PDA

View Full Version : _



GleeRider
Oct. 29, 2009, 09:13 PM
_

Junebugz
Oct. 29, 2009, 09:17 PM
Never think that your dreams are unrealistic! Dream Big and work hard! Is there any way for you to work off your board bill with all of your experience? Or at a lot of working student positions you can bring your horse along. I suggest getting an OTTB for next to nothing and start working your way up now. What area are you in?

jumpsnake
Oct. 29, 2009, 09:56 PM
OK its late, but a thought...
once you are out of HS, you may well consider getting a WS position that allows you to work for more than just lessons. I know there are several that include board for horsie, lessons, rides on other horses, and some even housing or at least a chance at cheap housing-- and you can make some money teaching beginners, hauling to shows, etc etc.

You are 17-- you DO still have time. Hang in there! Focus on the now goal- it sounds like you have a great opportunity, work hard and go for this, and then worry about the next step. When people work hard, opportunities do come up. Just try to be open to new opportunities and aware of other options. If your current trainer is as good as you think, she'll be happy to send you on in a year or two. Relax!

Junebugz
Oct. 29, 2009, 10:04 PM
Your story sounds like mine....

I was 19 when I took a working student position with a dressage trainer and brought my little cow pony along. My goal was to make the YR team in my area for Eventing. We decided that in order to do that the barely 15h cow pony must go so we hurried to start him over fences so we could sell him quickly and then put that money toward a possible mount for me. Thats when we discovered this little guys amazing jumping talent. He loved to jump. Every picture I had of him jumping his eyes were bright his ears forward and eating up the jump. He was only like a 5 mover in the dressage ring so I really had to work with that. I busted my butt 6 days a week and went to school full time. When I had a show I would not take my day off the week before just so that I could go. My trainer did not go with me and I did it all alone. I begged course walks off BNT's at the show or winged it on my own. I split hotel rooms with others or slept in the truck or trailer. It was a far stretch that I would ever make prelim. Then my little guy started winning and moving up. As long as I had a good dressage score then I was garunteed a placing. He was never out of the top 3. In less then 18 mos my little man was winning at prelim and I was scrambling to get my qualifiers for a *. I wanted a spot on that team. I went to my first * by myself as I had no one to go with me. I went blind not even understanding the 10 min box or the different phases of endurance day. I will never forget the kindness off some of Julie Burns Richards and Stuart Black for lending me grooms and even coming to the 10 minute box themselves to help me! At your first event you hope for a completion and not only did I get that I placed 2nd! I had gotten my spot on the team. Sadly I had my horse vetted as a precaution before going down to Ralph Hills grueling training session in Florida and we discovered a tendon strain. I was told that it may never cause a problem or my horse could blow it out in the middle of the training session or event and possibly never be sound again. I made the tough decision to scratch.

I did all of this through hard work and dedication. I have no family so the bills were mine and mine alone. My trainer Gigi Nutter remains like family to me now and still pushes me. The heartbreak of having to scratch has kept me out of eventers for awhile but I am now ready to step back in. Ironically I start school toward my second degree after the first of the year right about the time I am looking at getting another project. So at 31 I will once again walk in your shoes, hoping to work off my board so that I may once again work toward a dream. While the Olympics seem a bit high right now I think I will just set my sights on Rolex lol

It can be done. If it is your passion and your dream then make it work for you!

ThirdCharm
Oct. 29, 2009, 10:35 PM
It can be done, but it will require hard work, sacrifice, patience, and committment. It is indeed unlikely that someone will hand you a fancy young prospect unless you are doing very well at upper levels already. So you're going to have to get yourself there on your own bootstraps most likely. This may mean making up a succession of cheap OTTBs on your own dime, sweat, blood, and tears, reselling ones who don't work out to fund more prospects, etc etc. Possibly while doing the WS thing by day and working at McD's at night until you want to die unless/until you find a more lucrative employment. It will probably, at numerous points, SUCK.

That aside, I'm all for giving it a swing! But if you're going to hit 25 (or 30, or 40) and feel like you've wasted all that time because nobody's handing you an invite to join The Team yet, you are probably in the wrong field. In horses, guarantees and tangible returns on investments are few and far between. If the process and the journey are not good enough rewards, and you could not be content with, perhaps, being a mid-level professional riding not-so-fancy horses if the Big Break doesn't happen, I'd strongly suggest taking a pass.

Jennifer

Foxhall
Oct. 29, 2009, 10:41 PM
not to be a debbie downer, but at age 17 without a horse RIGHT now or in the very near future that will take you to a 1* next summer, chances for young riders next summer look slim considering next year is your last year to do it at 1 *. You need to be competing prelim this winter, 1* in April/may-ish to have a shot at making the team. Maybe set the goal towards bigger picture, like trying to be the best horseman and rider you can be. This sort of goal allows you to succeed through pure grit and determination, not money and horsepower. Young Riders isn't the end all be all. Good Luck

deltawave
Oct. 29, 2009, 10:49 PM
It's great to have goals, and there is no other time in your life when the mantra "I can do anything I want as long as I am willing to do XYZ" is more relevant and realistic than at 17. :)

But it's also good to not put all your ambition eggs in one basket. NAYRC is a great program, but it is definitely not the only road to the top. It is, in my observation, a showplace for the mostly very, very affluent and well-mounted. Nothing wrong with that, but there's also nothing wrong with getting where you want to get by another road.

And leasing or riding a great horse that can carry you around successfully is WONDERFUL. Been there, done that, can't wait to do it again. But do you really need an expensive lease that is going to win for you every weekend? Or could you learn just as much for your future with a less exalted partner?

It's a tough road, and it sounds like you acknowledge that and aren't afraid of the sacrifices. But the short-term "shiny things" like NAYRC or a platinum-plated lease horse may not be as relevant or important to your long-term goals as you think. Try to decide which has more value to you in the long term.

Being devastated at the thought of not having all your dreams come true is a natural part of being your age. So set lots of goals, many of which are attainable, some of which are tough, some of which are downright humble, and a few that are "pie in the sky" types. Go for them one by one, and don't do yourself the disservice of pinning all of your self-worth only on the loftiest one. Good luck.

AKB
Oct. 29, 2009, 11:26 PM
Listen to Deltawave. I think her assessment of the YR program is quite accurate. It is a great program for kids who have time and money. It is not usually a good path for those who do not have time and money.

Think about your goals. My daughters took years of lessons with a wonderful woman who rode for the US at the Pan Am games. She always held herself out as an example that you can get an education and have a responsible job, and then go to the top in eventing. After you have a good job and money, everything is a lot easier. She got her PhD in genetics, and worked for NIH. She had flexible hours so she could ride the the mornings before going to work. Because she had a good income, she could afford very, very nice horses and could compete them as often as she wished.

Most of the people who try to make it in the horse world barely survive financially. They have to sell their best horses and are always living on the edge. I would never want to see my daughters have to live that way.

Think about backing off on your immediate goals and focusing more on the long term. After you have a good education and a good job, you can get the horse of your dreams and try out for the US team. Until then, ride as much as you can ride without it getting in the way of your education.

ozzy24
Oct. 29, 2009, 11:39 PM
Im in the same boat you are, GleeRider. I actually posted a thread today asking for stories about the Young Rider Program. I am 18 and would love to compete in the NAJYRC, but like you its a matter of money. I have the horse but also the bills. I know I can make it happen if I work hard enough, but also if I don't, I will still gain invaluable knowledge/experience/appreciation from the journey and I will get somewhere! Good luck and keep us updated!

ozzy24
Oct. 30, 2009, 12:01 AM
I am a college student in California, lived here my whole life. I am at a great barn with a trainer currently on the USEF B training list. I am not really a working student because I need to pay for all my horse's bills so I have a real job. But I do turnouts and blankets Monday nights to work off partial credit for trailering to shows. I also have the opportunity to ride other horses quite frequently, and I am actually also looking to start braiding for other people at shows. (other riders already have all the clipping territory.) I wish I could be a full time working student but I wouldn't make enough to cover all of his bills but I'm content with my current situation. I'm hoping to be a working student next summer in Virginia for one of my trainer's friends, and so I can't wait to experience east coast eventing!

ozzy24
Oct. 30, 2009, 12:46 AM
Yeah i just need to braid faster! haha but why Ram Tap?!?!?! Honestly, out of all the events here, it's the least nice. Lol but it's still a fun show. I'm going there again in Feb, hopefully this time it won't practically flood! Last year I got muddier during my dressage test than on cross country. We basically did our test in a pond. Haha.

gchildean
Oct. 30, 2009, 09:03 AM
FYI if you turn 18 in 2010 that woulkd be your last year to compete at the 1*. Even though you turn 19 later in 2011 you are considered 19 Jan. 1st 2010.

Whisper
Oct. 30, 2009, 11:47 AM
GleeRider, the only equestrian discipline I'm familiar with where you can go to NAJYRC and WEG without owning or leasing a horse is vaulting.

If you've only gone Novice, then trying to jump that many levels in one year might be a bit much. I don't think paying so much for a horse who can only go Training, even very well/has gone higher in the past, is necessarily the best use of your parents' money. Does your trainer or one of her students have a horse who you could part-lease and compete on at Training? Can you look around for other options?

I think that even if you plan on a career with horses, getting your degree while you can is a good idea, and will serve you well (take some business classes/etc.).

Eventingjunkie
Oct. 30, 2009, 12:04 PM
Leasing a been there/done that horse is a super way to learn and move up the levels. However, as others have said, it is doubtful you will make it to Young Riders at the 2 star level with the leased horse or a newbie. Concentrate on developing your skills for the future. You can do this with the leased horse and avoid picking up bad habits from defensive riding picked up while starting young ones.

Equestryn
Oct. 30, 2009, 01:58 PM
When I was 16 I had the exact same dreams as you. I was working hard on a budget so small you could barely see it. My parent's were kind enough to sacrifice everything for my riding lessons. I was brave, talented and dedicated. I ended up with a career altering injury at the age of 16. I fell in a jumper class and fractured my back. I was told by doctors that I'd never ride again. I thought I was finished. Instead, I set new goals that probably weren't attainable in others eyes but I managed to achieve them. I began riding again after several months, found a cheap ottb that was smooth enough that my back could handle it, found a fabulous trainer that wasn't too expensive and I showed my little butt off.

I finished Highschool with decent grades, got into a college with an equestrian team and that benefited me most of all. I learned to ride a ton of different horses. I trained green ones, I worked at the stable, I groomed at shows, taught beginners, was president of the equestrian team so I networked with other trainers and BN stables in the area.

I realized that like someone else said, people in the horse industry live on a small budget as the industry fluctuates so much. If you start out with money, you're fine. If you expect to go up from nothing, it's MUCH harder and it is a much longer road. I got my college education while keeping up with riding. I got a degree in Anthropology (I'm currently an archaeologist) just to have a degree and to get a decent job. I managed to secure a decent job with flexible hours. I found several stables who needed help in exchange for riding. I began taking dressage lessons on a dutch warmblood. I began doing jumpers again and found myself interested in eventing.

I then found an empty stable up for lease and jumped at the opportunity to open a boarding facility. I have two horses of my own, both are pretty green but one will make a fantastic second or third level dressage/eventer and the other is my fun project. I need to figure out what he wants.

I'm now 24. I have my "own" stable, my own students, a string of lesson horses, we show quite a bit in our area at events and h/j shows.

I still have lofty goals. I'd like to see my name on the cover of a magazine. I'd like to compete at Rolex. I'd like to do Grand Prix. I'd like to have students who show at Rolex. That kind of thing. I still have outrageous goals but they're not unattainable. Even now at 24, I know I could make the US olympic team.

Keep your chin up, work hard and don't worry about the wealthy kids beating you to the post. It's not the destination that counts, it's the journey.

Junebugz
Oct. 30, 2009, 02:29 PM
^^^
very well stated

Speedy
Oct. 30, 2009, 05:16 PM
I think you should forget about YR and focus on learning to ride and train a variety of horses. One of the really great things about eventing is that you may age out of YR, but you don't become physically incapable of participating in the sport by the time you are 30. There is plenty of time to reach your goal of competing at the upper levels.

I also think that you should focus equally on your education. You will find it MUCH easier to pursue your dream if you have the means to independently support your horses. Living as a professional rider / trainer is a TOUGH way to go. I wouldn't discourage it if that is what you really want to do - but - I'd think long and hard, if I were you, about having the experience of establishing a great bond with a competitive horse, versus a career as a rider / trainer. There is a big difference, and it is not, fortunately, too late yet for you to have both the horse and, well, a much easier life doing something else entirely :)

If you think you do want a career as a rider / trainer, then I encourage you to go for a year to the barn of an upper level professional who does NOT have sponsorship. Most don't get it, and this will give you a more realistic idea of what it is all about. If you go to KOC and ride at the Mars family property, for example, you may have a fab time, but you will not be getting a realistic view of what the vast majority of professionals have to deal with.

lowrider
Oct. 30, 2009, 06:02 PM
With focus and hard work you can attain all of your goals!
Don't let your studies slip as an education is never wasted - If you are going to make it as an athlete you will need more than a good grounding in your chosen sport.
Success in eventing is 50% sportsmanship and 50% business acumin. You will need to be able to work with (and for) your sponsors and make yourself a good candidate to catch the better deals and rides if you want to get the tools you need to sustain yourself at the higher levels of competition.
Whatever you do, remember that you do it because you love it and DON'T GIVE UP:)
GOOD LUCK

ozzy24
Oct. 30, 2009, 08:09 PM
Which event do you prefer out west?

Well pretty much all of them are great. Twin Rivers is awesome, it's where one of the annual training sessions with CMP is usually held. They also have a great 3* in April every year. Then there is Woodside, which has nice events and has started hosting a Prelim Challenge in May that has a rider div and a horse div, each with 7,500 prize money plus 5k more in prizes. Pretty sweet! And there's Galway, which I haven't made it down that far south yet, but I plan to next year. Same organizer as Woodside, Robert Kellerhouse, and I hear it's pretty impressive. They always have tons of prize money, in fact this weekend they are hosting the annual CCI**, CCI* LF, CCI* w/out and a T3D. The 1* has 3,000 in prize money and there are only 11 entered in the Long Format! But really, I hear it's a great show. Wonderful courses with a good moveup course for Prelim in the fall. And then this summer I went up to Inavale Farms in Oregon for the T3D and that sure was a great event! Loved the training course, definitely maxed out, and the ground was soooo green! (very diff than CA). Haha and it was was fun to ride SJ on grass!

eventr4life
Oct. 30, 2009, 08:27 PM
For one thing why is your horse getting $350 shoes?! haha

If i were in your situation i would get a real job that would give me more income so that i can not be as stressed out about money, and how am i going to pay for the next board..etc.
I would also focus on your education like the above posts because that is REALLY important. What if you get hurt and are unable to ride the rest of your life(sorry, i know terrible to think about). You need an education, skills, and a degree to fall back on as a "back up plan"
Get a job, get some money, dont spend it unwisely, and use that well earned money to take care of that horse you love and compete in whatever you want!!
Good Luck!!

Maya01
Oct. 30, 2009, 08:34 PM
We can cry together, mate! :cry:

Being 16, having horrible luck with past horses, no show record to prove myself and nothing but a cheapy TB, who could probably go up to the top, but she is 4. So I have a long road ahead of me...I have to remind myself that at least I have *something*

I know I am a decent rider. I want to go to the top. But, without the money I don't know if it is sustainable :(

I don't think you should be paying for lease on top of hock/stifle injections. I say work for a free lease, or something close. The horse is older, therefore he is at the end of his career and they shouldn't be charging you. In this market, you can get away with it. If not there are always more opportunities I am sure you can grasp at.

Just work your arse off and I am sure, if you're really good, opportunities will come to you. And a word from the wise, don't just take any horse. This is your blood, sweat and tears, find a decent horse that isn't going to screw you over in the end. This means don't go for something that has already known issues and keep your champagne taste on a beer budget ;)

ozzy24
Oct. 30, 2009, 08:57 PM
BTW, has anyone else gotten their USEA mag and read the article about NAJYRC? It's great!

ozzy24
Oct. 30, 2009, 09:47 PM
Did you get my PM?

GleeRider
Oct. 30, 2009, 10:38 PM
Just sent you a very long response! Sorry in advance.

retreadeventer
Oct. 31, 2009, 10:24 AM
I love your positive dreams.

I've read thru these responses and I sort of get a feeling everyone is trying to give you positive encouragement, but adding in a few caveat's - from their experiences.

Don't let your excitement over the goals you have in this sport get in the way of common sense advice some have generously posted here.

There are OTHER horses to come. Other jobs. Education. All of these things are coming for you. Your current situation is not going to get you to your goals - from what you have described. There are loads of horses out there available for free lease to good kids who ride well, I know of several owners in my area desperate for a good kid to ride a horse a couple times or even once a week. Think of the possibilities if you think outside your own (stable or trainer) box. As well as the better cash flow and easier living.

I hate it when I read about working students being taken advantage of. Not saying that is your case but your expenses in leasing a training level packer are a bit high for my liking.

Best of luck. :)

Tallyyo
Oct. 31, 2009, 09:03 PM
"Where the heart is willing it will find a way. Where it is unwilling, a million excuses." Good luck to you with everything you do!

Hey Mickey
Nov. 1, 2009, 10:13 AM
Why can't you have an extra job on top of your working student job, to help ease expenses?

I work 3 jobs, go to school full time and still ride.
My parents don't pay for anything, horse, school, or car related.

I agree with the others, find a different horse to lease.
Good luck!
I know I would have loved to do the Young Riders, but there was no way it would have been able to happen for me, especially because I have no real support system (mental or financial).

Couture TB
Nov. 1, 2009, 10:56 AM
I've done two working student positions. Both included room and board for the horse and I, lessons, trailering to events, and coaching. I would not be a working student doing it any other way.

Why would you pay a ton to lease a horse that can only go Training? Is winning the important thing to you or is learning? I would find a trainer to do a working student position under with the things listed above, and get a nice TB to bring up the levels with their help and instruction.

asterix
Nov. 1, 2009, 11:03 AM
You've gotten lots of great advice here. I agree with others that some of the costs you have to take on seem high (I adore my farrier, but if I went to Aiken, I'd have him use his network to find a rec for someone IN Aiken. I am SURE there are good farriers in Aiken!!! and so on), but this horse may well be the best opportunity where you are to help further your skills.

The one thing I'd add to the pot is to keep an open mind about HOW you get to your goals, and WHAT those goals are. Many of us who are older can look back on where we were, what decisions we made, and what we thought was certain when we were your age....and see how different our paths have been since then.

This will happen to you in some way -- not saying AT ALL that you won't or can't achieve goals you have now, but just know that it is not possible or maybe even desirable to have it all mapped out now. Do not make decisions with tunnel vision, and be open to unexpected things coming your way.

If you were to take the riders at a WEG or an Olympic games, for, say, the top 4 teams, and look backwards through their lives to the age of 16...you would find a LOT of different paths to "the top" -- some conventional, some unconventional. Some people who rode as their sole focus for 10 or 15 years, some who did not ride much while getting degrees, starting a career, or having a family (let's not forget, our current olympic gold medalist is a dentist!), and then got back into it. There IS NO ONE RIGHT WAY to succeed.

Just learn, work hard -- sounds like you are good to go on those fronts -- and keep an open mind. If you are in Aiken this winter you will be exposed to a lot of other programs and trainers -- talk to everyone you can, learn how as many different parts of this world work. This will help you make good decisions....

pinkdiamondracing
Nov. 1, 2009, 11:54 AM
Reaching the top level can be done on an inexpensive horse!!!!! My sister competes at the ****level on an OTTB she bought for $300. El Primero is as good as they come, and he didn't cost 70k!!!!

Tootsie
Nov. 1, 2009, 01:20 PM
I want to give you a piece of advise for the future. It is not specific to the horse world, but getting jobs in general. It is this; your resume doesn't get you a job, friends and family get you jobs.

I worked as a working student through college and I did go to young riders. That was back when you could still do the CCI* when you were over 18. I went when I was 19 and didn't finish because my horse was sore Sunday morning. I didn't make it the next year at the CCI** level and now my upper level horse is a pasture ornament. So I was a year from finishing college with no horse. I decided to travel and spent three years overseas working with horses. During that time I groomed at both the WEG and the Olympics. I got every job I had during those three years through contacts I have made.

If you want to work with horses, you don't work in a vacuum. The work you are doing now will come back to reward you 10 years down the road. Work hard, learn, be polite, and never ever burn bridges in the horse world. Because in the future when you need horses to ride, you will have recommendations of the people you worked for in the past.

My main advise is to attend college and get a degree. When I was trying to do young riders during college I was so frustrated because I felt college was getting in the way of my riding. However, I would never have left school because in the end I work with horses because I want to, not because I have to. I'm smart enough and educated enough that I could choose to get a normal 9 to 5 job and pay for my horses but I don't want to. I think there are a lot of people who do horses who don't know anything else and being stuck in a job with long hours and bad pay makes it hard. However, if you choose those hours and pay it is much easier to deal with.

It is possible to make a career in horse without having series financial backing. I've just started my own business and I have a friend who does the same. Just be realistic about your goals. Just because your not competing at the Olympics at 25 doesn't mean you wont and that you are succeeding.

Maya01
Nov. 1, 2009, 02:38 PM
Thank you for the reply Maya! Hahah yes we can definitely cry together. Not a fun situation to be in at all. We literally are in the same position. The fact that you have a horse though, and a good one at that, really helps your situation. Will you be going to young riders 1* in a year or two.. same in my case very doubtful. But a 2* in 5 years is much more likely. Not very likely but still much better chances. Maybe in 5 years we'll be on the same team :P *crosses fingers* I'll remember this.

As far as the horse i am leasing. I do completely agree with you. I don't think that all of those expenses should be necessary. That is something i still need to talk to my trainer about. We'll see. Hopefully with the scholarship i applied for and have a good chance of getting, i will be able to put some of that towards Aiken this winter. The horse may be older, but he has at LEAST 5 more years of competing in him. He litterally is a little POWERHOUSE! :]

"Champagne taste on a beer budget." Lol that honest to god is the story of my life. I think that may just have to go in my signature on here. Thanks again Maya!! I wish you the very best of luck and would love to get an update on how you guys are doing :)

:lol: I hope our circles collide at some point *crosses fingers*! I was going suggest the scholarship/bursary thing - but it looks like you have already done that! haha Oh and about the college/university thing - just go to Europe and get a job with a big rider there - that is the university education for riders :yes: You can't learn anything about the equestrian world in a classroom ;D

Try looking around for more options for horses. It may not be the best of things if he is on injections just to keep him going and competing in 3 days. You may find that it will be really tricky to keep him 100%. Even if he is really nice, there is always the constant question about the areas he have to be injected. If you get him for free lease than take him - but look for horses in your area/Aiken.

And even with a horse, I still think I have the shorter end of the stick here - I'm stuck in the Canadian winter while you go south :P haha

I'll keep you updated if you keep me updated! Best of luck :D

Trixie
Nov. 2, 2009, 01:06 PM
That is the one reason why i am so eager to go to young riders is for the exposure and ability to work with so many good trainers because that for some riders gives them the edge to train more horses and have a good income. I really havent thought about starting a career and riding on the side. But i do understand where you are coming from. And it is much less of a risk

Well, you NEED to think about it. At the very least, you need something to fall back on. Because as much fun as horses are, and as wonderful and awesome as working with them all the time could be, there’s a very big downside to this industry – you can very easily get hurt and never ride again, much less be able to do anything physical ever again. A fall-back plan is common sense. The idea of a business degree is an EXCELLENT plan.

I’m another that supports my passions through having a job. I’m not sure where you think these “good incomes” come from in the horse industry – there are precious few, even when a rider is talented and connected. Wasn’t Amy Tryon working as a firefighter for years and years before she had enough income from her professional riding activities to live and compete? How many trainers own their farms (and are not mortgaged to the hilt) and have good health insurance without spousal support? How many will be able afford to put their kids through school? How many will be able to afford to retire someday?

Just read the forums every time someone, a major rider, takes a header into a fence and has to ask for donations because they cannot afford the costs? How many live in fear of that?


You can't learn anything about the equestrian world in a classroom ;D

I bet this is why we’ve got so many trainers with absolutely no darn business sense whatsoever.

The good news about this industry is that there are plenty of ways to be successful, and you really do have the rest of your life to pursue the passion. Sure, it’s disheartening at 17 when other folks have things handed to them, but at thirty when they’re burnt out on riding and you’re still enjoying yourself, it won’t make a difference. However, there will ALWAYS be someone with a better horse, more money, and more opportunities.

GleeRider
Nov. 2, 2009, 06:52 PM
I want to give you a piece of advise for the future. It is not specific to the horse world, but getting jobs in general. It is this; your resume doesn't get you a job, friends and family get you jobs.

I worked as a working student through college and I did go to young riders. That was back when you could still do the CCI* when you were over 18. I went when I was 19 and didn't finish because my horse was sore Sunday morning. I didn't make it the next year at the CCI** level and now my upper level horse is a pasture ornament. So I was a year from finishing college with no horse. I decided to travel and spent three years overseas working with horses. During that time I groomed at both the WEG and the Olympics. I got every job I had during those three years through contacts I have made.

If you want to work with horses, you don't work in a vacuum. The work you are doing now will come back to reward you 10 years down the road. Work hard, learn, be polite, and never ever burn bridges in the horse world. Because in the future when you need horses to ride, you will have recommendations of the people you worked for in the past.

My main advise is to attend college and get a degree. When I was trying to do young riders during college I was so frustrated because I felt college was getting in the way of my riding. However, I would never have left school because in the end I work with horses because I want to, not because I have to. I'm smart enough and educated enough that I could choose to get a normal 9 to 5 job and pay for my horses but I don't want to. I think there are a lot of people who do horses who don't know anything else and being stuck in a job with long hours and bad pay makes it hard. However, if you choose those hours and pay it is much easier to deal with.

It is possible to make a career in horse without having series financial backing. I've just started my own business and I have a friend who does the same. Just be realistic about your goals. Just because your not competing at the Olympics at 25 doesn't mean you wont and that you are succeeding.



I sent you a PM! :]

Everythingbutwings
Nov. 3, 2009, 09:04 AM
Trixie, What i was saying is that i never thought about having a completely separate career. I understand exactly why you say that, but i really am interested in having a career in horses, not just a hobby.

...I was saying getting an equine studies degree! Not a business degree. That has always been my plan, like i said. I really appreciate your advice but if you are going to reply back in a very negative manner i would really prefer you didnt reply at all. Thanks again.

-GleeRider


To quote a very talented amateur who is gainfully employed outside of the horse industry in order to support the life so craved, "It's like beating simple people with pickles"

Trixie
Nov. 3, 2009, 09:46 AM
Trixie, What i was saying is that i never thought about having a completely separate career. I understand exactly why you say that, but i really am interested in having a career in horses, not just a hobby. I have ALWAYS been going to go to college and get a degree as something to fall back on and of course to use towards starting a business if that is something that is in the cards.

That’s why I said that your plan of getting a business degree is a GOOD idea. Because if you walk into this industry unprepared – as apparently seem to be, since you’re working 60 hours a week “just for lessons” and paying all your other expenses, while thinking it’s an “amazing opportunity.”

Do you realize that at the federal minimum wage working 60 hours per week, you’re making about $22K per year? 8.5 hours a day of work, 7 days a week, for one daily $62 lesson? How are you going to afford the additional “30K per year” that you’re looking at? Are they offering you health insurance and workers comp if something happens?


And yes, i understand entirely that i may have to get a job. Almost positive that will have to happen. It's not like im dropping out of school expecting to open up business and have people flock to me. I'm 17 not stupid.

I didn’t call you stupid, and neither did anyone else. That’s an overreaction. I asked you to thoroughly examine the very reality of having a job in the horse industry, which is that very few people manage to make a “good” living at it. It’s a hard living. Even if you are very, very good at riding and training and have years of experience with great trainers under your belt, it’s a hard living. ESPECIALLY if you start out without capital, and that goes DOUBLE if you start out in a situation that puts you into debt.

Take a look at Yard & Groom for some available jobs in this industry. There are few that are “careers” – most of the riding and training jobs are working students. However, with a real fall back job/skills you have a chance of being able to subsidize your business while you get it off the ground. That’s what I was trying to say.


And the reason i said in a classroom you can't learn anything about the horse would,is something that you left out in your quote. I was saying getting an equine studies degree! Not a business degree.

I wasn’t quoting you there. I was quoting Maya.



That has always been my plan, like i said. I really appreciate your advice but if you are going to reply back in a very negative manner i would really prefer you didnt reply at all. Thanks again.

You came onto a public forum and asked for advice. It’s unfortunate that you feel that being told to look at something realistically is “negative” – but since you’re looking at working in a LUXURY industry during a VERY poor economy – it would behoove you to look at the realities. If you didn’t ACTUALLY want advice, and would prefer people to hold your hand and tell you to blithely pursue your dreams because, if you dream hard enough, you’ll totally make it - fine. But I’m not so inclined. I’ve seen entirely too much burn out – and entirely too many people with “dreams” wind up at age 50, unable to continue in their dream industry, and virtually unemployable elsewhere.

tuppysmom
Nov. 3, 2009, 10:22 AM
My DD went to YR, but as a groom. She had he right horse and was the correct age, but had another goal and YR , with the horse, didn't fit the schedule. She had a great time and learned a bunch about how "teams" operate.

DD also has a fall back position if the day comes when she wants to follow another career path. For the moment I think she is happy working the long hours that it takes to be in the horse game full time.

Fortunately, this sport is a life sport and one does not have to make it to the top level at a young age. There is much to learn and it is a lot of work, but it is also a lot of fun.

Relax, the ( horse) world does not stop turning when you turn 18 !

3 Day Ranch
Nov. 4, 2009, 04:50 PM
Not to hijack the topic-but the aspiration for going to Young Riders would be greatly assisted by YR going back to a 21 year old age limit for the one star instead of 18. I understand that the FEI will not recognize it as a Championship if that is the case, but that is how it was before and it was fine. The requirement that they only be juniors in the one star puts alot of pressure on kids and horses which probably isnt necessary especially in light of the fact that the one star teams from most areas are far from full.

In this age of heighten safety concerns, I guess I am surprised that there hasnt been a movement to change it back. I know Natalie Rooney is circulating a petition for submittal to USEA so contact her if you would like to show your support for raising the age back to 21.