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Working Student Position

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  • Working Student Position

    I'm finishing up college in December and trying to figure out my next play. I would love to find a serious working student position with a top hunter/jumper trainer.

    I don't have a huge amount of show experience but have worked and ridden horses for ages. I have lots of green and young horse experience. I am basically willing to work my booty off for showing and coaching opportunities. I am willing to relocate anywhere would just need housing included.

    If anyone knows of working student programs or they themselves could offer one please let me know!

  • #2
    I think you really need to just look for a job with a show barn so you can learn and gain experience at the shows.

    As an adult, WS situations are difficult because a WS does not get any kind of salary, no benefits and because they are getting "free" rides in return for labor? Cannot show as an Amateur-which cuts out many opportunities to show client horses.

    Ask your own trainer. And start lower down the ladder. Big names will want more experience before they would have you coaching their clients or showing client horses. Plus their own in house Juniors act as WS in those barns.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

    Comment


    • #3
      Are you willing to look internationally?
      Ryu Equestrian & Facebook Page
      Breeding Horses Today, for the Equestrian Sport of Tomorrow.
      Osteen & Gainesville, Florida.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by caboy001 View Post
        I'm finishing up college in December and trying to figure out my next play. I would love to find a serious working student position with a top hunter/jumper trainer.

        I don't have a huge amount of show experience but have worked and ridden horses for ages. I have lots of green and young horse experience. I am basically willing to work my booty off for showing and coaching opportunities. I am willing to relocate anywhere would just need housing included.

        If anyone knows of working student programs or they themselves could offer one please let me know!
        Your work ethic is admirable but Findeight is right. No top trainer is going to provide showing opportunities (either on sales horses or client's stock) to someone without a pretty serious resume, and they have their pick of top juniors to choose from for those rides.

        Unless you have quite a bit saved up, you'll also need to budget for all that stuff that adult life brings... like food, clothing, cell phone bills and transportation (even if you own a car, there is gas, maintenance and insurance, for example.) And I know a lot of young people blow it off, but health insurance would also be a really good idea for someone working around horses. So working full time in exchange for just housing might be difficult; just something to think about.

        You might do better to get a regular job and take lessons for a while, develop a relationship with a trainer that you respect, and see if you can grow that situation into one that affords you more coaching and showing opportunities. Good luck!
        **********
        We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
        -PaulaEdwina

        Comment


        • #5
          I do think it's a fabulous idea to do this while you are just out of college....if you are under 26 and can still be part of your parents' health insurance plan. Live low on the hog but for God's sake don't school horses without health insurance.
          The armchair saddler
          Politically Pro-Cat

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            While I appreciate the responses so far I came to this forum to get advice on who to look at as far as working student positions. I suppose my use of the word 'top' may have thrown some of the answers and I'll rephrase that to the best trainers that would take someone with limited show experience.

            Believe me I realize there are plenty of junior riders who get the rides that I would love to have but I was never blessed to have the $$$$ that it takes to be handed the top horses those junior riders have had.

            I have gotten a few PM's with great advice and I'll follow up on those. I would love to get more positive responses here on what TO do not what NOT to do. I am aware of my financial situation and the abilities I have to take care of myself as well as health coverage.

            And yes MCarver I would absolutely consider international. Thanks!!

            Comment


            • #7
              Why is it when this question comes up, everyone offers the correct and realistic information and the OP comes on and doesnt want to hear the bad parts (realistic parts)?

              You finished college - if riding is your dream, don't be a working student, IMHO, working students are for kids under 18. If you are riding, you become a pro, you can't show ammy, etc., etc. But many trainers are willing to pay you, provide board, and teach you the ropes along the way. But NO guarantee to ride/lesson, and highly doubtful to show unless your a diamond in the rough and the trainer sees that.

              But if you truly want to work and learn the ropes, contact yard and groom, etc., and just get a job, many of the big farms have housing and an income, you get to travel, and learn, but to do it without an income, unless you have family backing is almost impossible. If your looking Big A show barns, be ready to work 12-15 hours days during show season, maybe never sitting on a horse for 12 weeks, etc. Just take a look at the listings of the top riders, whether the olympic team, canadian team, world cup, etc., contact those farms, I bet they are all looking for capable help.

              Or put that 4 years of college to work, get a job in your chosen field and take lessons and work weekends at a farm learning.

              Not telling you what you should or should not do, but just different thoughts on the subject.

              Comment


              • #8
                Since most of the serious trainers are finishing up their seasons and preparing for the southern shows, it might be hard to find a working student position in late fall/winter. Most serious working student positions I see start in late spring when trainers are going back home.

                What my DD did was become a groom for a show barn. Trainers sometimes hire an extra groom to take with them on the winter circuit, which might work well for your availability. This would give you the opportunity to spend some time watching top trainers in action and making connections. If you are a hard worker, personable and professional, you might get noticed. You'll certainly have a good insight into the personalities, talents, and horsemanship of the trainers who may take you on as a working student.

                As for riding, take your groom income and use it to buy lessons, training and show when you can and your employer allows. Eat a lot of peanut butter and ramen. This is what DD does, usually showing at the local rateds to build her show record. I provide the horse and board, which I relate to what I'd spend if she were going to college. This will all soon come to an end - I will sell the horse, DD will give up her ammy status and start riding a lot of green horses, teaching beginning/intermediate lessons and managing a barn. She has gotten several offers of this sort by good trainers she respects. Where she goes from there will depend on a lot of luck and even more hard work.

                This is the most realistic path I can see for someone who did not have the opportunity to build a stellar junior career or a very large bank account. I have met several professionals who have managed it with some success, so I do view DD's future with cautious optimism.

                Comment


                • #9
                  You might look for an opportunity to work for a trainer at WEF. I have read in Yard and Groom that trainers are looking for people. Do you have a nice riding video? Since your resume is limited, a really well done video might be your ticket to your opportunity.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Hunter/JumperMom View Post
                    Or put that 4 years of college to work, get a job in your chosen field
                    Yup. Earn your own money, and do horses the way YOU want to do them, not what an employer (if you can find one) is going to want, and that's not much from an entry-level worker..

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by caboy001 View Post
                      While I appreciate the responses so far I came to this forum to get advice on who to look at as far as working student positions. I suppose my use of the word 'top' may have thrown some of the answers and I'll rephrase that to the best trainers that would take someone with limited show experience.

                      ...on what TO do not what NOT to do.

                      I thought I was being positive in suggesting something you could do, get a barn job with a serious, well respected show trainer to gain more experience. My bad.

                      Serious show barns don't have alot of real green horses or bad horses that are tough rides. They have mostly good horses. Experience riding and showing good horses and maintaining their edge so they go well for their owners or in sales presentations is more in demand then time with the tough ones.

                      The only way to gain experience with good horses is to work for a barn that produces them, starting as barn help. Especially for an adult. The better barns are hiring grooms and barn help for the winter circuits, some either include (very modest, like a camper or trailer) housing or give an additional allowance for it, that is what I would recommend to get your foot in the door. As opposed to a WS "position" usually reserved for Juniors already well known or in the program that are not restricted to showing in the Pro and Open classes.
                      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        All the advice talking about getting a job in your "chosen" field? Its bull, plain and simple. It's clear what you want to do is work with horses. I felt pressured by my family, friends, and society to go to college. I will never ever work in my "chosen" (forced) field. Why not try three day eventing barns, many big name ones will take you without loads of experience. Do what makes you happy, not what everyone else tells you is right. You only have one life!

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by englishcowgirl View Post
                          All the advice talking about getting a job in your "chosen" field? Its bull, plain and simple. It's clear what you want to do is work with horses. I felt pressured by my family, friends, and society to go to college. I will never ever work in my "chosen" (forced) field. Why not try three day eventing barns, many big name ones will take you without loads of experience. Do what makes you happy, not what everyone else tells you is right. You only have one life!
                          Thank you, thank you! I appreciate your understanding of what I am trying to say and get done! I may look into eventing-good idea!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Why must it be "working student" vs. being an acutal groom and working your way to getting rides? Are you trying to preserve your Ammie status? Or are you just hoping to work to ride?

                            I think a little more information might help people help you

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              She cannot preserve her Ammie status if she either gets paid for a "real" job involving any riding or teaching at all or receives anything at all of value in return for labor-i.e. "free" lessons on a horse she does not own in return for barn chores, teaching or riding. So she is basically turning Pro either way.

                              That's why the WS routine is really for Juniors. Doesn't work well for Adults in the rated horse show barns.
                              When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                              The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I sent you a PM.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  well with most places it seems one has to be a working student first (to get experience) before one can be a groom, anyway, I might like PM's as well.

                                  Comment

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