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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2011
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    10

    Default Instructor Certification

    Hi everyone! Hope you all have had a good new year so far. So I'm about to graduate college (finally) and really want to work more with horses. My goal is to become a certified instructor. I've been riding since I was 8 and training my young horse for nearly 3 years now. I have a good base of knowledge but really looking to expand it. I checked out Meredith Manor but it's so expensive. So I was wondering what your thoughts are on ARIA (leaning more toward this one) and CHA. Also, do you have advice in general on getting a job in the industry, gaining experience and becoming certified? Any other programs I should look into? Thanks!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2004
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    22,134

    Default

    I would strongly recommend you get a college degree in something. Anything. Business management would be a great start. Then become a working student if you want. I am not a fan of horse related degrees and they don't hold much weight in the horse industry.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 1, 2010
    Location
    Amsterdam, NY
    Posts
    309

    Default

    So I'm about to graduate college
    Apparently Laurierace missed this part.

    As far as getting a job in the industry, you need to sit down and think seriously about exactly what it is you want to do, then steer your job search in that direction. You mention instructing, so I'm guessing that's where your heart lies. Certification is good, but quite honestly, the only people I think it impresses are newbies to the horse world. It certainly won't HURT, but I'm not sure it helps that much. (I'm quite sure I'm going to get flamed big time by certified instructors here. ) IMO though, you'd be better off trying to find work at a big show barn in your discipline. Most instructors start out like everyone else in the industry, caring for the horses, then as an instructor's assistant before getting their own students. Prove your worth and work your way up. Once you have a loyal following (assuming you do a good job), you will have a shot at starting your own business or, like many others, just continuing to work at a facility owned by someone else. Some people like it that way, many less headaches, less personal risk, etc. My final advice is just to WORK HARD. That's what people notice. Good luck.
    IF YOU THINK YOUR BRAIN IS NOT WORTH PROTECTING WITH A HELMET, YOU'RE PROBABLY RIGHT!

    Damrock Farm



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2001
    Posts
    522

    Default

    Certification in any field will only add to your credentials, obviously. Having that said, CHA doesn't seem to carry much merit behind its' name. I would put your money into a program like ARIA, BHS or something via the USHJA.

    If your work experience in the equine field thus far is limited the hard part you're going to have now, post college, is finding equine work that isn't based on an intern/working student platform, as in little to no pay. The nice thing with having the equine degree is that in most cases you are required to do those internship/externship so you gain that hand-on experience prior to graduation. So you are more readily prepared for FT hire work. Even without the equine degree, taking a "regular" degree and having done working student positions during that time period - same thing.

    It's all going to depend on your timeline and what you're able to compromise. If you are willing to relocate, take a live-in position or bring own horse option and small stipend versus salary, than I think you will easily be hired at a facility to be used as an intern/working student/assistant.

    It just seems you might be slightly behind the curve in terms of hands-on experience. You'll be on the right track if you are able to work your way up the ranks and take the time it needs to develop some references and connections.
    "Truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it, but, in the end, there it is." Sir Winston Churchhill



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2004
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    22,134

    Default

    You are right I did miss that part. I thought Meredith Manor was a college? Anyway, no I would no recommend certification. Nobody cares about that, they want to see you getting it done in the real world. That generally means starting at the bottom.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 25, 2005
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    147

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MKirby559 View Post
    Hi everyone! Hope you all have had a good new year so far. So I'm about to graduate college (finally) and really want to work more with horses. My goal is to become a certified instructor. I've been riding since I was 8 and training my young horse for nearly 3 years now. I have a good base of knowledge but really looking to expand it. I checked out Meredith Manor but it's so expensive. So I was wondering what your thoughts are on ARIA (leaning more toward this one) and CHA. Also, do you have advice in general on getting a job in the industry, gaining experience and becoming certified? Any other programs I should look into? Thanks!
    I'll be glad to give you all the information you would like about ARIA - I've been supporting that program for umpteen years. I'm a believer in the goodness of certification, because as long as it's from a legitimate source and involves real testing of the applicants' knowledge and teaching ability, it's a nice way for new owners, riders, and parents of horse-crazy kids to connect with local instructors who have actually proven that they know something (or a lot, or quite a lot, depending on the level) about horses and riding and training, AND that they can TEACH at that level of certification.

    The send-your-money-and-get-your-certificate-by-return-mail certificates are worthless, of course. I have a friend who is still technically a "doctor of divinity," some 40 years after he acquired his certified status for $50, from a post office box in California. So you do need to look into any certification programs you are considering, and compare them, not just to one another but to your own goals and expectations.

    Anyway if you want info, feel free to PM me, or - this question has come up more than once on my newsletter - you are welcome to look through the HORSE-SENSE archives (www.horse-sense.org) and then follow up with a PM at any time if you have more questions.
    Home page: www.jessicajahiel.com
    Horse-Sense newsletter: www.horse-sense.org



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 31, 2001
    Location
    West of insanity, east of apathy, deep in the heart of Texas.
    Posts
    15,934

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    ARIA certification is worth the paper it's written on.
    In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
    A life lived by example, done too soon.
    www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 27, 2010
    Location
    SE VA
    Posts
    1,261

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ESG View Post
    ARIA certification is worth the paper it's written on.
    I was thinking about doing that, too. Why do you say that?



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 31, 2001
    Location
    West of insanity, east of apathy, deep in the heart of Texas.
    Posts
    15,934

    Default

    PM me and I'll tell you.

    I'd say here, but the last time I expressed an opinion that didn't favor ARIA or its processes, one of its proponents launched such an assault on me that I'm disinclined to make my opinions known again. Woman was mailing $h!t to me and trying to make me into an ARIA lover by siege. Obviously, didn't work.
    In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
    A life lived by example, done too soon.
    www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 5, 2009
    Location
    canada
    Posts
    148

    Default

    I am not in the US so I don't know much about what system you have to go through.
    I am certified here in Canada, while I don't always agree with the process and the powers that be I do think having some sort of governing body can be helpful.

    Gaining experience should be your first priority. Find a mentor, they don't need to have gone to the Olympics, they just need to do a good job teaching. Not all good riders are good teachers. Work with your mentor, maybe not full time if you have student debt to pay, just find time during the week to observe them in action.

    I taught summer camp for years before I bothered to get certified, I realized I would make more money having a piece of paper then without it. I still have a mentor (the same person who taught me when I was a kid) She keeps saying she wants to retire, I have to get everything I can from her now before she moves somewhere with out snow

    If you have connections, those are your ticket. I got a job in Canada in February while I was wintering in Aiken. I didn't go until the end of May, they were willing to wait because of the recommendation I had.

    Good luck! Who ever said hard work was right. You don't get anywhere in this industry with out it.

    ps, you can always teach for fun. That's what I do, I teach about 20 hours a week in the evenings and weekends. Of course it's possible to make it full time, I just find I enjoy it more when it is my "escape" as apposed to being my full time gig. In reality I just got sick of being cold everyday from November until April.



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