View Full Version : Approachng a WS position?

Apr. 21, 2010, 10:23 PM
I am wondering, from the experience of current or previous working students, or from the trainers that have worked with working students, or have second-hand experience from others: how does one get started? What do trainers typically look for in a working student? Do you just start by calling or emailing? Or sending a resume? Are there things that trainers get turned off from? Is lack of "upper level" or "show miles" an issue? With horse or without horse?

Anything would really be helpful to me at this point. I am a college student currently; I think it is time for me to pursue riding in a more serious degree, and am considering a working student position in order to do this.

Even an awesome old thread? I am new to these forums. (:

Apr. 21, 2010, 10:46 PM
Search working student and you will find a ton. What worked for me was making a resume (with references) and e-mailing it to anyone and everyone who I though may want a working student, even if their website says nothing about wanting any. Explain in the e-mail exactly what you are looking for and if they can't help 9 times out of 10 they will point you in the direction of someone who can.
Good luck

Apr. 21, 2010, 10:50 PM
RescueRider_9 started a couple of threads on this topic around the new year and I think that she got some really good feedback & help. She even got a position! Try reading those threads and see what questions you still have.

To sum up really generally:

-There are WS positions for all levels and will all levels of trainers.
-One of the best tactics is to network or get suggestions from horse people that you know and admire (a trainer for instance).
-The most important attribute for any WS to have is a strong work ethic.
-Taking a horse/needing a horse will depend on who you work for and what you want to get out of it.

Hope that helps you get started!

Apr. 21, 2010, 10:51 PM
Ha! RR9 beat me to it!! :)

Apr. 21, 2010, 11:16 PM
Best references to WS positions I've read are Christine DeHerera's "Immersion Learning," Hunter & Sport Horse Magazine, March/April 2008 and Susan Nusser's book "In Service to the Horse," Little, Brown, & Company (2004). You can buy Nusser's book used quite cheaply at Amazon but unfortunately H&SH is out of business. PM me if you can't find a copy.

Don't try to fit yourself into a program, do it the opposite way. Determine what your own goals, strengths, and requirements are and then find a program that fits your needs - otherwise, you'll be miserable and won't benefit from the program nor will you contribute to your chosen program. A WS candidate that is a serious rider, who wants to learn horsemanship skills in depth for a possible lifetime career will fit a very different program than a casual rider looking for a year's break "doing something with horses" between high school and college. Neither is right or wrong, but they do require a different program, attitude, and approach. The level that you ride and whether you bring a horse are secondary issues that should be addressed after you match major goals and the program.

And PLEASE remember that, while it may be a year's sabbatical for you, it's a career and a livelihood for me. Even at -30 degrees, on Christmas or whenever, sick or well, my horses get fed before I do.