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We experienced a cyber attack that wiped out the site's content earlier this week via a software vulnerability, but the developers were able to restore everything from backups.

We updated our software to implement available patches and will be making further cosmetic changes to the site to restore it. Performance is slow right now, but by early next week, the developers will have restored a few optimization strategies they usually have in place to keep things percolating smoothly.

Going forward, we will make some changes to the site to limit the number of customizations we implement to the software, so that it is easier to keep current on updates and patches if they are released.

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Please report any glitches in a thread we'll be starting in the Help forum.
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Summer Eventing Working Student Positions

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  • Summer Eventing Working Student Positions

    Despite our current world situation, I am still hoping to find an eventing working student position this summer. I am looking for a position on the East Coast that includes housing. I do not have a horse, so I would prefer a position that gives me ride time on the trainer's (or others') horses. However, I may be able to lease a horse from my current trainer to bring for the summer if needed. I will only be 16 this summer and will only have a learner's permit, not a driver's license.

    Although I have been riding for a while, I am not super experienced. I am schooling training level dressage and consistently jumping 2'3". I have never been able to ride more than a couple of times a week because of transportation issues. I grew up riding in a Pony Club Riding Center, where I got my D3 Eventing and C1 HM certifications. I have recently shifted to a more competitive dressage program that does some eventing, and I also actively compete in mounted games through another awesome trainer, which both have given me pretty strong basics in dressage (since mounted games is just dressage at speed). I have worked at all the barns I have ridden at, so I have good references that I am a hard worker. While I am not very experienced, I am good at following directions and learn new tasks quickly.

    As a working student, I want to improve my riding and learn everything that goes into taking care of and training horses. I want to be able to get as much riding time as possible on as many kinds of horses as possible because one of the most limiting factors of my current riding situation is that I can ride at most twice a week. But I also want to get a comprehensive horsemanship education, so I am eager to put in the work cleaning stalls and tack, grooming, turning in and out, etc. It would also be great if there were competition opportunities, whether it was going to shows as a groom for the trainer or if I could compete myself that would be great. I do not plan on going into the horse world as a career, but I do want to own horses as an adult, so I want to learn as much as possible so that I feel confident caring for and training my own horses in the future.

    My Questions:
    1) Do you think this summer would be a suitable time for me (a 16-year-old, D3 pony clubber with C1 HM and riding at C1 flat level) to get a working student position? Would there even be eventing programs that would accept me as a working student at my experience level? Would I get more from just spending a few days a week at the barn this summer (I wouldn't be able to get out more than that, again because of transportation)?

    2) I am an introvert and not very good at advocating for myself. Do you think this will be a major issue in a working student position?

    3) Do you have any specific recommendations of working student programs that seem like a good fit based on my situation? I would also love to hear stories about specific programs if anyone has personal experience.

    4) How do you recommend finding and vetting positions?

    5) How can I put together a strong application? What do I include in a riding resume? Should I use both horse and non-horse people as references, or just horse people? What should I include in a riding video?

    6) What level of riding experience is typically needed to get a working student position at an active event barn? What horse management skills should I develop to make me a better candidate?

    Thank you so much for reading this and for your help!
    Last edited by eventer314; Mar. 30, 2020, 12:53 AM. Reason: Added question 6

  • #2
    A lot of places aren't going to take an unknown minor on for a residential position. Try to find someone locally to get some ride time in this summer, discipline isnt as important as time in the saddle.
    Let me apologize in advance.


    • #3
      I suggest putting it on hold. I don't know where you live but the bigger population centers are all on lockdown. The horse Show season has been cancelled and many lesson and training barns have shut their doors to clients.

      Honestly if you are D level pony Pony Club you are unlikely to be schooling horses in a WS position. More likely doing a lot of cleaning stalls.

      If you are fortunate enough to live outside of a Covid 19 epicenter I would suggest getting as much saddle time as possible at a local barn. Also get your driver's license ASAP.


      • #4
        Your writing style and direct clear questions are commendable. As someone who gets asked a lot of questions via email, I really appreciate that effort on your part to think through your questions and phrase them eloquently.

        There are probably places out there that could help you, but I think I will agree with others that now is probably not the best time.
        If you spend several days per week at your barn this summer, would you be able to ride multiple horses?
        When I was your age I was able to bike from one job at a farm, to a second one, to the barn where my horse lived. Of course that might not be possible where you are- I was in N Ohio where there are quite a few small private farms. But just a way to think about other possible options when you can’t drive.

        I think most places would be a “work all day, get one lesson” type of situation at your experience level- at the best. You aren’t yet at the place where you can ride other horses in training. I think you’ll get there though- just keep at it. 😊


        • #5
          Reach out to Matt and Cecily Brown at East West and see what they think. While you're a touch younger than what they typically take, you sound mature and ready to work hard.

          They'll give you an incredible base on the horsemanship side. They have one or two horses that they allow WS to lesson on if their horse is injured and they have taken on 'greener' WS before, although it sounds like you have a good amount of saddle time.

          You might not be as inexperienced at riding as you think based on your post, just inexperienced at eventing. You'd probably hack and do trot sets a lot if they deemed you sufficient.

          They also have living on site (brand new barn this spring, apartment to be occupied within the month, pending permitting process during this coronavirus). It is however, fairly unlikely you would compete without your own mount.


          • #6
            With this virus seemingly being extended further out into the summer, your best bet is to probably to look for some experience at your barn closer to home, providing you can even continue to ride at current barn. I'm going to be paying board on 2 horses for who knows how long before I can even see them again much less sit on them. I hate to be the voice of doomsday but it just doesn't look good for the equestrian community or any sports for that matter this year. Damn virus.