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  1. #1
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    Default How do I get my parents to understand?

    I am a 17 year old girl named Jessica. I am a junior in high school and will be graduating next year. I have a loving family and very loving, but protective, parents who just want the best for me. I take my riding seriously, and I really want to work in the industry as a career. You know, do anything I can for good people, become a working student, work as a groom, anything! And whenever I try and talk to my parents, they just don't take me seriously. My mom worries about how in the world I will get any health benefits without a "real" job. I am planning on going to college to get a business degree as well as an English degree so that I can support myself outside of the industry if I need too. I do think that that is important for anybody. I know that I am taking a risk with what I plan to do with my life, but is there any way that I can get my family to understand? Also, how do riders/grooms/trainers out there get any "benefits" for health care or anything? Please give me any advice you have, thank you!
    -Jessica



  2. #2
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    Default How do I get my parents to understand?

    I am a 17 year old girl named Jessica. I am a junior in high school and will be graduating next year. I have a loving family and very loving, but protective, parents who just want the best for me. I take my riding seriously, and I really want to work in the industry as a career. You know, do anything I can for good people, become a working student, work as a groom, anything! And whenever I try and talk to my parents, they just don't take me seriously. My mom worries about how in the world I will get any health benefits without a "real" job. I am planning on going to college to get a business degree as well as an English degree so that I can support myself outside of the industry if I need too. I do think that that is important for anybody. I know that I am taking a risk with what I plan to do with my life, but is there any way that I can get my family to understand? Also, how do riders/grooms/trainers out there get any "benefits" for health care or anything? Please give me any advice you have, thank you!
    -Jessica


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Well, your parents do have some valid concerns. However, I think it is wise that you plan to go to college and get a degree that can help you with having your own horse-related business as well as provide a fall-back plan if necessary. On your summers off from school, I would look for working student positions. Doing that will help you build a resume in the horse world as well as giving you a taste of just how hard a lifestyle it can be. At that point you will probably either know it is for you or decide to do something else and keep horses as a hobby.

    As far as health insurance goes, you will likely have to buy your own. It can be quite expensive to do that. If you are working as a groom and not making much to begin with, it can easily eat up most of your pay. The other option, of course, is not to carry it. But then if you are injured or become ill, you can quickly rack up medical bills to the point of being in debt for life. (And it is a big risk in a job with larger than normal potential for physical injury.) I suppose some horse-related employers may offer benefits to their employees, but I don't think it's very common. (However, I would not work anywhere that does not at least have workers' comp!)


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  4. #4
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    Jan. 21, 2006
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Horserider15 View Post
    I am a 17 year old girl named Jessica. I am a junior in high school and will be graduating next year. I have a loving family and very loving, but protective, parents who just want the best for me. I take my riding seriously, and I really want to work in the industry as a career. You know, do anything I can for good people, become a working student, work as a groom, anything! And whenever I try and talk to my parents, they just don't take me seriously. My mom worries about how in the world I will get any health benefits without a "real" job. I am planning on going to college to get a business degree as well as an English degree so that I can support myself outside of the industry if I need too. I do think that that is important for anybody. I know that I am taking a risk with what I plan to do with my life, but is there any way that I can get my family to understand? Also, how do riders/grooms/trainers out there get any "benefits" for health care or anything? Please give me any advice you have, thank you!
    -Jessica
    You ask a difficult question. Those of us who are parents and have kids like you have struggled with the answer. Do I want my children to do what they have a passion for -- something that will engage them and give them satisfaction.... absolutely. And, for some, horses is what that is. As a parent, so i want my child to have a decent (not luxury) quality of life - to have health benefits and to save enough to have a quality retirement ... absolutely.

    And, do I know that the horse business is a difficult place to accomplish the latter... absolutely. Too many young adults start out in the business with passion and dedication and hard work and find out that despite all that they cannot make a living and they cannot live with what they see as unethical treatment of animals. And, by the way, most riding jobs do not include health benefits or retirement benefits.

    With those things in mind, perhaps you could consider taking this summer and finding a working student position. See if your passion survives the challenges of long barn days, high demand clients, limited riding time, and all the things that go with a the job.

    Continue to plan on college -- do the applications and decide where and what you want to do.

    If your passion persists, perhaps you could consider taking a gap year between high school and college - continue as a working student - continue on your parents health insurance and test the waters. Agree that you will get a degree - even if it is something to fall back on - after the gap year


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  5. #5
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    Default

    Honestly? I am with your parents on this one!

    I am sure there are some that can chime in with inspiring stories – but those that I have known that have become successful pros either came from a professional horse family, a wealthy family, or had spouse or side career that allowed them to do horses without much income from the horse biz.

    I was a working student for very well known eventing trainer through my teen years – then went on to be an assistant trainer for a fairly large H/J barn. I didn’t make enough money to cover my horse expenses, let alone my living expenses.

    Health insurance? Retirement benefits? Health insurance you would have to just buy on your own, that can cost as much as $1,000 a month (my premium is close to that monthly, but I have a professional job, and my employer covers 80% of the cost). Retirement benefits? Again, you would have to shoulder all of that cost. There are very few horse industry jobs that provide benefits. It’s a sad truth – that’s why we see fund raisers for injured pro riders etc. Many cannot afford health insurance, or the loss of income that comes with an injury or illness (I have short and long term disability insurance through my employer).

    First thing first, try to get a working student position and take it from there. Meanwhile, I would keep your mind open to jobs outside of the horse industry. A stable (no pun intended!) career and pay check can allow you to keep horses in your life and enjoy them, without all of the pit falls and tribulations of working in the horse industry.

    Sorry to be a Debby Downer – It CAN be done – just like some people can make a living playing baseball – there are many that want to do it, but to make it, you will have to work harder, be more talented, and seize the right opportunities to make it happen.


    7 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
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    Dec. 26, 2008
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    Indianapolis, Indiana
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    Default

    You need to be a working student before you make this decision. I did, and it changed my ENTIRE perspective on life with horses. Start there.
    Proud former owner of a Wee Dee Trrr
    Proud half-owner of a Picasso Pony


    8 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
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    Jan. 31, 2013
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Appsolute View Post
    Honestly? I am with your parents on this one!

    I am sure there are some that can chime in with inspiring stories – but those that I have known that have become successful pros either came from a profession horse family, a wealthy family, or had spouse or side career that allowed them to do horses without much income from the horse biz.

    I was a working student for very well known eventing trainer through my teen years – then went on to be an assistant trainer for a fairly large H/J barn. I didn’t make enough money to cover my horse expenses, let alone my living expenses.

    Health insurance? Retirement benefits? Health insurance you would have to just buy on your own, that can cost as much as $1,000 a month (my premium is close to that monthly, but I have a professional job, and my employer covers 80% of the cost). Retirement benefits? Again, you would have to shoulder all of that cost. There are very few horse industry jobs that provide benefits. It’s a sad truth – that’s why we see fund raisers for injured pro riders etc. Many cannot afford health insurance, or the loss of income that comes with an injury or illness (I have short and long term disability insurance through my employer).

    First thing first, try to get a working student position and take it from there. Meanwhile, I would keep your mind open to jobs outside of the horse industry. A stable (no pun intended!) career and pay check can allow you to keep horses in your life and enjoy them, without all of the pit falls and tribulations of working in the horse industry.

    Sorry to be a Debby Downer – It CAN be done – just like some people can make a living playing baseball – there are many that want to do it, but to make it, you will have to work harder, be more talented, and seize the right opportunities to make it happen.
    Thank you, I understand. I just wanted someones honest opinion, and you gave it to me, so I can't complain, lol. I am certainly going to become a working student first, and REALLY figure out if this is what I want. And if it isn't? I focus mainly on college, get a good job, and do the horses on the side. But if I still love working with the horses everyday? Then I will just have to make it work, won't I? I don't know how, but I will have to figure it out. I just wonder how those top riders who came from poor families managed to do that. I will have to work really hard, I guess. But thank you, that helped me.


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  8. #8
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    Mar. 6, 2002
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    Default

    The best way to have health care benefits while working in the horse industry is to marry someone who has health insurance that will cover you as a spouse.

    Seriously.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what
    lies with in us. - Emerson


    16 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
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    Jun. 16, 2009
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    Anderson, SC
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    Default Consider the Course Walk

    Not sure about other aspects of your post, but in regards to health care coverage, this may be applicable

    Dependent children up to age 26 will be able to stay on their parents' family policy,
    So at the least you can talk to your parents about this point and see if you can work out a way to help them pay for your coverage. By 26 (9 years from now) you either got that horse career or your implementing your college education somehow.

    At 17, be kind to your parents for at the least, they still see you as the little baby, the little girl, the young lady that they could protect, not the young woman you are starting to become. Certainly one way to obtain that respect is to also respect them. You say they are loving which is the best platform to start from, but respect is something earned. To get them to see you in a different light you need to look inward, to ask the question am I truly showing them I can be trusted with this type of decision.

    Passion is an amazing energy. Whether you are 52 or 17 it is the fuel to move the wheels of change. The thing is, like riding, you may have the legs moving but are you steering? What they may want to see is not just the passion, but the plan. Think about it this way, when you ride cross country what do you do, walk the course right? You look at the path, figure out how you are going to ride it...you make a plan. Sure, after the start box that plan may change, but you took the time to make a plan.

    So, you have passion, you have ideas, but do you have a plan? Have you shown them WS options? Have you talked with your trainer and had her talk with your parents about options in training? Have you done the due diligence (sorry, business speak) to show your investors (your family) that you have a plan for success? What they know intrinsically, that you do not, is Time. If passion fades, what then? Time slows the gears, time drags passion. The number of times they may have leaped before looking is way larger then your own current experience. On that course walk, you talk with your trainer, saying how you may ride it, listening to her advice, asking questions so the final outcome is success. Look at your parents as trainers, in life. They have been there, done that...it does not mean they are right, but it means they earned the respect to be listened to just as you listen to your trainer.

    When you do all that you still might get push back...of course, they love you and worry, so then you have an adult choice to make (which is what we are talking about here), stay within the family support and adjust the plan; determine if you can implement your plan without their help...and support.

    Tough choice.

    Turn that passionate energy now into research, show them you can be a success by putting the time in on the really hard stuff. Earn their respect, show them the adult you are choosing to be. Ask not so much for permission, but advice. Riding is easy, life is hard. Now comes the hard stuff.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
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    Yeah, I was going to say, marrying wealthy might be your best bet! As for all of those poor kids that ended up top riders? Again, unfortunately I do not know any.

    I was a “poor” kid – quotes, because any one that has a horse isn’t poor – but my (single) dad made MAJOR sacrifices so I could do horses. We lived in a trailer, opted for public rather than private schools. I kept my horse at a neighbor’s cattle ranch in the off season – and trailered to my trainer. During my working student months I worked from 7:30 am to 6:30 pm 6 days a week – which left me having to pay only part of my board – training worked off. Cleaned tack, clipped horses, baby sat, did anything I could do on the side to come up with show money. Everyone else at the two barns I worked at was wealthy.

    And yes, do the working student thing first! While I LOVED working with the horses – I did NOT love the “industry” which I found, didn’t really always put the horse first.

    I still “do” horses two hours every day! I just do it after work. I have trained my own which is very rewarding, and did a fair bit of starting youngsters and other training on the side through college. Honestly, for me, a few hours a day with horses satisfies my desires. I don’t need to do horses 12 hours a day. If I had unlimited wealth, horses would be my main focus – but doing horses to make a LIVING? No – I found that in my experience at least, money corrupts.

    Dependent children up to age 26 will be able to stay on their parents' family policy,
    As long as we do not end up with a republican president in 4 years who could reverse this.


    6 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
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    We know someone who made it work. She had excellent grades in high school and college. She was then accepted to medical school and a PhD program in genetics. She chose the PhD program because it would allow her time to ride a couple of times per week. After she got her PhD, she got a job in a top lab that allowed her a flexible work schedule. She then had enough money to buy nice horses and good training because she and her husband both had jobs that paid well. She rode her horses at 7am each day before going to work. Only after she was riding at Advanced and was financially secure did she quit her job and ride full time.

    Get a good education and a good job so you can ride and compete successfully.


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  12. #12
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    ^^^ This is a very sound plan!



  13. #13
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    Default

    It's not the worst plan to take a year off before college to be a working student. When you are 18 you are able to make your own decisions. When the time comes, share your hopes and plans with your parents. Listen to them and then respectfully disagree if they aren't on board. Making or changing anyone is beyond another person's power. No matter how much you try or wish it to be so.

    It is really great that you are thinking ahead about insurance. There are many adults who don't pay any attention to this and just wing it - hoping for the best. Planning and thinking about it, and all the other life skills, is great.

    Best wishes.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
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    Default

    With the latest health care legislation, kids can stay on their parent's health insurance through age 26. Go to college, get a degree, and try working in the horse world for a few years afterwards. Many people decide that a "real" job with benefits is the preferred course of action. You never know until you try.

    Please think long-term. The benefits that go with a "real" job are significant. Paid holidays, vacation time, health insurance, retirement and/or 401K plan are seldom seen in the horse world. I have respect and admiration for those who choose to make a living breeding, riding and training horses, but unless you are at the very top, it's not a financially rewarding lifestyle.
    It's 2014. Do you know where your old horse is?


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  15. #15
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    OP, I highly recommend you getting (and reading!) the book, "How Good Riders Get Good" by Denny Emerson. In it he addresses those very questions you have, including how top riders got to where they are today (including those that started with nothing).

    Here: http://www.amazon.com/How-Good-Rider.../dp/1570764379
    Quote Originally Posted by alicen View Post
    We have no intentions of tarring and feathering anyone: this is now a thread about dipping Ryan Reynolds in chocolate.


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  16. #16
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    Our daughter struggled with the exact same thing. She did well as a working student in high school, but it was LONG hours - 3 am - 10 pm/midnight 7 days/week for 48 weeks/year. She took a couple of years off from riding while in college and decided to ride on the IHSA team, as opposed to the NCAA team. She had several full ride offers for the NCAA teams, but was "burned out." She did really well with the IHSA team, including winning a national title. However, she worked a year after school with the team and decided that it would be good to have a concrete job to support her and for her family life style as well. She finished undergrad and is now in PA School and will always be involved in horses in some way. She loves riding the young ones and showing, but realizes that it takes a lot of money in the real world to be successful as a trainer and rider. You don't make enough as a groom to pay for your health insurance or your basic living expenses. The lack of health benefits and other perks become quite a challenge. It is difficult to raise a family and be on the road as much as you need to be in order to be successful. Our daughter decided to get married, so having a balance of "family, horses, and work" became important to her. Please go to college and work during the summers as a working student. Or - take a "gap" year, but still commit to college. One thing that may be good if you take a "gap" year would be to take a couple of online classes towards fulfilling some of your basic college requirements. That would keep you in the "study mode." It is much more difficult to get back into the "studying" mode once you are out of it. Your parents may be more open to that as well. Look at the schools where you may like to go and see which classes would help fulfill those requirements. If you would like for the NCAA teams to watch you ride, consider going to the College Bound Invitational. It used to be held in Gainesville, Florida. I am sure you can look it up. It may give you a way to ride, have some academic scholarships, and get an education at the same time! You are quite wise to seek the advice of others while making your decision. That shows maturity on your part. I am sure you will do well! Keep us posted and good luck!


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  17. #17
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    Default

    One thing a lot of kids with a passion for horses do not always consider is how working in the industry will affect that passion.

    It did for me....when the horses started becoming a job, and the last thing I wanted to see on my day off was a horse...I went back to school. Yes I miss it to a point...but I now own 15 horses and a very nice barn. I have health care and a healthy retirement. Not something I would have ever been able to afford working in horses.

    A good friend of mine rode at the 3* level and did GP dressage...started working a regular 9-5 job (while eventing at the 3* level) and then working in horses....she is getting out of horses now. Working in it full time killed her passion for it.....and her bank account.


    Yes...it can be done and for some people, they love it. I understand that....but for others, while you may like your job, it does affect your passion for the horses. They become a business...and the job. Your decisions become more business...and because of money, you have to make choices like selling horses that you like. Me...I do run my horses as a business but because it isn't my sole income...if I don't want to sell a horse, I don't have too.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **


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  18. #18
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    BFNE's point is the one I was going to make . . . there is a difference between going out and riding because you WANT to and going out and riding because you HAVE to.

    I prefer to keep horses as my avocation, not my vocation. I haven't met too many people who are one-dimensional that are all that happy and fun to be around, to be honest. I love horses, and I love riding, and I love showing and breeding and all that stuff. But I love a lot of other things, too, and sometimes I take time off from one thing to focus on another. I'm glad that horses aren't my livelihood so they can keep their place in the "I love doing this and it's fun" column.
    Click here before you buy.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
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    Default

    Every time i read the title of this thread I think of this song:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jW3PFC86UNI

    Jessica, being a pro is alot of hard work with out guarantees of success. I know more than a few people who have burnt out. I also know a few trainers who are FABULOUS, but don't have the kind of buisness/ sponors/owners that maybe they should have, for unknown reasons. Did you read Sinead Halpins recent blog? http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/...ary-ready-more She's really good and she still has to work her butt off.


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  20. #20
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    I feel like I've posted this a bazillion times, but what's one more?
    This life is MUCH more enjoyable when you have the finances of a corporate life to support it. That's not to say you can't have your cake and eat it too! I have a full time career, but have the flexibility to have a handful of students to nurture and develop, and room in my riding schedule to take on one training client at a time.
    No, I don't do much other than work, horses, and the gym, but I really love my life!!! (And my stress is measurably low. )

    I've had horses as my full time gig, I was fulfilled, but I was dirt poor, and my horses had never heard of passier, matter, pikeur, or a BNT.
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble


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