I've been a jumper for many years but have never had the opportunity to ride with a well known trainer, or an amazing horse or seen how a top notch show/training stable runs. I'm about to go into my senior year in college and am thinking about what to do once I graduate.
Like every other girl in the world - I'd really really love to learn everything there is to know about horse care, training and what it takes to run a barn. I want to move up and ride with the best - but I have so much to learn.
Where would be a good place to be a working student? What would this job entail? How do you guys propose I get exposure and get to ride and network and learn learn learn!
ALSO - I know nothing of whether student riders a good way to enter into this world. Would it be best to do this at a sales barn? training barn? show barn? I am a beginner when it comes to everything but riding and basic horse care!
I worked in Europe for 6 months with an Olympian. Although it was a great experience and I rode everything in the barn from stallions to his top competition horses to his up and comers, I didn't receive much instruction. The timing was poor and he was on the look out for his next Olympic horse, traveling all over and rarely on the farm. That being said, I'm glad that I did it and I learned many other valuable aspects about the care and management of 20+ International caliber horses as well as getting the opportunity to ride 6+ horses a day.
I personally would find a trainer you respect and like the way their horses go, or if you don't know them, ask around, try to speak to previous people that have worked for the person. Check out the farm, are the horses happy and healthy? Do they greet you with pricked ears or sulk in their stalls? Also not just the trainer, but talk to the groom,barn manager, working students, clients etc and get a feel for the place. Maybe also consider an event barn so you can get lessons in jumping and dressage which would only improve your riding?
If your college has a horse program, talk to them and see if they have any suggestions of good places.
It\'s not the color of the ribbon that counts,but the color of the ride.