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Beau Cheval
Dec. 31, 2009, 04:46 PM
What is the worth of a college degree in equine science? If you are looking at a trainer's credentials, is that something that impresses you? Do you think potential trainers should choose that as a concentration in college?

For me, I would rather see that a trainer had real world experience such as good competition results at a high level and previous jobs with top notch trainers and riders.


thanks

lcw579
Dec. 31, 2009, 04:56 PM
I don't think they are worth much personally. I would also rather see someone who has spent a lifetime with horses learning from the best rather than someone who hangs a degree on the wall. Honestly from my experiences as a kid and with some people I have met since I haven't met any many true horsepeople who felt the need for the equine science degree. A college degree, sure, but in business or the old "fall back on" degree.

I remember as a teen when people would show up at the farm and announce that they had a degree from such and such and would like a job or to ride. The BO would just bring out one of the trickier horses in for training put them on and watch the fireworks. Then he would call over one of us barnrate (oh how we loved to be the chosen one) and would have us put the horse through its paces. He would then remark that we were learning to be horsemen the old fashioned way, by doing, and that couldn't be found in a book.

Of course, this is all just my opinion and I'm sure you'll get many differing ones.

lpcutter
Dec. 31, 2009, 04:59 PM
Are you asking about a degree for yourself or are you looking for a trainer with a degree? If you want a trainer that excels at their discipline then I would chose one that is successful in their field whether or not they have a degree in equine science. On the other hand, if you are wanting to become a trainer, I would encourage you to pursue the riding and training but go ahead and get a college degree. You never know when you may need to fall back on your education. It doesn't really matter if the degree is in equine science or something else because the discipline and worldliness you develop will be an asset to you no matter what you do for a living. I hope this is helpful to you.

Beau Cheval
Dec. 31, 2009, 05:04 PM
Are you asking about a degree for yourself or are you looking for a trainer with a degree? If you want a trainer that excels at their discipline then I would chose one that is successful in their field whether or not they have a degree in equine science. On the other hand, if you are wanting to become a trainer, I would encourage you to pursue the riding and training but go ahead and get a college degree. You never know when you may need to fall back on your education. It doesn't really matter if the degree is in equine science or something else because the discipline and worldliness you develop will be an asset to you no matter what you do for a living. I hope this is helpful to you.

I was asking out of curiosity for both sides of the question. My plan is to ride and have as many working student jobs as possible and go to college and get a fall back on/make money early degree or one that would be applicable at least in part to a horse world endeavor (i.e. hospitality. You learn business management and how to deal with people, both useful in the horse world and also a opportunity to get a real world job.)

ponies123
Dec. 31, 2009, 05:12 PM
I know several people who have an equine science degree from a very good/competitive/well-known school near me. One teaches Biology at a community college, one works as a secretary at a Vet office, and one is an embryologist (on people, also has degrees above that BS). I do not care what degree a horse trainer does or does not have because working with horses is a bit like working with children - you can read about it all day long, but that doesn't mean you have a clue what you're doing when you get around either one. In fact, in my experience, the people who hang up their Equine Science or other horse-related degrees and focus solely on the possession of that piece of paper are usually not nearly as talented of a rider/teacher than those that might have a business degree or nothing at all.

If I was wanting to have a career as a professional, but also have a college degree as a backup, I would probably go for a business degree. OP- if you are interested in something equine related I would check out Johnson & Wales Providence Campus. It is in RI and I believe you're on LI, not too far apart. They have a beautiful barn and great horses and a great program. IT is an Equine Riding and Training degree in which you do take many horse classes, including riding/hands-on and book classes, as well as do a semester internship at a horse farm of your choice, but in the end you graduate with a Business Degree. Much better way to go, IMO.

lpcutter
Dec. 31, 2009, 05:27 PM
Beau Cheval,
It sounds to me like you have a good plan for your future.

I got my degree to teach science and continued to ride and work at the racetrack when I could. After 11yrs of teaching school, I became a full time racehorse trainer. The money I earned and saved from my teaching allowed me to build a nice little farm where I base my racehorse training business. Without this life experience and the money I invested in my farm I don't think I could be successful in the racehorse business.

As long as you stay true to yourself and your dreams you can be successful. Best of Luck!!

AllyandPete
Dec. 31, 2009, 05:38 PM
I have one and it pretty much is useless. When I graduated and started looking for jobs a lot of people in the industry laughed at me and said I would have been better off working for a BNT for 2 years. I feel like I did learn some stuff, but not as much as years of horse ownership and working at a barn taught me. The one positive was that I was able to get my CHA cert when I was there...and they were the best years of my life so far.

OH- and I went to a private college so I will be paying for my 2 years of fun for the rest of my life :-)

farmgirl88
Dec. 31, 2009, 06:09 PM
i would suggest a minor in equine science and a major in animal science/general agriculture. i am an animal science major and i have plans to graduate in May. My university doesnt allow for a minor in equine science but we have many, many equine science/training/coaching classes. I have taken all the classes needed to major in animal science but i also did all of the equine science classes that they offer. i also did some agri business classes, etc.

skyy
Dec. 31, 2009, 06:10 PM
Sorry, but I think it is worth very little. If you really want to have your own horse business, get a degree in business and ride and do the WS thing as much as possible. I can't tell you how many trainers I know on a personal level who have no idea why their businesses are struggling (especially in this economy) or even how much money they make on a monthly basis. Be different - be a success.

shalomypony
Dec. 31, 2009, 06:15 PM
I think it's a total waste of time.Working for top notch horseman and building a great resume is a much wiser route to take.I've met many people who did the college equine route and ,honestly....the lack of knowledge amazed me.

Horseforthecourse
Dec. 31, 2009, 07:02 PM
It honestly depends on what college you go to and the specific degree. For example, at a college like Averett University, you can specialize in a dressage or an eventing track while also learning the book stuff. You ride a lot of different horses. I have a good friend that transferred into that college, and has drastically improved since she has been there. She was a good rider to begin with, but they have finessed her and made her a lot softer and lighter rider. They have clinics with people like Jessica Rasenhousen and Darren Chiacchia. My friend does have clients now due to her years at that university. If it's something that you love, then you might as well study it in college perhaps as a double major combined with a fall back on degree. I regret that I didn't go to a college that had an equine program just so that I could have ridden more while in college.

Heineken
Dec. 31, 2009, 08:34 PM
Will you need to work as an adult? If yes, then get a degree that can lead to a job that will pay. If you can afford to get an Equine degree and not do much with it, then have fun! I have one friend who was an Equine minor and business major and has an amazing job in the horse world but she is the only success story I know personally.

Daventry
Dec. 31, 2009, 08:50 PM
I do not care what degree a horse trainer does or does not have because working with horses is a bit like working with children - you can read about it all day long, but that doesn't mean you have a clue what you're doing when you get around either one. In fact, in my experience, the people who hang up their Equine Science or other horse-related degrees and focus solely on the possession of that piece of paper are usually not nearly as talented of a rider/teacher than those that might have a business degree or nothing at all.


:yes::yes::yes:

Marcella
Jan. 1, 2010, 12:40 AM
Unless you have the experience to back it up, it isn't worth anything.

I have one in Animal Science with the Equine Science specialty (whatever that means...they didn't offer an Equine Science degree when I went but do now). I learned a lot. I consider myself fairly intelligent. I know a lot more in terms of horse management than a lot of trainers, but I do not have the riding and showing skills anymore to be at a high level. Had I kept up with riding and showing instead of going to grad school, I could probably be a horse trainer. But instead, I completed grad school and work at a University. It pays the bills, I get weekends off, and play with my horse now for fun instead of as a job.

trail blazer
Jan. 1, 2010, 12:44 AM
I think the real question is what do you want to do for a career? If you want to ride and train, then a degree is probably not going to help with that. We live near a major university that offers an equine science degree program. Several of the professors are friends of ours. I would say that the degree will give you a level of professionalism on the business side that you will not be privy to while working for a trainer. THere is so much more to horses than riding. The people I know that teach go in depth into the business, marketing, breeding, judging, etc. These kids take ALOT of chemistry, anatomy etc. They can easily get a certificate to teach should they desire. I was one of the disbelievers when the program first began- I thought it was all fluff. Boy was I wrong. The professors take this seriously. Some of these kids have worked for me and they are learning valuable lessons in the boring, but necessary business end. I think if you see yourself in this as a business, then you could use it to your advantage. But make no mistake, it is NOT going to get you a barn full of clients. That you have to earn on your own. ;)

superpony123
Jan. 1, 2010, 03:08 AM
sorry, college classes can't teach someone how to ride a horse. i feel that there is probably a lot of technical things to learn, and maybe some good vet-type skills and i would hope they teach them how to recognize diseases and stuff, but over all i feel that it is a waste of money, because you can learn the same things by working in a barn (what a grand question--pay or be paid to get the same knowledge? huh!) and probably will learn more in the barn.

i couldn't care less what type of degree a trainer has. if they have a degree in astrophysics, well, great for them. that's a very interesting subject, but i care about what they can teach me on a horse and in the barn, not about astrophysics (i mean, i would certainly not mind learning because i find that interesting, but you know. i am not paying for astro, i am paying for training) or what ever they did in college.

the only possibility, in mind mind, where this can be helpful is if you already have the necessary funding to start and manage your own stable, OR if you want to be a veterinarian and specialize as an equine vet (so obviously a vet major but equine science would be logical as a minor class)

i think people need to consider their interests, but over all, lets face it: even an art degree could be more valuable. at least you can be an art teacher if you dont want to take the starving artist route. but equine science? that doesnt make you into a trainer or anything. i think if you want to be starting a farm, it might not hurt to take the class, but you need to major in agricultural business. a degree in business is always good because you can do pretty much anything with it. well, that's an exaggeration, but you can do a lot with it. you should be able to find a job (to support that horse hobby!)

nuts4cowboybutts
Jan. 1, 2010, 09:49 AM
We know a trainer who has an Equine Science degree, but she must have cut class a lot. She went out to apprentice with a BNT for 6 mo. as part of her course work, but it didn't work either.

Mistakenly, we decided to give this young woman a try and let her take two of our horses one year. We were trying to encourage a young person and give them a chance.

She may have had all the book learning and time with a BNT, but she was L-A-Z-Y. She tried to find shortcuts to doing anything while she stayed on her cellphone constantly. At shows, she spent more time on the cell than working on the horses.

On top of that, she did not know how to budget, use money wisely and she never had two nickels to rub together.

Seems like she'd have done better taking courses in Business Management, Time Management and Economics.

When you come right down to it, she'll never, ever make it because she is so lazy.

Man, did we learn a lesson.:confused:

Equino
Jan. 1, 2010, 11:49 AM
It really depends on the individual person and prorgram! I went to a school with an Equine program, but I also doubled Majored in Business. I learned SO much from both sides, new training techniques and methods I never heard of before, as well as how to run a business. Yes, I agree, you don't need to go to school to be a trainer, no doubt there, but there is still plenty to learn that comes in handy with having your own business, or caring/managing horses properly. I learned how to give shots (IM, IV, SC, deal with catheter) properly, as well as various wrapping techniques and medications from the Preventative Med class. And then learned how to balance budgets and keep ledger books in the Accounting classes. Among other things.

I had no idea what I wanted to study when I went off to college, so I started with Equestrian Studies. I knew I would not be a trainer after college, so I took business management classes because the courses looked interesting and coinciding with an Equine Business Mngt degree (meaning, I had time to fit those classes in around the required 3 hours a day/5 days/week riding classes). If I could do it all over, I would've branched out more so in the Business degree.

My advice when people ask me about Equine programs is it's OK to start there, but plan as if you need a career to support your hobby and have a back up.

2ndyrgal
Jan. 1, 2010, 12:12 PM
$10/hour. It's really just an extended education experience designed to allow you not to have to grow up and get a real world job. Go to work on the backside of a racetrack for a couple of years, then get the a job with a BNT in the discipline of your choosing. Keep it for a couple of years, then call me. My twin sister and I grew up riding in the same barn. She is a "lovely" rider. I am an "effective" rider. She went to get an "equine science" and her MRS degree, took her a couple of years. I went to work at the track during the nice weather and in a series of law offices during the winter. Fast forward oh, about 20 years. I can get a really really good,job in the horse industry, in nearly any place of my choosing, with two or three phone calls, but keep my horses at home and have a wonderful facility.
Sis works for me.

Jersey Fresh
Jan. 1, 2010, 12:31 PM
Forget the equine science degree and get a dual degree in business and psychology if you want to be a pro in the horse business.

Equino
Jan. 1, 2010, 12:41 PM
Well, I have a sister, and she too went to the same University as I did. She doubled in Equestrian Studies and English Literature, went off to work for several BNT, before deciding to settle down at the University as an Instructor in the Equestrian program, and also has her own horse training business on the side. She's been contacted to write the Biography of a prominent figure at the University and has a great resume as far as showing goes. Like anything else, depends what you make of it. Talent will get you so far. Hard work, knowledge and experience takes you further.

Atypical
Jan. 1, 2010, 12:53 PM
Have one. Also have a business degree. The business degree is much more widely accepted as being useful. And as far as out and out training skills of a person, I think my ES degree means about nil.

That being said, and this is a pet peeve of mine, there is a difference between an Equine STUDIES degree and an Equine SCIENCE degree. Most colleges offer the former. And personally I think they're not worth a ton. Much better off to work with someone you admire or aspire to be like for a few years. An actual equine science degree focuses a lot on anatomy, nutrition, reproduction, disease, pasture management etc. I had two classes on horseback my entire four years.

However, if you're looking for a career in horses that does not have to do with riding per say, an Equine Science degree can be useful. If you want to venture into Nutrition or Reproduction especially.

englishivy
Jan. 1, 2010, 01:12 PM
Of course, it depends upon what you want to do.

While I feel my BS of AG in Animal Sci-Equine studies didn't set me up for a lot of job opportunities after graduation (too specialized a degree), I feel I couldn't properly own & run my farm without it. :no:

Could I ride and teach without it? Absolutely. Although without any business education, it would be interesting to see how long one could last. :uhoh:


I have years of riding experience, did a considerable amount of local showing (no "A"s b/c of lack of funding), and did my best to learn everything I could, both in and out of the saddle, with the opportunities I had. I am a hard worker, have great ethics, and still continue to educate myself today.

But what my degree gave me was a solid education in horses that wasn't based upon anecdotal evidence. For example: pasture maintenance, feeds and feeding, hay analysis, body condition scores, etc....you can learn all that with experience "in the field". But it isn't always correct information, sometimes just "how we've done it for years". I learned the scientific reasoning for feeding certain ways, seeding at certain times, etc etc, and that has allowed me to make better decisions for my program.

Are all my decision based soley on my book education? No way. But it's given me more tools in my toolbelt for the business and practical side of this industry.


Two points I do want to make are that a degree without real riding experience is worthless, just like a degree in exercise science does no good for a wannabe football coach who has never played the sport.
Secondly, whether or not a person has a degree is moot if people stop their education once they are "an adult". With constantly emerging information and scientific research, we've all got to keep in the loop.

ET's Home
Jan. 1, 2010, 03:21 PM
Forget the equine science degree and get a dual degree in business and psychology if you want to be a pro in the horse business.

You are so right! If you want to make a living with horses you need to be able to handle a business and crazy horse people, like us. :winkgrin:

MIKES MCS
Jan. 1, 2010, 03:51 PM
If you all think an Equine science degree is pretty much worthless as far as giving a trainer some kind of credentials , what do you think of becoming a USHJA CERTIFIED trainer .. do you think this certification program will add any validity to a trainer ?

Beau Cheval
Jan. 1, 2010, 04:12 PM
Forget the equine science degree and get a dual degree in business and psychology if you want to be a pro in the horse business.

Not only was that a spot on point (i loled) but I have to comment on your signature. I am a HUGE HUGE HUGE...probably THE HUGEST Jimmy Buffet fan. I'm 16 so that's kind of weird, but I'm obsessed. I crashed a celebrity wedding and got to meet him.

Pirateer
Jan. 1, 2010, 08:52 PM
All bachelors are pretty much meaningless right now. I have a BS in equine studies. On my resume, it says Bachelors of Science. Its slightly more worthwhile than a BA.

HunterJumperLuv
Jan. 1, 2010, 09:12 PM
sorry, college classes can't teach someone how to ride a horse.

Hehe, Havent read through enough of the thread to comment on everything else, but, I have to disagree with this.

College Classes can teach you how to ride (I'm making no comment on how well or how not well for a reason, so lets not go down that path).

My school offers a 3 credit course called Horsemanship, which is a roughly 3 hours a week (2 or 3 days) of riding lessons, and 1 hour a week of lecture. (Usually constituted by colors, bits, tack etc in lower level classes, and in higher level classes usually constituted of history etc.)

You may not be going from a rank beginner to a Grand Prix rider, but, yes, you can still continue your "riding education" at college. Maybe not all schools, but, some for sure!

AllyandPete
Jan. 1, 2010, 11:19 PM
College Classes can teach you how to ride (I'm making no comment on how well or how not well for a reason, so lets not go down that path).

You may not be going from a rank beginner to a Grand Prix rider, but, yes, you can still continue your "riding education" at college. Maybe not all schools, but, some for sure!

True...I had only ridden h/j before I went to school...when I got there I took a semester in western and learned some reining patterns(cantering...no galloping haha)/did trail classes, drove minis and ponies and started dressage....so yes, you can! stiiiiiilll wasnt worth the forever loans though!

Instant Karma
Jan. 2, 2010, 03:22 PM
Most of the colleges that offer an equine science program around here are a joke. I want a trainer with real world experience, lots of time in the saddle and skilled at explaining what they feel. No amount of college education will teach someone that.

findeight
Jan. 2, 2010, 03:40 PM
If you want something to teach you the business end, feeds/feeding/some pre vet type things and some marketing skills, it may be worth it.

But, unless you know how to ride at a level that would be marketable-i.e. high enough to make you useful to a trainer and/or attract clients yourself? Worthless.

And if you do ride well at a competitive level going in? At most of these schools, your instructor will be less accomplished then you and the horses will be...well...not what you are used to. Worst case you get bad instruction on bad horses and drop out by your 2nd year as many well known Juniors have done at a certain local school with an otherwise excellent reputation.

I would never, ever take out student loans for a degree that prepares you for an entry level job in a traditionally low paying field like this-fact you make $10 an hour/18k a year you would be very lucky. No insurance or other benefits.

Hey, if you want to go to a school and compete on the team, that's fine.

Major in Marketing, Business, Pre Vet or some such though. I know 2 very bright and good riding Juniors (as in competed 3'6"+ and Medals on the National level) who spent 4 years getting an ES degree and are going on to Law school after a miserable 5 or 6 years trying to make a living, BNTs too. Couldn't live on what they were making.

bumknees
Jan. 3, 2010, 08:05 AM
I have such a degree and as someone else said it is a very pretty piece of paper.. Pretty much worthless...
That said it was my 2nd degree ..I went back to school because at the moment I had nothing better to do.. My first one is something useful. Lucky for me it doesnt necessarly rely on ones typing skills... ;)

Jersey Fresh
Jan. 3, 2010, 12:01 PM
You are so right! If you want to make a living with horses you need to be able to handle a business and crazy horse people, like us. :winkgrin:
A sports psychology class would help with clients I would imagine....not to mention a lot of pros out there could use a course in business ethics.


Not only was that a spot on point (i loled) but I have to comment on your signature. I am a HUGE HUGE HUGE...probably THE HUGEST Jimmy Buffet fan. I'm 16 so that's kind of weird, but I'm obsessed. I crashed a celebrity wedding and got to meet him.

Yup, he's a favorite of mine. First concert I ever went to. I grew up on the water and he's always on in the house in the summer. When I bought my horse, I thought of names that could be JB related (among other ideas), but didn't come up with much. Luckily he came with the name "High Tide" so I kept that and all of my horse show stuff is beach themed (flip flop and palm tree boot socks, embroidered belt with shells and starfish etc). Lucky you got to meet him!

Lucassb
Jan. 3, 2010, 12:17 PM
If you all think an Equine science degree is pretty much worthless as far as giving a trainer some kind of credentials , what do you think of becoming a USHJA CERTIFIED trainer .. do you think this certification program will add any validity to a trainer ?

I agree with those who suggest that good, practical experience with a reputable BNT will set someone up a LOT better for a career as a pro than any ES degree. (Also believe that those folks would be well advised to go to college and get a BUSINESS degree instead, at *least* as a fall back position in case they get tired of working 24/7/364 for low wages, but...)

In terms of the trainer certification thing... I think it would help someone develop a beginner type program - the kind of situation where you are doing yellow pages advertising to non-horse people. The suburban mom looking for riding lessons for little Suzie may think that a "certified" instructor is a better choice than Billy Bob's stable down the street.

But if you are looking to attract competitive riders or build a big show program? Then no, I don't think it would carry any weight at all. Experienced/show riders look at the trainer's resume, what their other clients have achieved, how the horses in their care fare over time etc. Someone looking for a BNT or even a successful local program probably isn't going to care if the trainer is certified (in fact, someone who led with their USHJA certification would be a turn off to me personally; it would suggest they had nothing more impressive to talk about. )

Now - someone with BHS credentials... that might be another story.

rwh
Jan. 3, 2010, 12:24 PM
I would never, ever take out student loans for a degree that prepares you for an entry level job in a traditionally low paying field like this-fact you make $10 an hour/18k a year you would be very lucky. No insurance or other benefits.

I have a question about this $10 statistic that has been thrown around a couple of times on this thread. As someone who pays between $50 and $75 for half hour private lessons and between $35 and $55 for hour long group lessons (4-8 people), I find it appalling that the trainer would receive only $10 an hour. Is this the reality for most trainers? Are the barns taking that much of a cut? I know there are other expenses (horses, facilities, tack, utilities etc.), but it seems the trainers are getting an abusrdly low cut.

Thomas_1
Jan. 3, 2010, 12:27 PM
Well 2 of my staff have Degrees in Equine Science. It's something I've also done myself, albeit as a mature student and open learning and long after I'd got a shed load of experience. For myself it was about personal development and broadening and endorsing my theoretical knowledge base. It also was a means to an end in terms of being an accredited assessor for those who are undergoing formal qualification.

When recruiting and appointing staff I prefer to have a blend of theory AND practical knowledge and experience. It's well and good having experience with say a great trainers, but at the end of the day if you're totally reliant on an employer to train and develop you, then you only get their way and what they want you to learn. Now that's fine if you can be absolutely assured that there's depth and breadth and commitment there, but in truth that's most often never the case.

I'm a huge believer in taking individual responsibility for learning and development and managing your career and at the end of the day you're more marketable with a qualification of accredited standard AND good experience.

Why limit yourself?

The other thing about the Equine Science degrees (here anyways) is that there is a HUGE practical element to them and including options to take the likes of BHS AI qualifications or sports coaching or business management.

Lucassb
Jan. 3, 2010, 12:31 PM
I have a question about this $10 statistic that has been thrown around a couple of times on this thread. As someone who pays between $50 and $75 for half hour private lessons and between $35 and $55 for hour long group lessons (4-8 people), I find it appalling that the trainer would receive only $10 an hour. Is this the reality for most trainers? Are the barns taking that much of a cut? I know there are other expenses (horses, facilities, tack, utilities etc.), but it seems the trainers are getting an abusrdly low cut.

Yes, for the most part, that is more or less what they make.

You have to consider all the time that trainers spend NOT teaching, as well as their overhead. If they own their facility, there are the enormous up front costs for barns, arenas, indoors, footing, tractors, insurance etc. If they lease stalls, they are typically paying hefty dry stall fees plus buying hay, shavings, grain etc never mind the cost of those school horses who will also need veterinary and farrier care, tack, blankets etc. Most work for themselves, have to take taxes out, buy their own $$$$ health insurance and so forth.

They may get what seems like a very healthy hourly rate while they are teaching but those tend to be limited hours during the day - after school/work, and weekends. They are probably not teaching 4-8 people at 10 am on a Tuesday.

Unless they are a BNT or have a very active sales business, they probably make a very modest income.

Lucassb
Jan. 3, 2010, 12:34 PM
Well 2 of my staff have Degrees in Equine Science. It's something I've also done myself, albeit as a mature student and open learning and long after I'd got a shed load of experience. For myself it was about personal development and broadening and endorsing my theoretical knowledge base. It also was a means to an end in terms of being an accredited assessor for those who are undergoing formal qualification.

When recruiting and appointing staff I prefer to have a blend of theory AND practical knowledge and experience. It's well and good having experience with say a great trainers, but at the end of the day if you're totally reliant on an employer to train and develop you, then you only get their way and what they want you to learn. Now that's fine if you can be absolutely assured that there's depth and breadth and commitment there, but in truth that's most often never the case.

I'm a huge believer in taking individual responsibility for learning and development and managing your career and at the end of the day you're more marketable with a qualification of accredited standard AND good experience.

Why limit yourself?

The other thing about the Equine Science degrees (here anyways) is that there is a HUGE practical element to them and including options to take the likes of BHS AI qualifications or sports coaching or business management.

Thomas, as always your points are well taken, but unfortunately we have nothing like the BHS qualification system here. The average amateur rider on this side of the pond could easily meet the "standard" here for certification - most likely without even studying. It's a bit of a joke.

The BHS system is much more rigorous and well known for including the requirement for practical application and demonstration of skills (which is one reason I specifically excepted it in my earlier post)... we simply don't have anything equivalent here. At least, not yet.

redkat
Jan. 3, 2010, 05:29 PM
All bachelors are pretty much meaningless right now.

Sorry, I disagree with this. I think you're way better off with one than without one, especially if it's in something practical like business.

Beau Cheval
Jan. 3, 2010, 06:02 PM
Yup, he's a favorite of mine. First concert I ever went to. I grew up on the water and he's always on in the house in the summer. When I bought my horse, I thought of names that could be JB related (among other ideas), but didn't come up with much. Luckily he came with the name "High Tide" so I kept that and all of my horse show stuff is beach themed (flip flop and palm tree boot socks, embroidered belt with shells and starfish etc). Lucky you got to meet him!


My dad and I would always listen when we were driving to the barn when I first got my large. It was perfect in the summer, and when it was 23 degrees out, you can pretend you're in the FL. Keys. lol

My next horses that I get to name are going to be

Mare: Little Miss Magic

Gelding: either Son of a Sailor or Jolly Mon

kealea31
Jan. 3, 2010, 07:44 PM
"only about $10/hour. It's really just an extended education experience designed to allow you not to have to grow up and get a real world job"

Sorry, I have to disagree with this quote, and a lot of the opinions on this thread. A degree will give you what you make of it. It just depends on how motivated you are to work hard and make oppurtunities for yourself.

I have a bachelors in Equine Science. In the 10 years since I have been out of college, I have used it to move up the ladder in several different ways. When I first graduated, I worked for a veterinarian doing full time equine rehabilitation and pt at a really nice facility equipped with pool and treadmill. My salary was 32k per year - not bad starting out of college in 2000. While there, I added to my education, doing equine massage, myofascial release, and I got into canine therapy. I stayed there for 2 years, then moved on to work with a veterinarian boarded in orthopedic surgery, opening a new rehab center. My salary went up to 40k per year, and they paid for me to go back to school for a cerification in canine pt. After about 6 years working in the rehab field, I decided I was making decent money, but really need better long term benefits. In 2006, I took a full time field sales position working in the veterinary channel. My salary increased dramatically, along with excellent retirement benefits, and a company car, just to name a few perks. I have continued to do the rehab/pt work part time. This allows me to live a pretty comfortable life, with 5 really nice horses.

The equine science degree helped to open all of these doors, and withot a bachelors degree, I would have never gotten the job I have now.


If equine Science is what you are interested in, then go for it! Get a degree in what you want, but definitly get a degree - without it, you will be limited in the job market. Good Luck!

jalean
Jan. 3, 2010, 10:32 PM
Most of you are seeing this issue from a riding-based viewpoint, and I'm here to tell you it's not all about the riding for most of us. I'm about to graduate with a double major in Equine Studies and Digital Media Communications, and I never have had the intention of being a trainer or rider. My eventual goal is to do web design and marketing for large-scale stables, and many of my friends are doing Equine/Graphic Design or Equine/Psych along with our Therapeutic Riding program, or they're majoring in Equine Business Management. Someone has to sell you those saddles, and you'd better hope they know how to balance the books as well as fit a saddle to your horse.

Sure I learned to ride, but I studied nutrition (Computing the energy level in KCals/lb of feed, knowing what every single ingredient does to the horse's body chemically, which age groups utilize which nutrients in what forms best, formulating precise rations and weeding out feeds based on low quality ingredients), facility/liability/boarding insurance, facility design, physiology of movement, anatomy through dissections, lameness analysis, shot-giving, tractor driving, arena and jump construction, basic farrier science etc. We run our own horse shows and essentially run the stable by ourselves in teams - very hands-on and stable management/show management oriented.

Internships are also a requirement to even get into the program in the first place - those girls who think they're just going to ride off into the sunset on Black Beauty with the flowing mane and tail and make lots of money for it get a rude awakening when they have to apply to get into the program.

My education extends much further than what a BNT could teach me in everything except riding, and that's exactly what I went to school for. If I choose to go into that facet of the horse industry, knowing that I can design your website and provide advice on how to avoid lawsuits as well as break your young horses and scientifically formulate your feeds for each horse could be the tipping point that gets me the job over someone else.

If you want to be the next FEI champ, an Equine degree is probably not for you. But for thousands of your vet techs, boarding barn owners, nutritionists, reproductive scientists and AI people, tack shop owners, designers, etc, it's an awesome start to a new career.

Pirateer
Jan. 4, 2010, 12:00 PM
Sorry, I disagree with this. I think you're way better off with one than without one, especially if it's in something practical like business.

Most people I know with a bachelors (of ANY kind-> except Nursing) are starting at a whopping $10. Doesn't matter the "type" of degree. Naturally a degree of any kind is going to be worth more than a HS diploma. But not a lot. And certainly nothing compared to what you pay for it.

findeight
Jan. 4, 2010, 12:18 PM
On that $10 thing and lesson costs?

When you graduate and IF you get a so called "riding/training" job at a decent barn? You are not going to be the head trainer and probably not even a full assistant trainer. More like an apprentice for 6 months with annual increases in responsibilty and pay as you gain actual experience.

Usually recent grads break in working as a mucker/groom and teaching a few beginner lessons, learning how to schedual, moniter the books and all then other things that go into the position. Despite all the "book learning" nothing replaces practical experience.

IMO if you want a career in horses in general, the degree might help. If you want a career riding and training? Unless you go in with considerable experience? You start on the bottom IF you can get anything at all. Quite simply, you are not worth more then $10 an hour with just the degree and no real experience riding/teaching/training.

Cita
Jan. 4, 2010, 12:27 PM
Most people I know with a bachelors (of ANY kind-> except Nursing) are starting at a whopping $10. Doesn't matter the "type" of degree. Naturally a degree of any kind is going to be worth more than a HS diploma. But not a lot. And certainly nothing compared to what you pay for it.

Right now, most people I know WITHOUT a bachelors degree don't have any (long-term) job at all, and would be happy for a chance to earn a reliable $10/hour, 40 hours/week.

Sometimes it's not just the pay, but the possibility of getting the job in the first place. Just sayin'.

Thomas_1
Jan. 4, 2010, 12:48 PM
Thomas, as always your points are well taken, but unfortunately we have nothing like the BHS qualification system here. The average amateur rider on this side of the pond could easily meet the "standard" here for certification - most likely without even studying. It's a bit of a joke.

The BHS system is much more rigorous and well known for including the requirement for practical application and demonstration of skills (which is one reason I specifically excepted it in my earlier post)... we simply don't have anything equivalent here. At least, not yet.

In my opinion a BSc in Equine Science is of value even if it doesn't include the option to take a BHS qualification. I hope I didn't imply that it was only the BHS element that was of worth. I actually don't think that at all. Indeed I'm of the view that the same arguments could be applied to the BHS exams.

Remember that degrees in Equine Science are not just for those who want to ride or be riding instructors. Far from it. They're much broader and contain a heck of a lot more transferable skills and knowledge than that.

wendy
Jan. 4, 2010, 12:54 PM
Remember that degrees in Equine Science are not just for those who want to ride or be riding instructors. Far from it. They're much broader and contain a heck of a lot more transferable skills and knowledge than that.
rightly or wrongly, probably wrongly, in my world there is quite a prejudice against people who get Equine Science degrees- it's thought of as what the spoiled little rich kids do for college instead of getting a real degree. You're far better off getting a degree in business or some kind of general science degree instead. If you really want to work in horses no one cares about your book-schoolin' it's all about real life experiences, not degrees.

findeight
Jan. 4, 2010, 12:56 PM
Remember that degrees in Equine Science are not just for those who want to ride or be riding instructors. Far from it. They're much broader and contain a heck of a lot more transferable skills and knowledge than that.

Exactly. But many, if not most, of the threads about getting a degree on here are from those who want to ride, teach and train professionally. That it won't help with.

paintlady
Jan. 4, 2010, 01:02 PM
Will you need to work as an adult? If yes, then get a degree that can lead to a job that will pay. If you can afford to get an Equine degree and not do much with it, then have fun! I have one friend who was an Equine minor and business major and has an amazing job in the horse world but she is the only success story I know personally.

:lol: I sure wish someone had given me this advice before I pursued my Master's in museum studies.

One of my previous barn owners had an "equine science" degree... she worked as a secretary to pay the bills and taught riding lessons on the side. I'm not sure if I'd call that a "success" story.

AppendixQHLover
Jan. 4, 2010, 01:28 PM
Well it depends on what you want to do.

Teaching and training horses. You are better off to become a working student and get a degree in business at night.

Working in a breeding facility in the Lab where AI is done and genetic research. That pays off.

IF I had to do it all over again and I didn't have the grown up bills such as a mortgage, truck and so on. I would do it and than work on finding an internship in a breeding lab. That stuff really interests me.

My degress is in Business and IT. I get paid very well BUT as a junior programmer when I started out, my pay was just about 12.00 an hour. I had zero degree and worked my way up. I hit a point in my career that I could not go further until I had that piece of paper in my hand. I got the degree and had many doors open for me BUT I also had experience and have networked a lot.

magnolia73
Jan. 4, 2010, 01:53 PM
Originally Posted by Pirateer
All bachelors are pretty much meaningless right now.

Sorry, I disagree with this. I think you're way better off with one than without one, especially if it's in something practical like business.

Actually, I agree with Pirateer. Think of your Bachelor's as a stepping stone. Most bachelors degrees get you marginally better jobs than a HS diploma these days.

As for a horse trainer, for ME, if I was hiring you to teach me or train my horse, a 6 month stint as a working student for someone well known and regarded is more impressive than a 4 year animal science degree. I'd also want to know who you rode with- so clinics etc.

For barn management? I'd want someone who had experience working in real barns. I used to board at a place that hired a lot of equine science people- and the ones with no working student background lasted about 4 days- even under heavy supervision in a laid back barn. I think they underestimated the labor quotient of the job... and one was afraid of any but 100% quiet horses.

If you want to get a degree and be a trainer, I'd think business and marketing, coupled with summers spent as a working student would be the best idea. And I'd skip the school riding team and go spend your time in a good barn near your school- maybe volunteer to help in exchange for riding.

Just from boarding with foxhunters, western people, HJ people, eventers and dressage... honestly- each discipline has differences in how they care for and handle horses. I'd think if you want to do HJ as a business it is best to learn from the leaders in the industry, not from someone who's background might be cutting horses or race horses.

Thomas_1
Jan. 4, 2010, 02:08 PM
Exactly. But many, if not most, of the threads about getting a degree on here are from those who want to ride, teach and train professionally. That it won't help with. I don't agree at all.


rightly or wrongly, probably wrongly, in my world there is quite a prejudice against people who get Equine Science degrees- it's thought of as what the spoiled little rich kids do for college instead of getting a real degree. You're far better off getting a degree in business or some kind of general science degree instead. If you really want to work in horses no one cares about your book-schoolin' it's all about real life experiences, not degrees. Thankfully that's not the situation out of your neck of the woods.

Ghazzu
Jan. 4, 2010, 03:22 PM
I think it depends on both the program and one's goals.

The one I'm involved with has business courses, including contracts, law pertaining to the equine industry, management (both stable and business), anatomy, biomechanics, breeding, pathology, equine behavior, nutrition, etc. There are courses in riding and teaching/training.
Flexible enough curriculum that one could add courses in graphics, computer apps, design, writing, if thinking of horse-related but not necessarily barn-centric work, or physics, chemistry, etc. if interested in grad school.

Go Fish
Jan. 4, 2010, 04:33 PM
what do you think of becoming a USHJA CERTIFIED trainer .. do you think this certification program will add any validity to a trainer ?

No.