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Stuck in working student/apprentice trainer land

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  • Stuck in working student/apprentice trainer land

    Can anyone recommend reading material, COTH threads or online links that give advice on what to do after you are a working student/apprentice for a while?

    After years of being a working student, barn manager, apprentice trainer, groom, I am not sure what to do now. How do you know when you have outgrown your current position and what is there besides working student/apprentice trainer and head trainer?

    I just want to ride/teach as much as I can, take lessons as much as I can, but it seems like being with my current boss/trainer limits me because I am turning down possible students because they aren't boarding on the property and I worry that if I ask her to only pay me commission on the horses I currently train for her so I can teach/ride the rest of the day, she will fire me and no longer teach me.


  • #2
    Get your resume ready and start looking for a trainer that will take you on your next step.
    If you are ready to work hard, why not try some of the top trainers and competitors?

    If you get some years under your belt with them, after a while, you will really be ready to go it on your own.

    Just a suggestion.


    • #3
      Read small business info, how to start, run, promote, etc. That's the thing I wish my working student positions had included and to me it's the hardest part. Training horses is fun and therefore it's easy to motivate and learn and try harder with. Learning to run your own business is not so easy to do, lots of numbers and legal stuff to know about and paperwork to get sorted out.
      Shop online at


      • #4
        Get out from under her as soon as you can! It's hard but do it because, it will only be harder to move on later. I'm sure she knows your goals and if your impression is that she will fire you if you approach her about taking on some clients of your own, then she does not have your best interest at heart. The fact that you are even asking this question tells me it's time for you to go. I am not saying you need to go out on your own right away but at least find a new trainer and a new situation. Good luck!!!


        • #5
          Have you talked to your boss about your goals? If you guys are clear on what your goals are and you ask her how you can fit that into your job, she should be open to helping you. Oftentimes, people are so scared to talk that they just run off from a trainer (that they work for or just train with) and it would have worked out in the end if they just talked to them.


          • #6
            hmmm this sounds familiar!


            • #7
              Originally posted by Darko View Post
              hmmm this sounds familiar!
              You got that right!!!


              • #8
                Why does it sound familiar.

                To get out of 'working student apprentice trainer land', work for someone who's more recognized in your type of riding. It's a gradual process, to work one's way up, it usually includes lots of blue ribbons at horse shows, working with a well known trainer who's at the top in your riding sport, etc.


                • #9
                  Sounds like a co worker word for word! lol


                  • #10
                    Speaking from personal experience here, and from the experience of others who have also followed a similar path, find a private family/small barn (maybe they board, maybe they don't), where you can have a paid apartment and a place for your horses. Then you hang out your own shingle and start working as a freelance instructor and trainer. Often this will lead to becoming a trainer/instructor at a barn where you can do your own thing without having to manage the place.

                    This is why you've already done the things you have--so you can train horses and students and get the money in your own pocket (making your own business). This way you're free to work with whomever you choose.

                    The other option, that is also a great one if you aren't feeling ready to stop and start a business, is to go and continue as a working student for a top trainer in Europe. THAT will really beef up your resume for any future job as a head trainer/instructor at a farm, or for freelancing and then building your own business.
                    "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"


                    • #11
                      They are looking for people at Temple Farms.

                      Liz Steacie
                      Porcupine Hill Dressage
                      Maitland, Ontario