I cleaned a LOT of stalls,water buckets and horses over the years .I braided a ton of manes to pay for entry fees Now I run a lesson program with about 30 regular students. We go to dressage and hunterjumper shows. I also bring horses in for training and sales from time to time. My goals in this business is to compete internationally dressage and I am 24. So I consider myself a young professional at this point!
I went to school for psychology and was a working student prior to college. During college I worked for a really great trainer as well, riding,barn care, doing whatever was needed really. I took a couple of breaks from school to go and train with a trainer or to accept a job that was a great opportunity.This ranged from everything from working for a BNT to helping an equine chiropractor to riding for an equine touring group. Prior to college I had a successful junior career with a lot of show experience. This all helped to build a good starting resume. I have had to work very hard every step of the way. I have always been a working student one way or another but I credit my stubbornness to not giving up in this business. Also realizing that you have to make big chances to get great benefits which sometimes resulted in a rather rough landing! Also realizing I could build upon where I was when things seem to fall apart. I think it is important to always be devolving, never being satisfied with knowing enough So I try to clinic and ride with trainers whenever possible.
I credit all my knowledge to a LOT of different trainers. I did ride for a college equestrian team but was not really involved with my schools program other then that as I always had other horse things going on the side...aka working student relationships. Being willing to ride anything with four legs someone would let me ride also taught me a lot Also being willing to do anything to learn.
I am thankful for a background in psych as it sure has helped my teaching! Along the way developing some wonderful professional mentors has given my guidance in countless situation.
Also, I was always kinda weak about the business part of the whole deal. I hated asking people for money and would devalue my services. At one point I picked up a night job at a deli and finding myself constantly selling things really had a big influence on my confidence in the money department. I HATED having to work in a deli, but it was part of what got me where I am now
I gave up having a "normal life" However stressful and tiresome as it is sometimes I wouldn't trade this journey for anything.
It\'s not the color of the ribbon that counts,but the color of the ride.
I studied Dressage for several years, did alot of trails too...for fun!! Gotta make it fun! I worked alongside Dr. Haverkos for years before getting Certified as a massage therapist for horses. Worked for years, on hundreds of horses, learning alot-developing the best way to help them to rebuild themselves from injury, etc. I have realized that many outside factors can cause the horse to become sore, saddle fit, orthodontics, poor riding, etc. and schools never address that-so I decided to start a school to get the information out there to those that wanted to learn. I have a small school for equine massage/rehab therapy in Indiana, also doing rehab and equine massage-and some canine.
Worked my butt off for 5 years as a working student under a few different people. Spent a lot of the first couple years cleaning stalls. Realized that everyone can be learned from, and the hard part is separating the wheat from the chaff. Not going to go into all the details, as I recently posted in another thread my detailed WS experiences. Suffice to say, I'm now working as a trainer and have some amazing opportunities popping up right now.
I feel it's knowing the right people at the right time, and like the other poster said, learning from all of them! I am working right now with a woman I became good friends with, she's a L judge with distinction, and has trained dressage horses for years, and an author! She a wealth of information, and when she speaks...I shut up and listen! LOL
Dad always said-you have one mouth and two ears for a reason, you listen twice as much as you talk-and you'll learn something.
Really long story short? Lots of work, lots of time invested, and luck in being at the right place at the right time.
Long version: I rode as a kid, was the kid that was put up on EVERYTHING that came through the door. Was a WS for several trainers, did lots of clinics, showed anywhere and anything I could, catch rode, you name it. Got a BS in Business Admin with a concentration in International Small Business Management. Did horses (riding, mucking, teaching, more mucking) all through school. After graduation I got a job managing a dressage training barn, got to ride a bunch, as well as teach, start babies, etc. And eventually went out on my own. I still ride anything I can, gallop racehorses to help make some extra $$ (and stay fit!) And have the opportunity to work with some really great horsemen and women who have forgotten more than I know. I have a great BO who is amazingly supportive and have had the luck to get connected to some wonderful owners, breeders and trainers. Its not an easy way to make a living, but its rewarding.