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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2008
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    Default What to do with my life?...

    Title says it all - I don't know what to do about school.
    I graduated from high school in May 2008, and now i'm at the local community college but I hate it! I want to get out of there after this semester, but I don't know where to go.

    I definitely want to do something with horses for the rest of my life - so I was looking at horse schools and found Black Hawk College-
    http://www.bhc.edu/
    Has anybody heard anything about this school?

    They have Equestrian Science courses - http://www.bhc.edu/DocumentView.asp?DID=170

    Their only requirement is you have to be a high school graduate, which is good because I never took SATs. My plan was to go to comm.coll. for 2 years and transfer to a 4 year. But I don't think I can get through 2 years of comm.coll. I hate it.
    BDC



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 18, 2004
    Location
    Catonsville, MD
    Posts
    6,763

    Default

    I know that school can be tedious. But a bachelor's degree w/ decent grades is plain and simple life insurance against the exigencies of life. Please consider sucking it up and marching on through. Please take classes in something quantitative. (math, darlin'.) Horses are EXPENSIVE, and the economy SUCKS, so do what you can to insulate yourself against economic irrelevance and get yourself some edumication, forthwith. Think of it as the intellectual equivalent of lots of 2 point w/o stirrups. Necessary, painful, and non-negotiable in order to be competent to do more interesting and useful things. Hang in there.
    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09




  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 10, 2005
    Location
    Tundra
    Posts
    808

    Default

    GO TO SCHOOL!!! and i wouldn't recommend a horse school either... some ppl will flame me for this but you will never be looked down upon in the horse world because you don't have an equine science degree.... some ppl are actually afraid of ppl that go thru these programs...

    Get a degree and then start working in the industry either as a working student or whatever. I was at basically the same place you are about two and a half years ago, and i'm very lucky to have the job i have now... BUT if i were to fall off or get in a car wreck or have any sort of freak accident that would render me incapable to ride, I have a degree.... which is probably surprising considering that run-on sentence


    you need "insurance" so go to school!!!
    www.millcreekfarm.net
    **RIP Kickstart aka Char 12/2/2009**



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2003
    Location
    British Columbia
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    1,394

    Default

    I second not majoring in equine studies! I know several BNRs and BNTs who would run in the other direction if approached by someone with such a degree! As the other poster said, many people who major in this come out thinking they know it all when really they know nothing outside of the classroom, so they really are quite frightening!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2008
    Posts
    959

    Default

    If you can afford it, stay in school as long as you can...take this from someone who has went to school, stopped, returned to school, stopped, and returned again..if I could have afforded it, I would be done by now...and wish I could finish..as long as you can afford it, do it..it is the best security you can get. Even if it is just comm college for 2 yrs and then a regular university, it's better than not going at all.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 24, 2007
    Location
    At the barn
    Posts
    440

    Default

    I'm a teacher, so I feel strongly about going to school.

    I would say, keep this in mind..... right now, I know of a lot of trainers, successful ones who are hurting. The economy has taken its punches in my business too. I know though that next week I could be on a list to do substitute teaching and thus make ends meet. There is a job that is ALWAYS in existence!

    I liked learning, but did not like "school". I started out with a major that sounded good to everyone else. Like you, I wanted to make a career in horses and I'd done well in science in HS, so I started as a Bio major thinking I'd go to vet school. It did not suit me. I tried different jobs and positions in the horse world and tried to find the thing I was best at. I never thought I'd be a trainer/instructor. But, I got a job as an assistant trainer, giving beginner lessons and it clicked for me. That made my decision to get my teaching credential. Those classes peaked my interest. There were plenty that I didn't care for, LOL, but the ones I liked and seeing the progress towards having a career I liked made it worth while.

    I know someone who found that marketing was her thing, went to school and does ad design, video promotions etc. for major stud farms. She drives around to farms, shoots pics and videos, gets to meet fabulous horses, top trainers go to the biggest shows, and see her work in major magazines.

    I know someone else who loves fashion and is working on a degree A.A from a community college because she wants to start her own company designing equestrian attire.

    There are LOTS of ways to get involved in this industry. Find things you like and then go with degrees/certifications that even if they don't totally overlap, will give you skills/training and that piece of paper that can help you get a job in the horse industry AND out of it.

    I hope that helps. There is something out there for everyone. It sometimes takes some time to figure it out...... (but school helps make it all work later on. )

    Good luck



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 6, 2005
    Location
    Aiken, SC
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    1,537

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mybeau1999 View Post
    i'm at the local community college but I hate it!
    Take your SAT's and/or ACT's and see what you're working with in terms of scores. Remember that you can take the SAT's up to three times, and many people do take them more than once.

    I suspect that I would not have liked community college, but the University was the best 4 years of my life to date. Find a school that is a good fit for you, and give it your all. If you have to finish out your two years in community college to get to a University, then do it. But you might be able to get in somewhere in the fall.

    One important thing to remember about college is that the 101-type classes are the hardest and least interesting in most cases. Start taking 300+ level classes as soon as you are able. That's where the fun is.

    And, I think it's important to be at least a little bit away from home. As in, not living with your parents. You don't have to go real far. But don't live at home. You'll never have the opportunity to live with 50 of your best friends ever again. Take the opportunity now.

    And don't be intimidated that you don't know anyone at first. You will meet a zillion and a half people, and a healthy number of them will be cool.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 28, 2008
    Posts
    148

    Default

    what is it that you don't like about your community college? The people, the professors, the atmosphere, or maybe its the actual classes you are taking? Try taking some different subjects or transfering to a different school.
    I think there are two paths you could pursue: get a degree in something non-horse related or not go to college and become a working student so you can become a professional trainer. I agree with the above posts that a degree in Equine Studies will not help you out much. If you are certain that you want to be a trainer then go work in the horse industry. If you don't like it you can always go back to community college.
    Das größte Glück der Erde liegt auf dem Rücken der Pferde. Das größte Glück der Pferde ist der Reiter auf der Erde



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 8, 2006
    Location
    B.C. Canada
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    1,910

    Default

    I'll second , third or fourth it.
    Don't take up equine studies as a career path, unless you are firmly set on being underpaid/overworked and MAYBE have time/money to have your own horse.

    If you want leisure time & funds to spend on pretty ponies- then keep it as a hobby, cowboy up and go get a degree in a field that has good returns for your efforts. (otherwise known as cold hard cash)
    Quote Originally Posted by ExJumper View Post
    Sometimes I'm thrown off, sometimes I'm bucked off, sometimes I simply fall off, and sometimes I go down with the ship. All of these are valid ways to part company with your horse.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep. 25, 2008
    Posts
    438

    Default

    Go travelling for 12 months.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec. 30, 2002
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    896

    Default

    It's October. You probably started CC last month, right? I know you don't like it, but it's all new to you. You probably haven't settled into a routine yet, so it's normal to want to bail out already.

    Stick it out. I know that going to a horse college sounds like more fun, but it probably won't get you any where except into debt. I think your original plan of going to CC for 2 years and then transferring is solid



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2002
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    Default reminds me of the story

    of the irate lawyer who complained about the steep plumber's bill
    [who he called in the middle of the night]
    the lawyer's chief complaint was the hourly rate is higher than his.
    "I don't even make that kind of hourly rate" said the lawyer
    the plumber responds "neither did I when I was a lawyer"

    I spent 4 years in the service 66-69

    retired, I can offer no current advise
    but if school is not for you look about for a government job in necessary infrastructure
    more hay, less grain



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec. 15, 2005
    Posts
    3,148

    Default

    Get straight A's this semester so you can transfer to a college of your choice. Look at your big state universities that offer a BS in Animal Science. Talk with them about the job opportunities for their graduates. An Animal Science degree from a state university with an Ag school is usually pretty marketable. My daughters are both recent grads of UMD's Ag school. They have had lots of job and grad school opportunities. Both of them loved UMD and took lots of interesting classes (e.g. animal nutrition, diseases of wildlife). You will also have to take some boring classes (chemistry, calculus 1 and 2) but the fun classes make it worthwhile.

    Don't get an Equine Science degree from an expensive small school unless you are sure it will get you a job.



  14. #14
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    Aug. 1, 2002
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    Midwesterner in Yankeeland
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    1,608

    Default

    I was not terribly impressed by a Black Hawk horse program graduate that I used to work with. She was book smart, but the practical skills just kind of weren't there. Not sure how representative she was of the program, but fwiw...



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2006
    Posts
    718

    Default

    A very wise woman once told me "you can't make money in horses always have something to fall back on." I was always going to work with horses growing up but getting the secretarial/bookkeeping degree from vo-ed paid the bills. I have my own business, I run the office, take care of the books and I also own 10 horses and a gorgeous farm. Most people can't do that when they are mucking out someone else's barn or even training/riding horses in your own barn.

    Find a mentor, someone who you want to be like, then ask them how they got there.
    The View from Here



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
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    36,312

    Default

    I'll pretend I'm an interviewer: "Where do you see yourself in 10 years?"

    Now, sit down and THINK REALLY HARD before you answer this question, because although it is a terrible interview question, it is really, really pertinent to shaping your next few life decisions.

    You can answer it several ways: the dreamy, young teenager way (I want to have my own farm and be a professional trainer competing at the top level) or you can break it down more and expand a little bit. You want to make a list of WANTS and NEEDS, and you want to inject a little bit of reality. Horses might be a way to make a living, but it's a very, very difficult way, especially if the next decade is going to find us in a recession. That's the reality.

    With that in mind, I would recommend you NOT pursue a study in Equine Science or anything along that line. Let horses be your life's passion, your hobby, your escape--but get yourself a career that will allow you to be secure. Surely you must like something else? THAT is the most pertinent question, IMO. What do you WANT TO DO for a career, and how can you make that into something that actually pays the bills? If it MUST be horses and nothing but horses, consider veterinary work or something in that field. But I don't know very many successful, interesting adults who are completely one-dimensional and do nothing but horses.

    Bottom line: invest in your education. The degree is important, but I cannot stress enough my own opinion that a good, solid, liberal-arts education also teaches the critical thinking skills that too many people are lacking. Of course you can get those skills in other ways, but if you have the means, the time, and the freedom to get a proper education, DO IT.

    I can't wait to go back to school when I'm done working and get another degree.
    Click here before you buy.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec. 21, 2005
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    1,781

    Default

    What is it that you hate about community college?

    I am once again a CC student at age 32. While sometimes I do feel like I am back in HS and surrounded by immature "kids", I generally feel that it is a great starting point for my 4 year degree in law enforcement.

    I know very few people with equine science degrees who are actually surviving in the horse industry.....actually, I know only one and she is now struggling to work and go to school so she can get out of horses and get on with a "normal" life. It is very difficult to live a mormal life while working with horses. I was a groom for a few years and had to give it up when I wanted to settle into a relationship and have a family. The hours and travel involved in the job were simply not working out.

    You're young now and maybe you do feel like horses are all you ever want to do, but things change. You could meet someone and want to marry and have kids, you could get hurt, or you could simply get burnt out. You need to have a fallback plan in place before you put all you have into a career with horses. As bad as the economy is getting, I could see a lot of layoffs happening in the near future and those with equine science degrees may be unemployable.
    "Is it ignorance or apathy? Hey, I don't know and I don't care." ~Jimmy Buffett



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2001
    Location
    Finally...back in civilization, more or less
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    11,369

    Default

    My advice is to seek out a few people who have done what you are contemplating. See where they've ended up. Also talk to some adults whose lifestyles you think you'd enjoy having. Find out how they got there.

    I spent a lot of time working in barns when I was growing up and I know quite a few people who thought staying in horses would be "better" than going to school and getting a job outside the horse world. Only one of them would make the same choice again, and frankly - that's because she married a guy who subsidizes her "business" and allows her to basically run it as a hobby, with no concern about having to make a profit or even cover the bills.

    The others have either gotten out of the business (and are struggling to work in areas where their lack of degree and/or business experience has really limited their opportunities) or they are still stuck in barn positions with hard physical work, low wages and nothing in the way of insurance or retirement benefits.

    As a young barn rat/lesson rider, I always envied the clients who showed up in nice cars, wearing the latest riding fashions - to ride their super nice, fancy amateur horses. They always seemed to be having a lot of fun; they could take lessons, travel to horseshows, etc. I decided early that that was the kind of situation I wanted to be in as an adult. Being born without a trust fund... the only way to get there was the one you are contemplating now. Go to school, become employable, and then work hard to get to the point where horses, showing, etc is affordable. There were plenty of times when it really wasn't a lot of fun (although I have to say college was a blast)... but now I have what I want, and I can look back and say it was very well worth it.

    If you want to test the waters, get through this school year and then get a barn job for the summer. Pay careful attention to the barn owner's hours and what they have to do to keep things afloat. Think long and hard about whether or not you want your life to be like that.
    Last edited by Lucassb; Oct. 17, 2008 at 12:57 PM. Reason: correct typo
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep. 9, 2007
    Location
    Charleston, SC
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    2,062

    Default

    Well..

    A education is never a waste of time or money. It may not serve you at this moment in time but fast forward into your 30's. When your body is not as spry as when in your 20's. You have a mortgage, a familiy, and all the bills that come with it. Mr. Just-grduated-from-college manager swoops in and gets hired making twice as much money was you. You have way more experience but lack of college degree. He gets the job because he has that piece of paper. You are left feeling like you were betrayed.

    SO...stay in school and work through it. I am in graduate school and hate every single second of it. I work full-time and have tons of schoolwork. I have to make an appt for myself to exercise, and do laundry. IT will pay off in the future so I am just dealing with it.

    Also..don't waste your money on a equine degree. I would be afraid if I was a barn manager of someone that had a equine degree. Class room is nothing compared to real life.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul. 6, 2005
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    Aiken, SC
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by deltawave View Post
    I cannot stress enough my own opinion that a good, solid, liberal-arts education also teaches the critical thinking skills that too many people are lacking. Of course you can get those skills in other ways, but if you have the means, the time, and the freedom to get a proper education, DO IT.

    I can't wait to go back to school when I'm done working and get another degree.
    I agree with deltawave on both points!



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