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  1. #1
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    Default A scary step into the horse industry. Advice for down the line?

    Wow, so there's nothing more scary then failing and I've been back and forth on this topic with myself and my parents for some time now, and I realize I do have some time but I've gotten everything from support and serious warnings when I decided I wanted to try and stay in the horse business and in the horse industry. Is it even possible?

    I originally wanted to be a film major, but I started to seriously re-think things over the last year. My real passion is horseback riding, and I don't think I'd ever be able to give it up. Maybe a silly thing, but my entire life since I've been eight has revolved around horses and I don't know if moving on would be a happy choice for me. Maybe a smarter choice, but not a happy one.

    I've applied to Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Savannah, Georgia and nervously awaiting my acceptance. That school is literarily my dream university; it's a creative art school but actually OFFERS a degree in Equestrian Studies. I haven't heard much about this before, but to be able to minor in film/photography and still be involved with horses seems so perfect to me I don't know what other option would pass it up.

    But I'm worried about my future. Worried that I won't be a good enough rider or that I won't even be able to get a job out of college. I was supposed to show this year but the horse I was going to show passed away in an riding accident and it was a tough blow to not only my ability to ride but my confidence to keep going. I'd like to think I recovered but I haven't been showing and barely riding ever since and after a series of (unfortunate) events I am still horseless almost five months later.

    I may be over thinking all of this but I'm known to be a worrier. Does anyone have any advice for starting out in the equestrian world? Ideally I wish I could win the lottery and just buy my way into the industry, but don't we all wish we had that luxury?

    Thanks,
    - G



  2. #2
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    Many others will offer advice as well I am sure – and these topics have come up before, and there is usually a consensus:

    Go to school and study something OTHER than horses that will allow you to have a stable (pardon the pun) career.

    You do not have to make your living OFF of horses (very hard to do) to keep horses a main focus in your life.

    Like you I started riding at 8 years old. Like you I have been obsessed with them ever since. I was a working student for years through high school and college summers. I rode, I taught, I showed – and I studied in college – but not horses.

    Now I am 34 years old, and have a “regular old job”. One that comes with a pay check every two weeks, benefits (these things are IMPORTANT as you get older), and allows me to own and enjoy horses.

    “Equine Studies” programs are not well thought of as a whole when it comes to the real world horse industry (a equine degree is no guarantee of an equine job). If you REALLY wanted to make a living with horses (long hours, low pay, few benefits, lots of struggle) your best bet would be to get a working student position, work harder than everyone else, have natural talent, some funds to back you up – and hopefully you can scratch your way to a living.

    If you want horses in your life long term, I would recommend looking towards a degree which will offer a predictable income and stability.

    And lastly, I know everyone has their own stories, but the “pro’s” I know all either came from money, came from a professional horse family with money, or hand another career / spouse which allowed them to pursue horses without the need for income for quite a number of years.


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  3. #3
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    It seems like what you are picking for your major/minor are not degrees that will actually allow you to make a living. They're "fun" things, but the realsitic view of getting a job from them isn't good.

    Get a degree in something that should have decent job prospects, and keep horses and photography as hobbies.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by atilthia View Post
    Wow, so there's nothing more scary then failing and I've been back and forth on this topic with myself and my parents for some time now, and I realize I do have some time but I've gotten everything from support and serious warnings when I decided I wanted to try and stay in the horse business and in the horse industry. Is it even possible?

    I originally wanted to be a film major, but I started to seriously re-think things over the last year. My real passion is horseback riding, and I don't think I'd ever be able to give it up. Maybe a silly thing, but my entire life since I've been eight has revolved around horses and I don't know if moving on would be a happy choice for me. Maybe a smarter choice, but not a happy one.

    I've applied to Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Savannah, Georgia and nervously awaiting my acceptance. That school is literarily my dream university; it's a creative art school but actually OFFERS a degree in Equestrian Studies. I haven't heard much about this before, but to be able to minor in film/photography and still be involved with horses seems so perfect to me I don't know what other option would pass it up.

    But I'm worried about my future. Worried that I won't be a good enough rider or that I won't even be able to get a job out of college. I was supposed to show this year but the horse I was going to show passed away in an riding accident and it was a tough blow to not only my ability to ride but my confidence to keep going. I'd like to think I recovered but I haven't been showing and barely riding ever since and after a series of (unfortunate) events I am still horseless almost five months later.

    I may be over thinking all of this but I'm known to be a worrier. Does anyone have any advice for starting out in the equestrian world? Ideally I wish I could win the lottery and just buy my way into the industry, but don't we all wish we had that luxury?

    Thanks,
    - G
    Well, this reply is in a very general way, but here goes:

    (1) Find a niche in the horse industry where there is actually some money to be made. Research which activities are profitable in the area where you want to live, and which are not. Find out what skills/connections/experience/facility you'll need to get into that end of the business. In so doing, think about what you're good at and what you really enjoy--if you don't like working with children and parents, for instance, don't become a H/J trainer! If your health is delicate, don't pick a job where you'll need to be on your feet, outside, around the clock in all kinds of brutal weather. Know ahead of time how much money you'll need to make to live.

    (2) Acquire a solid business education. This means you know at least the rudiments of business law, tax law, accounting and finance, how to make a business plan, and how to draw up and stick to a budget. A natural ability to meet people and pitch your business to contacts and patrons is an even bigger plus. Hundreds and hundreds of people with very good equestrian skills but lacking in general business knowhow unfortunately fail in this industry every year. To be a "good enough rider" is not enough.

    (3) Finish your college degree (your major sounds interesting!) At the very least it provides you with the ability to speak and write articulately and professionally, proves to potential backers that you are serious and can commit to long-term goals, and it can provide a fall-back or "Plan B" in case your business takes awhile to get off the ground. It's always good to "keep your day job" while building the "next step" on the side!

    (4) While working on that degree, take every possible opportunity offered for more quality horse experience; take catch-rides, ride with a vet, volunteer as a relief foaling attendant, hot-walk polo ponies, gallop race horses, braid or groom at shows. Learn every single aspect of as many disciplines as you can from the ground up; those skills will always and forever come in handy some day--I guarantee it! And you'll be building an impressive resume as you go.

    (5) Don't mouth off. If you don't like a scene, leave it quietly or with honest feedback. Everyone knows everyone who knows everyone in this business. Those who don't show up, those who show up drunk, those who don't pay or who cheat or who steal get "grapevined" far and wide. But so does a GREAT reputation and that's what you start building--tomorrow!


    5 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
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    I understand the horse industry as being an unrealistic goal, that's the scary thought I guess. Plus there were always be someone with more money, more expierence, more everything.

    I guess what I'm saying is I know i'm getting myself into something that wont be easy, and wont be rewarding for the longest time. I doubt I will ever get "pro" or own my own facility (a girl can dream) but working with a stable as an assistant or what not would ultimately be my goal.

    “Equine Studies” programs are not well thought of as a whole when it comes to the real world horse industry (a equine degree is no guarantee of an equine job). If you REALLY wanted to make a living with horses (long hours, low pay, few benefits, lots of struggle) your best bet would be to get a working student position, work harder than everyone else, have natural talent, some funds to back you up – and hopefully you can scratch your way to a living.
    That was what I figured, although my hopes is that I could get connections through the Equestrian Team/Equestrian Studies degree since SCAD talks a lot about getting jobs for students. Granted, they could be just saying that but, choosing the degree was to better myself as a rider and how to run the business, not necessarily to say 'hey give me a job I have an equestrian degree!' I was visiting and they were talking about their students that graduated and already had a few clients by preforming well on the equestrian team. Fingers crossed I can do the same.

    I guess my point is, call me stupid but I'm not picking another a career choice. Heck, I don't even know what else I could do!



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
    Well, this reply is in a very general way, but here goes:

    (1) Find a niche in the horse industry where there is actually some money to be made. Research which activities are profitable in the area where you want to live, and which are not. Find out what skills/connections/experience/facility you'll need to get into that end of the business. In so doing, think about what you're good at and what you really enjoy--if you don't like working with children and parents, for instance, don't become a H/J trainer! If your health is delicate, don't pick a job where you'll need to be on your feet, outside, around the clock in all kinds of brutal weather. Know ahead of time how much money you'll need to make to live.

    (2) Acquire a solid business education. This means you know at least the rudiments of business law, tax law, accounting and finance, how to make a business plan, and how to draw up and stick to a budget. A natural ability to meet people and pitch your business to contacts and patrons is an even bigger plus. Hundreds and hundreds of people with very good equestrian skills but lacking in general business knowhow unfortunately fail in this industry every year. To be a "good enough rider" is not enough.

    (3) Finish your college degree (your major sounds interesting!) At the very least it provides you with the ability to speak and write articulately and professionally, proves to potential backers that you are serious and can commit to long-term goals, and it can provide a fall-back or "Plan B" in case your business takes awhile to get off the ground. It's always good to "keep your day job" while building the "next step" on the side!

    (4) While working on that degree, take every possible opportunity offered for more quality horse experience; take catch-rides, ride with a vet, volunteer as a relief foaling attendant, hot-walk polo ponies, gallop race horses, braid or groom at shows. Learn every single aspect of as many disciplines as you can from the ground up; those skills will always and forever come in handy some day--I guarantee it! And you'll be building an impressive resume as you go.

    (5) Don't mouth off. If you don't like a scene, leave it quietly or with honest feedback. Everyone knows everyone who knows everyone in this business. Those who don't show up, those who show up drunk, those who don't pay or who cheat or who steal get "grapevined" far and wide. But so does a GREAT reputation and that's what you start building--tomorrow!
    Sorry for the double post, I didn't see this one while was responding.

    Thank you SO much for this advice, and trust me when I say I'm mentally writing it all down. One of the parts about SCAD that I mentioned in my last post was that the Equestrian Degree really focuses on the things you mentioned (how to run the business, and everything from basic vet skills to training a green horse), and when I was looking at the things they offered I was amazed. I don't really think there's another degree for it.

    I am also currently taking some business classes at my community college as well.

    And in regards to 5, that's one of the way's my trainer got the way he did today! He never had much (no money, no college education) but he knows as many people in the industry he could and makes an effort to be friendly.

    People like him give me hope that's it's possible haha.

    Thanks again!



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by atilthia View Post
    Sorry for the double post, I didn't see this one while was responding.

    Thank you SO much for this advice, and trust me when I say I'm mentally writing it all down. One of the parts about SCAD that I mentioned in my last post was that the Equestrian Degree really focuses on the things you mentioned (how to run the business, and everything from basic vet skills to training a green horse), and when I was looking at the things they offered I was amazed. I don't really think there's another degree for it.

    I am also currently taking some business classes at my community college as well.

    And in regards to 5, that's one of the way's my trainer got the way he did today! He never had much (no money, no college education) but he knows as many people in the industry he could and makes an effort to be friendly.

    People like him give me hope that's it's possible haha.

    Thanks again!
    If you have the deep commitment and willingness to work that it takes to pursue this dream, you'll get there. If no one ever tried, there would presently be no trainers, no breeders, no instructors and no commercial stables. Ever seen the (really old!) Rodgers & Hammerstein musical "Cinderella"? There's a great song that goes:

    "But the world is full of crazies, and fools
    Who don't believe in sensible rules
    And don't believe what sensible people say
    And because those daft and dewy-eyed dopes
    Keep building up impossible hopes, impossible!
    Things are happening eve-ryyy dayyyyy!

    Remember that if it doesn't work out, you just do something else. Life is NOT a zero-sum game!



  8. #8
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    1) There are lots of things more scary than failing. Failing usually means you tried something hard, and that's really cool. BUT.....

    2) I do agree with the advice to focus on business. I really want to scream Follow your dreams!! You can Make it Work!! But unless I'm signing up to pay for your rent and health insurance (), I have to be honest.

    There's no time limit on getting back into horses. You can work for a few years and then change your mind. But it doesn't work so well in the reverse; employers are inherently suspicious of someone who's been out of the job market for a few years. It's not fair but they think why take a chance, when they have applications from new graduates with a solid roster of business courses, understanding of finances, etc (not to mention the applications from out-of-work professional with years of actual experience!).

    An arts or equine science major will not prepare you for the job market--and college costs have risen so incredibly high that unless your parents can just pay your way through life, you should invest in a college degree that will pay itself off.

    I say this with some degree of pain because I was a liberal arts major (French, no less). I was lucky enough to study something impractical that I loved, but still was able to get a good job and develop a good career. I mean, it was a great education at a good school, and I can point to a lot of ways liberal arts helped my career. But let's face it, I graduated a long time ago, and into a booming economy.

    I'd encourage you to start a poll thread on here and ask how many of us work full time outside the horse industry but still feel like we have lots of horse time. I think you'll find that you can still get very immersed in the horse world and compete at higher levels, AND have a good "outside" job.

    Good luck in whatever you do. You sound like a smart, ambitious person and you communicate very well. All great foundations to succeed in whatever you do.
    Try to break down crushing defeats into smaller, more manageable failures. It’s also helpful every now and then to stop, take stock of your situation, and really beat yourself up about it.The Onion


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  9. #9
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    when i was younger, i too had huge aspirations to become a great trainer and professional rider. when i got to be about mid-teens, i realized that the experience i would need and the horse to get me there were completely out of my budget, i was at a loss. a lot of how i had set up my high school curriculum and where i had projected my energy was taking me towards something i later found out to be unfeasible, and after i graduated i did a lot of brief here and there studies trying to figure out what i could do and wanted to do that was also realistic. i took a couple of equine studies courses online, but i found they were mostly filled with horse owners just looking to become better horse owners, and that even getting a certificate in that wouldn't guarantee me anything. horses are such a hands on experience based venture that, sure, you could do the certificate, but my recommendation if you wanted to be a barn manager, trainer (or trainer's assistant) is to take working student and groom positions at the types of barns you could picture yourself managing or teaching at.

    perhaps take a university or college course in something like business, as another poster mentioned. maybe find a barn job part time while you're going through school, and evaluate after you're done school? after a lot of abandoned studies and a few years of entry level jobs, i've figured out a plan where i will be going to school for something that is employable but still around animals. if i decide i want to continue my studies after i've graduated that program, i will, but i'll also have a certification and a bunch of volunteer and work experience that'll make me employable, too.

    hopefully my ramblings are remotely helpful!



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by HungarianHippo View Post
    1) There are lots of things more scary than failing. Failing usually means you tried something hard, and that's really cool. BUT.....

    2) I do agree with the advice to focus on business. I really want to scream Follow your dreams!! You can Make it Work!! But unless I'm signing up to pay for your rent and health insurance (), I have to be honest.

    There's no time limit on getting back into horses. You can work for a few years and then change your mind. But it doesn't work so well in the reverse; employers are inherently suspicious of someone who's been out of the job market for a few years. It's not fair but they think why take a chance, when they have applications from new graduates with a solid roster of business courses, understanding of finances, etc (not to mention the applications from out-of-work professional with years of actual experience!).

    An arts or equine science major will not prepare you for the job market--and college costs have risen so incredibly high that unless your parents can just pay your way through life, you should invest in a college degree that will pay itself off.

    I say this with some degree of pain because I was a liberal arts major (French, no less). I was lucky enough to study something impractical that I loved, but still was able to get a good job and develop a good career. I mean, it was a great education at a good school, and I can point to a lot of ways liberal arts helped my career. But let's face it, I graduated a long time ago, and into a booming economy.

    I'd encourage you to start a poll thread on here and ask how many of us work full time outside the horse industry but still feel like we have lots of horse time. I think you'll find that you can still get very immersed in the horse world and compete at higher levels, AND have a good "outside" job.

    Good luck in whatever you do. You sound like a smart, ambitious person and you communicate very well. All great foundations to succeed in whatever you do.
    Thank you for being honest. I have been thinking (possibly too much since half me is screaming "go for it!" like you said and the other half is commenting on how much of an idiot I might be) about what I could fall back on if all else fails, and I hope that there would always be an alternative. I'm lucky to have supportive parents in my goals, and they own their own small business that if my Plan-B (professional photographer) fails as well, they always have a job for me there.

    I think you're right, if I was paying for my own place at 18 and facing insurance and taxes and real adult life I might be a little more wary.

    i took a couple of equine studies courses online, but i found they were mostly filled with horse owners just looking to become better horse owners, and that even getting a certificate in that wouldn't guarantee me anything. horses are such a hands on experience based venture that, sure, you could do the certificate, but my recommendation if you wanted to be a barn manager, trainer (or trainer's assistant) is to take working student and groom positions at the types of barns you could picture yourself managing or teaching at.
    That's what I've heard of most equine studies degrees, until I found SCAD. It's curriculum is so new I don't know what to think of it! When I spoke with the people studying there was a girl taking a class on importing horses (who knew?) I can only hope the classes I take will somewhat be informative.

    And your ramblings were!
    Last edited by atilthia; Jan. 24, 2013 at 08:28 PM. Reason: Another post I didn't see! I take too long to reply.



  11. #11
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    How old are you? I ask because when I was in high school (which I'm guessing is about where you are), all I wanted to do was be involved in horses in some way. Then I went to college and changed majors twice.

    You need to give yourself time to figure out what you REALLY want to do. Why do you want to go into film studies? What position do you want in the equestrian industry? In four years, you may no longer want to do either of these things. If you want to declare those as your major and minor now, there's nothing wrong with that; you can always change it later. I teach at three different colleges, and I can't tell you how many times students in my classes change their majors. Sometimes because they took my class! What I'm saying is, have your dream, work towards it, but don't limit yourself.

    I do hope you get into your dream school! But don't limit yourself once you get there. Take that chance to do some exploration and learn new things. In ten years, you may be in a career that you can't even imagine now.


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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex and Bodie's Mom View Post
    How old are you? I ask because when I was in high school (which I'm guessing is about where you are), all I wanted to do was be involved in horses in some way. Then I went to college and changed majors twice.

    You need to give yourself time to figure out what you REALLY want to do. Why do you want to go into film studies? What position do you want in the equestrian industry? In four years, you may no longer want to do either of these things. If you want to declare those as your major and minor now, there's nothing wrong with that; you can always change it later. I teach at three different colleges, and I can't tell you how many times students in my classes change their majors. Sometimes because they took my class! What I'm saying is, have your dream, work towards it, but don't limit yourself.

    I do hope you get into your dream school! But don't limit yourself once you get there. Take that chance to do some exploration and learn new things. In ten years, you may be in a career that you can't even imagine now.
    I'm eighteen, graduated high school and didn't get into any of the colleges I applied to for film (California is brutal, a 4.0 GPA still wasn't enough) so i'm currently taking classes at a community college.

    But thank you for the advice about the major changes! I can attest to that because a year ago I was completely set on film no matter what and here I am a year later already questioning it. I know, for sure, I'd be happy in any sort of degree offered at SCAD, and was pleased to know they're really supportive about changing degrees. It's nice to know there are so many choices when it comes down to it. I'm not even quite sure if i'm going to major/minor in equine studies or something else, although because I'm a transfer student I had to declare for the sake of getting in.

    My mother has the same mentality as you haha. She thinks of college as a place to figure out your future, not necessarily to lock yourself onto one path.

    Thank you so much!



  13. #13
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    I just wanted to preface this by (I hope you don't get freaked out) saying that I really enjoy your YouTube videos, and you have been a big inspiration to me in my riding journey. I'm going through a really rough spot right now and seeing how you've been able to rise up after what you've gone through is really inspiring to me. Keep doing what you're doing.

    Have you thought about maybe working for USEF or another company that does live feed streams? I'm sure you could really be utilized with film/video skills with a company that does live streams while still getting horse time. What is it with horses that you want to do? Train? (if you mentioned that in OP I probably missed it, sorry!)
    Proud member of the COTH Junior (and Junior-at-Heart!) clique!


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  14. #14
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    One idea that's been around forever, but I think is now less relevant than people realize, is that the path to becoming a pro is always through making a name for oneself on the show circuit. At one time the way to get noticed was to have the one Great Horse, that one Big Class that made you the Big Break that got you the Big Patron. Usually winning the Medal or Maclay at the Garden was a reliable way to do that. But showing at the high levels today takes literally a bottomless checkbook, and few of those kids will every turn pro. Back when rich owners used to hire the best riders to show and jump their very nice horses, it was true, but hard to find a job like that today!

    Instead, getting good at a necessary job (barn manager, instructor, breeding program manager, show photographer, vet assistant) is a far more direct route to doing exactly that. Remember--being a pro is NOT so much about having the opportunity to ride and show yourself--it's about providing that very experience as a pleasant, do-able package to your clients, on whom you depend!


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  15. #15
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    I just wanted to preface this by (I hope you don't get freaked out) saying that I really enjoy your YouTube videos, and you have been a big inspiration to me in my riding journey. I'm going through a really rough spot right now and seeing how you've been able to rise up after what you've gone through is really inspiring to me. Keep doing what you're doing.

    Have you thought about maybe working for USEF or another company that does live feed streams? I'm sure you could really be utilized with film/video skills with a company that does live streams while still getting horse time. What is it with horses that you want to do? Train? (if you mentioned that in OP I probably missed it, sorry!)
    It does continue to amaze me that people recognize either me or my story from youtube. I'm not so used to being an inspiration to anyone haha, but I'm happy to know so!

    And you know I never really thought about that before. It would definitely be a good thing to look into! Although I think I'm aiming more towards a training job (either of horses or people, or maybe both, sorta depends what opportunities come along!)

    Back when rich owners used to hire the best riders to show and jump their very nice horses, it was true, but hard to find a job like that today!

    Instead, getting good at a necessary job (barn manager, instructor, breeding program manager, show photographer, vet assistant) is a far more direct route to doing exactly that. Remember--being a pro is NOT so much about having the opportunity to ride and show yourself--it's about providing that very experience as a pleasant, do-able package to your clients, on whom you depend!
    I think anyone would love to be a pro jumping in every other GP, but like you said it's close to impossible without money to start off. I think having clients and a showing business would be a personal goal. To me, just working with horses would be rewarding in itself.



  16. #16
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    I went to college and have a good career and make plenty of money. I'd trade it all to be a penniless horse trainer in a heartbeat


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  17. #17
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    Also have you thought about being an assistant trainer to your current one(s)? Not sure if something like that is already in place.
    Proud member of the COTH Junior (and Junior-at-Heart!) clique!



  18. #18
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    It IS possible to go to college, get a degree in something "practical" (whatever that may be these days) and still ride. It's hard, and you have to be dedicated to all of it, but still possible.

    I got my degree in something "sensible" at a top university and am now doing a MA in Teaching. Since all my classes are online at the moment I can be very flexible and am working part time at a local stable as well as tutoring. I've spent every day this week at the barn and have ridden at least 2 horses/day.

    I really, really hope that even when I start teaching full time I'll continue to be as involved with the barn as possible on weekends and vacations. I'm happier than I've been in awhile, at least since I left South Africa, now I've started riding nearly full time again.

    I guess the moral of the story is even if you don't get a degree in Equine Studies or have a lot of money or have the right "connections" (others have already weighed in on this so I'll keep quiet!) you can still be involved with horses & earn money doing it! Obviously you need back up plans (college degree, probably a masters too these days, etc) and I'm working a 2nd job tutoring too, but it is doable.
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey



  19. #19
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    I went to college and have a good career and make plenty of money. I'd trade it all to be a penniless horse trainer in a heartbeat
    Kinda attests to, 'better to try and fail then to have never tried at all'?

    Also have you thought about being an assistant trainer to your current one(s)? Not sure if something like that is already in place.
    It is not currently offered, at least not right now.

    It IS possible to go to college, get a degree in something "practical" (whatever that may be these days) and still ride. It's hard, and you have to be dedicated to all of it, but still possible.

    I guess the moral of the story is even if you don't get a degree in Equine Studies or have a lot of money or have the right "connections" (others have already weighed in on this so I'll keep quiet!) you can still be involved with horses & earn money doing it! Obviously you need back up plans (college degree, probably a masters too these days, etc) and I'm working a 2nd job tutoring too, but it is doable.
    Oh I'm sure it is! I don't doubt it a second, I just have trouble thinking of anything else I could actually do :/



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun. 21, 2009
    Location
    Hunterdon County NJ
    Posts
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    OP... you should FORGET anything and everything the promoters at SCAD tell you. Their goal is to get you to pay tuition to the school. Nothing else.

    As others have mentioned, a straight up business degree is a good, good thing. You could develop your own business, with real paying work, doing the business/tax/accounting side of things for horse folks who don't have a clue.

    Forget about getting a job as an assistant trainer, barn manager, etc. Most of those jobs suckety suck suck. They are always turning over help because no sane, sober person can deal with the BS for long....

    The truth of the matter is that in order to 'make it' in the horse business you usually have to 'make it' yourself. Make your own business, work, etc. Working for others is, very often, a hot mess. Horse people very often SUCK as employers, leaders, and business managers. Hence all the hiring of illegal help, paid under the table, that quits on a regular basis.....

    I started my college career at Lake Erie (transferred after the 1st year.) It was such a joke, I don't know where to begin. There were two 'castes' of students. Girls who came from affluent backgrounds and brought their own horses. And the other, less privileged, girls who did the grooming and shit work.....

    The smart cookies in the horse world get a good degree/job (you could be an electrician, plumber, or something else that pays well....) and then keep a riding string on the side. They are smart because they rider other people's horses..... They have a 'real job,' and a business of a few clients that breaks even. Thus they ride, they pay nothing in the end, and they still have the security of honest employment...

    If you are sick in the head, like me... then you can go all in on the horse thing. So long as you don't mind being poor, injured, uninsured, and generally on the edge of doom on a regular basis. For some of us, there is no other option besides 'all in.' If you are lucky, your are not one of us.


    7 members found this post helpful.

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