Approaching the trainer/inquiring for a working student postition...
This summer, I am trying to find a working student position at a nice show barn. I have several barns in mind that I hope would possibly consider me. How should I go about approaching this situation? Both barns that I am interested in are also barns that I was considering taking a few lessons with. Should I go this route and then ask? Email? Phone call? What would be the correct way to mention such an idea to a trainer?
Just to clarify things: I am 15 years old and would consider myself an advanced intermediate rider (solid 2'6"-3' rider). I have been working at a QH breeding farm for the past 3 years and earn enough money to keep my pony and some showing, however I would be willing to work without pay for the Summer for the working student position. I am looking for experience at a high end hunter barn and trying to "get my name out there."
"To do something that you feel in your heart that's great, you need to make a lot of mistakes. Anything that is successful is a series of mistakes." -B.J. Armstrong
Spend some money on lessons and create connections. Find out which barn(s) seem like they have the most horses with the least amount of help and have a staff you enjoy. Once you've figured out which barn fits all these criteria, be honest with the trainer and let the trainer know that you would love to work all summer and help them out with the horses. The worst they can say is no thank you, not this year. But even if they say no at first, they might come around in a month or so when they need help.
Be ready to do everything and anything. One of the summers I was a working student, I rode close to 10 horses and did a bunch of chores. It's not easy but you learn a lot. Don't gossip. I also missed some stuff I wanted to do with friends so know that you're going to be making a sacrifice somewhere. Also make sure that you can get to the barn reliably.
And I don't know where you're located but WEAR SUNBLOCK AND A HAT. I'm already regretting not being diligent about both. =/
The best thing that you can do is email AND call the trainers that you're interested in. The more interest you show, the more they'll realize that youre serious about the task at hand. Send a resume, videos, etc, and really show them that you're there to learn and absorb as much as you can from them. The more interest that you show, the more interest that youll get back from them.