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TB_eventer
Jun. 18, 2010, 04:46 PM
Hey all! I know there are several threads about ideas of where to be a working student. I've read all of those multiple times!

I've decided that after I graduate from UGA in December, I'd like to spend a year as a working student somewhere... but since my parents don't help with any horse or tuition expenses, and are going to completely cut me off after I graduate, I need to look for affordable places that offer a solid education. I'll be working my backside off from now until I leave so that I can get the most out of the experience.

So the question: where can I work and in exchange get, say, board for one horse, a room for myself, and some lessons? Or where can I work where I'll have the opportunity to earn extra money while I'm there? (seems less likely)

TIA!!

retreadeventer
Jun. 18, 2010, 05:02 PM
What kind of riding experience do you have to this point? How would you describe your riding? What level have you competed at? How about your horse, what are the goals -- soundness level -- potential.
If parents are not helping after graduation then you will need to find a position that offers a place to live and board for the horse. Because you will be living where you work, make darn sure you are happy with the arrangement, can get along with the Boss and other employees, and know what is expected.
Between now and the time you are cut off you need to spend a weekend grooming or hanging with the chosen barn to see if the compatibility is there. You don't want to put all eggs in one basket and find out it was a mistake after a month!
I would select a large commercial event barn with a lot of horses in training because those are the stables that need live in workers. When you say you will work hard, how hard is that? What would you consider a hard day's work -- and have you done any kind of work in a stable before?
Your experience level does matter. Upper level riders need people who can hit the ground running and want to devote themselves to the sport. That way you will get the MOST out of the job, because you'll be able to take the things you've learned and apply them immediately. If you find a WS position that provides not only living quarters, board AND a stipend -- take it!

TB_eventer
Jun. 18, 2010, 05:22 PM
Thanks retread-

As far as riding experience goes, in high school I evented through training level with a school horses that I leased, named Basil. Basil and I learned and progressed together, and I learned a lot from my time riding and competing him.

In high school, my parents paid for one lesson a week. To be able to lease Basil and take extra lessons, I worked for my trainer doing whatever needed to be done. This included one day/week of barn chores (which included things like feeding, turn in, turn out, watering, mucking stalls, fixing fences, wrapping/bandaging (if needed), etc. for about 26 horses. Also, during the week I would help out around the barn doing anything that needed to be done. These might be things like cleaning out the tackrooms, cleaning tack, worming the horses, dragging the arenas, or riding problem ponies for the lesson program :) I was tired, but I loved it!

Also during this time, my trainer let me ride and sometimes compete a few horses for her. Some were thoroughbreds off the track - this was a great educational experience for me. I rode these horses at various levels. At one point I was lucky enough to be competing with my leased horse at Training and her OTTB at Novice.

In the summer between high school and college, I bought my horse: a 2002 thoroughbred gelding off the track. Since then, I've been riding him as much as my schedule allows. Unfortunately, I haven't had the financial capacity to compete, aside from a few schooling shows at Novice level. He is a joy to jump and bops around novice like it's nothing. However, he has been a bit challenging in the dressage for me so far. He has always been "sound", but I've recently been finding that things like acupuncture and chiropractic really make a difference for him. (too bad they're both so expensive) I'm confident that he's at least got Prelim in him. Probably more.

I consider myself a pretty talented rider, but my level of riding hasn't gotten any better since entering college. No instruction will do that, I guess. I'm willing to get up at whatever time is necessary and work long hours, if I'm also learning and becoming a better horseman and rider. I WANT this.

My short term riding goals are a Training 3 Day event, and a Preliminary 3 Day event with my horse. Long term, I would like to ride at the upper levels of the sport, but I have a lot to learn before I get there, and the road looks LONG for someone with no financial help.. And I'm ok with that.

I really appreciate your advice.



What kind of riding experience do you have to this point? How would you describe your riding? What level have you competed at? How about your horse, what are the goals -- soundness level -- potential.
If parents are not helping after graduation then you will need to find a position that offers a place to live and board for the horse. Because you will be living where you work, make darn sure you are happy with the arrangement, can get along with the Boss and other employees, and know what is expected.
Between now and the time you are cut off you need to spend a weekend grooming or hanging with the chosen barn to see if the compatibility is there. You don't want to put all eggs in one basket and find out it was a mistake after a month!
I would select a large commercial event barn with a lot of horses in training because those are the stables that need live in workers. When you say you will work hard, how hard is that? What would you consider a hard day's work -- and have you done any kind of work in a stable before?
Your experience level does matter. Upper level riders need people who can hit the ground running and want to devote themselves to the sport. That way you will get the MOST out of the job, because you'll be able to take the things you've learned and apply them immediately. If you find a WS position that provides not only living quarters, board AND a stipend -- take it!

Hey Mickey
Jun. 18, 2010, 07:55 PM
I've found, that when you are looking for a position, and you tell them straight out that you are not on a mommy daddy scholarship, then if the place is able they will work with you.

babybritain
Jun. 18, 2010, 08:38 PM
Sent you a PM :)

JanWeber
Jun. 18, 2010, 09:38 PM
I seem to recall that Bonnie Mosser's set-up is hospitable to non-financially-well-endowed working students. I think her days end early enough so that in the past some of her WS have had waitress jobs, etc. in town...

TB_eventer
Jun. 20, 2010, 01:16 AM
Thanks for the PMs and advice :) Any other places? I've been emailing various trainers, and I'm confident that I'll find a place.. but I don't want to miss out on an opportunity just because I didn't think it! I'm looking for a position for early 2011.. so I've got time, I guess.

rideforthelaurels16
Jun. 20, 2010, 10:24 AM
Sending you a PM.