for entering this profession:

Horse Handling and Riding Skills:

On-the-job training often involves hands-on experience with horses. New guides learn how to handle, groom, tack, and ride horses effectively.

Safety Protocols and Emergency Procedures:

Training in safety protocols and emergency procedures is essential. Guides need to learn how to manage unexpected situations and emergencies, ensuring the safety of both participants and horses.

Trail Navigation and Terrain Awareness:

Apprenticeships include practical training on trail navigation, route planning, and awareness of diverse terrains. Guides must become familiar with the trails they will lead, including potential challenges and points of interest.

Interpretation and Educational Skills:

Guides need to develop skills in interpreting the environment and providing educational commentary. Training includes learning about local flora and fauna, natural ecosystems, and cultural or historical aspects relevant to the tour.

Customer Service and Communication:

Apprenticeships focus on developing strong customer service skills and effective communication with participants. Guides learn how to interact with diverse groups, address questions, and ensure a positive experience.

Equipment Maintenance:

Guides are trained in the maintenance of horseback riding equipment, such as saddles, bridles, and helmets. This includes regular checks and addressing any issues promptly.

First Aid and Emergency Response:

On-the-job training includes certification in first aid, CPR, and potentially wilderness first aid. Guides must be prepared to handle injuries or medical emergencies during tours.

Guiding Techniques and Group Management:

Apprentices learn guiding techniques for leading groups effectively. This includes managing the pace of the tour, ensuring participants stay together, and addressing the needs of riders with varying skill levels.

Environmental and Wildlife Knowledge:

Training involves gaining knowledge about the local environment, wildlife, and ecosystems. Guides need to be well-informed to provide engaging and informative commentary during tours.

Business Operations and Logistics:

For those involved in tour operations, apprenticeships may cover aspects of business management, including scheduling, customer bookings, and logistical coordination.

Cultural Sensitivity Training:

Guides may receive training on cultural sensitivity, particularly if the tours involve interaction with local communities. This ensures respectful engagement and enhances the cultural experience for participants.

Observation and Mentorship:

Apprentices often work alongside experienced guides, observing their techniques and gaining practical insights. Mentorship helps new guides refine their skills and build confidence.

Regulatory Compliance:

Training includes understanding and adhering to local regulations related to horseback tours, environmental conservation, and safety standards.

Continuing Education Opportunities:

Experienced guides may have opportunities for continuing education to stay updated on new techniques, safety standards, and industry trends.

The duration and structure of on-the-job training and apprenticeships can vary based on the employer and the complexity of the horse safari operation. Apprenticeships typically provide a well-rounded experience that combines practical skills with theoretical knowledge, preparing individuals for a successful career as horse safari guides.

Average level of education of all the people who enter the career:

High School Certificate 0%
Diploma or Short Courses 0%
Degree or Higher Studies 0%

Licenses, Certificate, Registration and Professional Associations

Becoming a horse safari guide often involves meeting certain licencing, certification, and legal registration requirements to ensure the safety of participants, the well-being of horses, and compliance with local regulations. The specific requirements can vary based on the country, state or province, and local jurisdiction. Here are some common considerations:

Licencing and Certification:

Horseback Riding Certification:

Some regions may require horseback tour guides to obtain a riding certification to demonstrate their proficiency in handling and riding horses safely.

First Aid and CPR Certification:

Guides are often required to have current certifications in first aid and CPR to handle medical emergencies during tours.

Wilderness First Aid Certification:

In areas where tours involve remote or wilderness settings, guides may be required to obtain wilderness first aid certification.

Legal Registration:

Tour Operator Licence:

If operating as a tour operator, obtaining a licence for the business may be necessary. This may involve registering with local tourism or business authorities.

Business Registration:

Guides working as independent contractors or running their own businesses may need to register their operations with relevant local authorities.


Acquiring liability insurance is essential to cover potential risks associated with horseback tours. This often includes coverage for injuries to participants, property damage, and other liabilities.

Permits for Trail Access:

In many locations, obtaining permits for access to specific trails or natural areas is necessary. This may involve coordinating with local land management agencies or park authorities.

Animal Welfare Compliance:

Ensuring compliance with animal welfare regulations is critical. This may include adherence to standards for the care, treatment, and transportation of horses.

Environmental Impact Assessments:

In ecologically sensitive areas, guides may need to undergo environmental impact assessments and adhere to regulations aimed at minimising the impact on natural habitats.

Educational Requirements:

Educational Certifications:

Guides may be required to complete specific educational certifications related to guiding techniques, environmental interpretation, and safety standards.

Other Considerations:

Background Checks:

Some jurisdictions may require guides to undergo background checks to ensure the safety of participants, particularly if working with vulnerable populations such as children.

Local Regulations and Zoning Laws:

Understanding and complying with local regulations and zoning laws is crucial. This may include adherence to noise ordinances, traffic regulations, and other relevant laws.

Cultural Awareness Training:

In regions with tours involving interaction with local communities, guides may need training in cultural sensitivity and respect.

Professional Associations

Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA):

United States:

Professional Trail Guides of America (PTGA):


Horse Council British Columbia (HCBC):

United Kingdom:

British Horse Society (BHS):


Horse Riding Adventures Australia:

New Zealand:

Horse Trekking New Zealand:

South Africa:

Equestrian Federation of South Africa (EFSA):

Where can I study further? (List of Registered Tertiary Institutions)

All of the above information will help you understand more about the career, including the fact that there are different paths to take to reach it. But if you are almost done with high school (grades 11 or 12), you also need to start thinking about further studies and where you will study.

See the list of universities, colleges, and online training academies that offer courses in tourism.

How do I start to prepare for this Career?

If you do decide on following this career, then OZT can assist you in gaining knowledge about the career and the animals you will be working with. We do this by offering you thousands of FREE short courses.

A. You can access the specialised study guide that fits in with the above preparation path

B.  If you are still uncertain about choosing this career, then have a look at our special series of WHAT NEXT courses. They take you through all of the questions you might have on how to choose the right career, what to do while and after school, and even how to start your own business.

C.  Or, join OZT as a member to access easy-to-use lists of courses to make your career preparation as smooth as possible! And yes, membership is always free.

Join the OZT online community for special access to more tools!

Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming a Horse Safari Guide

Members of the Platform have special access to:

  • Info on the best places where you can study (colleges, universities and online)
  • Expertly designed advice to prepare you for the career and links to places where you can gain valuable experience. Some career experience is necessary; otherwise, you won’t get the job!
  • Top-notch information on each of the different species you will work with
  • Make friends around the world and share knowledge
  • Compete and win points, badges, games, prizes, and certificates. Be the best of the best while you learn and prepare!

If you have decided on being a Horse Safari Guide, please click on the JOIN GROUP button. Members will be directed to the group, while non-members will be assisted in registering first.

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Some of the best websites to help you decide on a career are:

  1. Equitrekking:

    • Website: Equitrekking
    • Description: Equitrekking is a comprehensive resource for equestrian travelers, offering information on horseback riding vacations, tours, and travel destinations worldwide.
  2. Horseback Riding Tours by Viator:

    • Website: Viator – Horseback Riding Tours
    • Description: Viator is a popular travel platform that features a wide range of horseback riding tours and experiences in various destinations. Users can browse and book tours directly through the website.
  3. Horse Riding Holidays and Tours by Hidden Trails:

    • Website: Hidden Trails – Horse Riding Holidays
    • Description: Hidden Trails specializes in horseback riding holidays and tours, offering a diverse range of equestrian adventures in different parts of the world. The website provides detailed itineraries and booking options.

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