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Twisting
Oct. 29, 2011, 12:04 PM
All the recent talk of young folks getting into the horse industry has got me thinking about how hard it would be to get into the horse industry later in life. I'm looking at retiring in a couple of years. I havn't really decided what I want to do after I retire, but I have a plethora of options avalible. The one that seems the most interesting to me is, you guessed it, finding a place in the horse industry.

I would love to have the opportunity to learn all the aspects of working with horses that I never had a chance to learn as a client. I want to learn how to start horses, and how to teach (horse and rider). I want to learn how to manage a barn, and how to rehab a horse coming off an injury. I want to fill in the gaps in my equine education. I know the hours are long and draining, but so are the hours in my current job.

I do have a couple of things in my favor.

- I'll be 38 when I retire
- I'm physically fit
- Health/dental insurance for life
- A monthly retirement check that won't be buying champagne and caviar but will keep me from living on ramen and peanut butter.
- The option of going back to school
- A husband who is also employed
- No kids


Basically, I don't need to live off horse related earnings, and just making enough to offset the cost of keeping a horse would be sufficient. The vague idea would be to learn for a few years then settle down teaching lessons or managing a small barn. Heck, just the chance to learn for a few years would make me happy, even if after that I go get a part time job at Wal-mart to pay for my horse hobby.

Am I crazy? Would anyone even look twice at an "old lady"? Is there a better way to go about learning all the "other stuff" that involved with horses?

Mayaty02
Oct. 29, 2011, 12:09 PM
38 is not an old lady... there are plenty of places that will appreciate someone with maturity as the majority of horse related jobs turn over like crazy. You just need experience, but at your age, you should be able to find it if you're willing to do alot of it for little to no wages :cool:

PonyPenny
Oct. 29, 2011, 12:15 PM
A friend of mine did exactly this. She was around your age when she did it. She also did it during a recession in California. She is very driven and found a niche in the market. In addition to training and selling horses, she runs a summer camp, coaches a IHSA team and runs a local horse show association. She is very internet savvy and has a great website. I think was makes her so successful is that she really listens to her clients and tailors her program to each client. She is extremely honest especially when selling horses. She has had her struggles, but is doing well. If this is your passion and you are willing to work hard, I believe you can do well.

mpsbarnmanager
Oct. 29, 2011, 12:22 PM
38 is not an old lady... there are plenty of places that will appreciate someone with maturity as the majority of horse related jobs turn over like crazy. You just need experience, but at your age, you should be able to find it if you're willing to do alot of it for little to no wages :cool:

Well said! When you said retire OP, I was thinking 50 or 60! That would be a little different in terms of your physical stamina. 38 is not old at all (coming form a 25 year old "kid"), I would let you hang around my barn! Where there is a will there is a way!

Canaqua
Oct. 29, 2011, 04:07 PM
38 is sooooo not old!! I'm 49.5 and can still, easily, do everything I used to do and everything I want to do, everything works just fine...50 isn't old either ;). I don't feel old in the slightest, I will some day, but not now. The people I work with in their 40s who claim to be old, crack me up. It's their inactivity that is making them "old" and not physically competent, not their years.

ballisticgirl
Oct. 29, 2011, 10:31 PM
Twisting..

I am in the same exact place as you, just three years older. : )

Burned out from the corporate world and ready to take a few years off and ride, ride, ride and become rich in horse world knowledge. I've applied as a working student at a few places and am hoping someone will give me a shot.

I'm finding I have an excellent resume but not the kind I think show barns are looking for. lol.

Dooooo keep me posted on how your search goes.

Best to you!

lintesia
Oct. 31, 2011, 12:55 AM
Not too old by any means! I had to wait until I was in my early 40's to realize my dream of having my own horse, and then a few years later decided to fill in the many missing pieces of my equine education by going off to England and Scotland to do intensive British Horse Society training. It was a ton of work, both physically and mentally, but an amazing experience and I gained a wealth of knowledge. Go for it!

findeight
Oct. 31, 2011, 10:43 AM
Burned out from the corporate world and ready to take a few years off and ride, ride, ride...


You got a better shot at concentrating on overall barn management as Twisting, the OP, has stated she wants to do.

Tons of riders out there and most serious show barns use their own Juniors as W/S because they can show the horse and know the barn program. An adult W/S has to show as a Pro, that's a big negative for a barn trying to sell primarily Ch/Adult Hunters and Jumpers. And that is exactly what most barns buy and sell.

An actual postion/job is better then trying to compete with the 16-19 year olds for unpaid W/S slots.

Try other disciplne barns and breeding operations-if you can do some light bookeeping, it'll help you get something.