• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Young People Entering the Horse Industry

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Young People Entering the Horse Industry

    So, discussion.

    I constantly see on this board, young people wanting to get into the horse industry as a career, as a trainer, or barn manager or... whatever. And almost instantly on this board there is an immediate barage of posts, going, "don't bother, it's too hard, horses are a luxury. Go to college, get a 'real' career. Welcome to the real world..." I find this attitude vexing. Presumably, you all saying these things employ trainers, and breeders, and barn managers. Do you find these careers unnecessary, or simply look down on their choices?

    So, who all should be entering the horse industry?? The industry NEEDS a steady influx of new, young blood.

    I knew what I was doing when I decided I wanted to train for a living. I knew it was never going to be a hugely high paying career. And thanks, I'm not exactly without options. I graduated with a business degree. I did the 'right' thing for a while, had the 'right' jobs, and you know what? I was miserable. I had money for my horses, but no time or energy. Now, I am by no means swimming in money, but I'm smart about my finances. I have insurance, professional and health. I have no problem paying my bills. I have two horses I can comfortably afford. And I LOVE what I do. Yes, I work longer/harder than the average person, but I can't fathom doing anything else.

    I'm not saying make horses your career on a whim, know what you're getting into. But it feels like on this board the general consensus is that it's the wrong choice, period.
    You know, if you took this jello, put it in a mold and froze it, you could be like look....an emerald. Dude, I'd kick some guys ass he ever tried to give me a jello ring.

  • #2
    Great post! Thanks

    Comment


    • #3
      I think the attitude about staying away from the horse industry stems from the people who come on here and post about wanting to enter it.

      A lot of young people are ignorant about what is entailed in having a career in horses. They don't realize that the top trainers are few and far between, and that most trainer work long hours for a low salary and may not even get to do that much riding. They don't understand the commitment that BOs make to their businesses and the limits it sets on their lives.

      They come onto the board and complain about not having enough money to do the bigeq, about how no one is giving them a chance to prove themselves, or about how their parents won't let them go to more shows. Basically, they come on here sounding very very young. They don't want to go to college and get and education (a few have actually said it would be worthless if they are just going to end up working with horses.) They don't want to have to work hard. Basically, they don't want to do anything that could get them to where they want to go. So I think in those cases, people are right to steer them far far away from the horse industry.

      On the other hand, if someone came on the board with a post like this:

      Hi, I'm 19 and I'm a freshman in college (business.) I was a working student for a year and a half in between high school and college (riding, grooming, teaching beginner lessons, etc) and I've been riding for 11 years. Never at tops levels, but I've worked with all types of horses and I really want to make my career in the horse industry. I know its hard work and not great pay but I've talked with my trainers about how they went about it. I'm willing to work and ride anything, and I thought maybe you guys would have some good suggestions for me.

      I think the reaction would be very different. There is a lot to be said for someone who has put serious thought into a career path, and not just "oh I love horses, I'll do that!"

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree. If you mention wanting to get into the horse industry as your career, this board discourges it. What happens when all the current trainers and barn managers that devote their life to this get too old to do it anymore? Wouldn't it also be wise to give ADVICE to those seeking it instead of shutting them down? At least people ask for advice when trying to get into the horse business. There's my two cents.

        Comment


        • #5
          Great post!

          You have to do what you love. I used to be one of the naysayers about young people going into the horse business and I refused to let myself consider it as an option. I went to university and college and tried to find something else I was as passionate about and you know what? I wasted a heck of a lot of money I could have put towards developing a horse business lol. It took me 4 years of post-secondary experience to finally realize that there really wasn't anything else that I would be happy doing every day. I don't think it's going to be easy and I'm not expecting to make a lot of money, but I'm not in it to make money - I'm in it to work with horses, so as long as I can make that keep a roof over my head and food in my fridge, that's enough. And I'm not rushing into it either. I took the time to go see what else was out there, and there wasn't anything else for me. I decided I want to go pro in a few years, but I want to make sure I'm really ready for it so I'm practicing bringing along my own investment ponies and making the contacts now that I'll need later on when I do officially make this my job. I've done hunters my whole life so I'm trying to get some miles in the jumpers. I've started getting involved with the line shows my barn does so I can learn about that. I'm lucky to have a coach who is supportive of me wanting to learn how to do everything on my own, like braiding and clipping and training, who will help me learn to do that stuff even if it means it's one less thing I'm paying her to do. And that's the kind of horse professional I want to be, so I'm learning from the right person.

          Comment


          • #6
            I always did think that it was strange how many people discourage it.

            I knew at about 17 that a career with horses wasn't for me. That doesn't mean that it isn't for someone else. I love horses but I don't love the industry. Some do. Some people will do very well. Yes, the path is generally difficult and quite often people are overworked and underpaid, but money isn't everything. If you really, truly love horses, horse people, and the horse industry, you'll manage. Add some talent, a sensible head on your shoulders, and a little business savvy and you'll do great.

            It takes a lot to succeed in the horse industry. It is full of very talented, passionate people (some to the point of c-r-a-z-t), but if someone can't imagine themselves doing anything else, why should they be detered? I'm sure that if they can't succeed, they'll figure it out on their own.

            Comment


            • #7
              I think folks on this board, for the most part, tell people to be realistic. Some will absolutely tell you not to do it.

              I also think people on this board give those that want to enter the horse industry a lot to think about.

              I don't think any of that is a bad thing.

              Why? Because if you go into it understanding completely why it's so hard and what goes into it, you're much more equipped to handle it from a position that will build success.

              However, if you're on here whining about how everyone is TRYING TO CRUSH YOUR DREAMS, frankly, I wouldn't want to work with you in any industry and you certainly wouldn't have success in this one. Similar to those that just want to ride horses all day, because the business is much more than that. And COTH will tell you exactly that.
              ---
              They're small hearts.

              Comment


              • #8
                this is my take, nothing wrong with the horse industry, and I hope my daughter does follow her passion and be in it, whether as a trainer,rider, barn manager, etc! But having that education in anything other will help you - one as a fall back plan, so when your thirty and if things didnt work out you have something else, and also to deal with your growing business. Not having an education past high school can be hard when dealing with clients, kids, adults, etc., etc. If you dont want to go for the 4 year college plan, thats fine, but take some business, marketing and psychology classes so that you can run your business successfully

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Okay, I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who found it strange. And I can see where are lot of these posters come on sounding very young, but you know what, they are. And there is no faster way to get a teenager to get a teenager angry/belligerent and to shut their ears by just dumping on their plans.

                  I agree that they need to hear how tough it is, but we, as adults, need to do it in a constructive manner. Tell them to talk to their local pros, make a business plan etc. Tell them that getting a business background will be incredibly helpful for their futures in horses. Give them a sense of how long it really takes to build up a good business. I've been in the same town for four years and it's only this past year that I've really made headway and gotten a pretty solid reputation. And tell them to know their niche. I don't make any noise like I'm going to get you to eq finals. I'm best at starting youngsters, getting them into the ring at about the 3' level. The industry has a huge range of professionals and riders. Know what you're best at and can cater to.
                  You know, if you took this jello, put it in a mold and froze it, you could be like look....an emerald. Dude, I'd kick some guys ass he ever tried to give me a jello ring.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    OP - Rel6 is on the right track. As a college senior (business major), seeking a horse career back in high school, I've posted on many of those topics. I have never said "no, don't do it, you will never make it." I have however, asked the person to really consider the reality of what they are doing. I usually ask if they've done real horse work. Worked 50-60 hours a week? Been up at 5am six-seven days a week. Not been able to go on vacation because of horses. Considered what a lack of a 401k or decent health insurance could look like. If they have - great. But most certainly don't come across as having done all that. One would tell someone considering a career as a lawyer to consider those pros and cons as well.

                    Anyone who personally asks my opinion - I tell them to go for a business degree of some sort while continuing their equine related persuits. I ask them what happens when they burn out in 15 years. What happens when you fall off and get hurt and can no longer ride? And, have you considered that running a barn is a business? That means that you need to understand business to be successful! A few courses in marketing, accounting, management, economics and finance will certainly NOT make you any worse off in life.

                    Just my two sense. Everyone's experiences are different, and their opinions are usually shapped around them. I have two friends that persued equine careers. The one is sucessfully running a boarding/training barn (note: her parents own it) - but she also went to college for 2 years for business and does real estate on the side. Mind you, the girls personality lends her to be successful and anything she does! My other friend never went to college, got a WS position at an eventing barn and watched the barn go under. Now she is currently living at home, trying to find working student positions and has no real goal/objective she is working towards.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Trixie View Post
                      I think folks on this board, for the most part, tell people to be realistic. Some will absolutely tell you not to do it.

                      I also think people on this board give those that want to enter the horse industry a lot to think about.

                      I don't think any of that is a bad thing.

                      Why? Because if you go into it understanding completely why it's so hard and what goes into it, you're much more equipped to handle it from a position that will build success.

                      However, if you're on here whining about how everyone is TRYING TO CRUSH YOUR DREAMS, frankly, I wouldn't want to work with you in any industry and you certainly wouldn't have success in this one. Similar to those that just want to ride horses all day, because the business is much more than that. And COTH will tell you exactly that.
                      ^ This.

                      So many people love horses and riding and think that being a trainer will allow them to "hang out at the barn all day and get paid for it." (See the DREAMS statements.)

                      I think that a lot of us know that the great majority of riders - particularly young people who "want to be trainers" - simply do not have the required background and experience for the job. Just because a kid spent a few years being successful in the children's hunters or even the juniors does NOT qualify them to be a professional! And yet often this is the only experience they have to offer. I'm not saying you need to have GP experience to teach and train at any level... but there are a LOT of unqualified professionals out there. In our country, anyone can hang out a shingle, after all. (In this respect I really think that the BHS has a much better approach; at least they offer a program with meaningful certification.)

                      And let's face it. The reality of this business is that a great majority of those who run barns do not have the type of business that furnishes them with health insurance, a retirement plan etc. Those people are one bad fall away from potentially losing everything they own. A lot of us think this is a fairly precarious way to live, and suggest having a college degree as a fallback plan, if nothing else. Having qualifications that would allow you to make a living if you could no longer handle the physical demands of teaching and training seems prudent to me.

                      It is also true that a lot of trainers do not bother to acquire basic business skills, and their businesses suffer for it. Someone who rides well does not automatically also have great customer service skills, which are equally necessary to succeed in a business which is a service industry. Again some courses beyond HS in this respect seem like a good idea to me.

                      Of *course* there are professionals who ARE very good at not only the equine related tasks AND the business and customer service aspects of the business... and they often have good, solid businesses just as the OP does. But even they usually have to depend on remaining healthy enough to continue to ride, teach and train in order for their businesses to continue to thrive.

                      The situation of a certain BNT I know comes to mind. At one time, she was at the very top of the profession. She ran a very successful barn with many, many winning horses and riders. She is now older, and frankly more frail... and sadly her business is no longer what it once was. She is still absolutely as knowledgeable as ever; her lessons are among the best. But the business has declined and she can no longer keep a staff of pro riders, nor does she have the clientele she used to have. Seeing her at a recent show, struggling to school a difficult horse for a client, it was obvious that she simply *physically* up to the task anymore. She is riding a horse like that now because she HAS to in order to survive. She does not have the funds to retire. And she was one of the very, very best.
                      **********
                      We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                      -PaulaEdwina

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        In my own experience....

                        I got a fair amount of negative feedback when I first went pro. Most of it came from other older pros who felt like I didn't belong in their game and probably a lot of it came from the fact that I struck out on my own so soon rather than working under another trainer. Many flat out said "Our city does NOT need another hunter/jumper barn!". So I spent the first few years working hard to prove myself as a trainer. After having consistent positive feedback from clients and producing some nice riders and horses, the other trainers started to "accept" me and now I am part of the "club".

                        Looking back, I fully understand why they were skeptical. There are a lot of yahoos out there that have no clue when it comes to horsemanship (in and out of the saddle!). Our industry also has a very high failure rate, especially when talking about owning your own facility. But none of those facts excuse nasty behavior or rude comments. The best way to help our future pros is to be helpful and give them as much good info as possible.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Young people that I see, who likely will pursue a career in horses, are already working with horses in their free (non school/paying job) time and are competing, riding greenies for a trainer and even already working students or assisting a trainer. They are working long days already, for little or no pay, and are mastering living on a budget,listening to clients and caring for horses. I highly doubt any one of them would even think to post on a BB about whether they should get into the horse industry.. they are already doing it.

                          So maybe, if you are so unsure that you need to ask ... go to college or find a trade skill/career. If you want to do the thing you love,you'll do it no matter what some strangers say.
                          "The Desire to Win is worthless without the Desire to Prepare"

                          It's a "KILT". If I wore something underneath, it would be a "SKIRT".

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The ones that get the negative feedback don't come on and ask how to start building a plan that allows them to enter the field on a lower rung and advance it to a career though.

                            They come on with the old my parents won't pay, won't buy this or that and they don't understand I am going to work with horses all my life. I just recently advised one poster NOT to ever say not no how not no way. But to sit down and start working up a plan.

                            When unrealistic expectations are in those posts, reality does come up-as it should. And everybody needs a plan B. There are alot more unemployed in the horse business these days. Numbers are down across the board, breeding, shows, at the track. Staff has been reduced accordingly...3 long time barns near me have closed in the past year putting some folks right out on the street. The 2 local race tracks have cut their meets to almost nothing and still can't fill a card-that's put alot of assistant trainers and barn help out with the show barn staff.
                            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Atypical View Post
                              So, who all should be entering the horse industry?? The industry NEEDS a steady influx of new, young blood.
                              Originally posted by tamarak_equestrian View Post
                              I'm in it to work with horses, so as long as I can make that keep a roof over my head and food in my fridge, that's enough.
                              I like the idea, but I'll be a nay-sayer based on these ideas extracted from otherwise thoughtful posts.

                              I *know* the industry needs a next generation. What I have seen creeping in, however, is a group of people hanging out their shingles without a depth of experience. You can, perhaps, make a great living buying/training/selling/teaching the "Zero to 3." But if you didn't do more, how can you teach more? How can you know what the bigger jumps (and more importantly, the high quality flat work needed for those) is like if you weren't taught? The same thing can be said for Dressage World, of course.

                              IME, it takes an *enormous* amount of money to get to the horses (and people) that can do enough to teach you all that. Sometimes I think of a successful junior career as the college- and graduate school tuition paid by parents who are making up good horse trainers.

                              I don't like it. But then, again, when I want to hire a pro, I really need someone who knows all that. So, sadly, I think the people who will become great trainers have all of the "usual ingredients" of any great professional plus a lot of money put in somewhere.

                              And to completely rain on this parade, I think you are wrong, tamarck_equestrian. Breaking even at the end of each month isn't breaking even. It's not putting money away that you'll need in the future. Horse trainers aren't the only folks who can be accused of this: Those who bought too much on credit, can, too. IMO, the sane trainers are the ones who have another source of income planned for themselves, in the works or inherited. That can be the real estate investment of the farm, a business that turns into buying and selling, or doing clinics and making DVDS as Monty Roberts and Par Parelli showed everyone how to do.
                              The armchair saddler
                              Politically Pro-Cat

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                MVP - In some ways I absolutely agree with you. You do need a higher level of education to teach above the 3' level. But not all riders strive to jump over 3'. And not all BNT, who jump the bigger jumps, want to be bothered, or take the risk, or specialize in babies. And what's wrong with making a really good living at that level?

                                For the record, I have experience above the 3' level. But frankly, I lack the desire to go to a steady stream of 'A' shows where those levels fill, because frankly, on our local circuit, they don't. But on a opportunity cost/time/ want scale it's not worth it to me. If I have a client that feels ready to go beyond, I will steer them toward a professional that will suit their needs better. I dare say 'most' trainers do not cater to 'all' levels of clientele.

                                I also don't think that keeping a roof over my head is enough. Like I said, I've spent 4 years getting to a point where my business is self sustaining. And I still keep my second job, just in case. I also have a 401k, comprehensive health insurance, and put money away every month into savings.

                                I know of one BNT in our area, good stable, does the Prixs, that will NOT sit on a baby. He has neither the interest or desire to do it. He is also not willing to take the risk, which I totally understand, since the majority of his business caters to a different section of the industry. As such, I have gotten a few young horses from his barns to start under saddle, till they're safe and sane enough in his mind for him to take farther.

                                I also work for a Dressage trainer in our area, successful, competes I1 or higher. But she has little experience with babies. As such, I am riding her 3 year old. My point is only that there are many facets of the industry that need to be filled.

                                Nor do I think that 'keeping a roof over my head' is a desireable way to live. I have spent 4 years building my business to the point where it is self sustaining, but I still keep my 2nd job (with shorter hours of course) just in case. I also have a 401k, comprehensive health insurance and put money away into savings every month.
                                You know, if you took this jello, put it in a mold and froze it, you could be like look....an emerald. Dude, I'd kick some guys ass he ever tried to give me a jello ring.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I also don't think that keeping a roof over my head is enough. Like I said, I've spent 4 years getting to a point where my business is self sustaining. And I still keep my second job, just in case. I also have a 401k, comprehensive health insurance, and put money away every month into savings.
                                  If more people came on here and this:

                                  "I want to have a career as a horse trainer. I have found a health care plan that offers catastrophic coverage at a bare minimum and I have set aside some money for my deductible. I have been a working student for XYZ years and I plan to take that expertise and apply it to my own business, for which I have made a comprehensive, conservative business plan with budget that plans for slow months, bad weather, and injury. I have saved up startup capital, an emergency fund and a backup plan in place for if I get hurt. I plan to put away XYZ% a month for retirement."

                                  I would say ABSOLUTELY GO FOR IT and wish you the best of luck.

                                  Unfortunately, that is NOT what we usually hear.
                                  ---
                                  They're small hearts.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I haven't read through this whole thread, but it would seem that what happens is usually the people who come onto an online bb and post (often with weird grammar and sounding very immature) get shut down and should get shut down.
                                    Does anyone really want to see more of those scary trainers with kids with too short boots, slick saddles, and half starved quarter horses jumping around and around in every 2' division the shows offer and complaining about losing? Honestly, the vast majority of people who come on here and say "help me I want to be a trainer" are not the kind of people who have what it takes.
                                    I don't know if I could/would be a trainer, but I am confident that I could go about doing it right. Wether or not I could be successful would be based on my talent in the saddle, but not my work-ethic, direction, or understanding of the industry. I have already been a working student in two different upper-level east coast barns. I see what those "top" trainers' lives involve, and what they do so very right.
                                    Beyond that, I don't yet have the experience to train horses or riders, but I know that. When I was younger I was on here asking what to do, but now I've taken those intermediary steps and wouldn't need to ask "how do I break into the industry," I already have the resume to send out. Rather, I might ask "what are you looking for in a young pro?" "what are you looking for in your next trainer? your next barn?".
                                    I am not, to clarify, saying that I am ready to be a pro. I'm just saying that asking the question is a sign that someone is not ready. If they are 20 and still asking the question, they have some growing up to do and a business the horse business this probably isn't for them.
                                    “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” -Howard Thurman
                                    (}---{)

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
                                      The situation of a certain BNT I know comes to mind. At one time, she was at the very top of the profession. She ran a very successful barn with many, many winning horses and riders. She is now older, and frankly more frail... and sadly her business is no longer what it once was. She is still absolutely as knowledgeable as ever; her lessons are among the best. But the business has declined and she can no longer keep a staff of pro riders, nor does she have the clientele she used to have. Seeing her at a recent show, struggling to school a difficult horse for a client, it was obvious that she simply *physically* up to the task anymore. She is riding a horse like that now because she HAS to in order to survive. She does not have the funds to retire. And she was one of the very, very best.
                                      Ooh, I have seen that, too. I really like taking lessons from these old birds. But it's sad to watch them "keep on keeping on" when you value the skills and old skool approach they have while knowing that they can't fill a barn with clients. Talking to a couple of them, it becomes clear that they suffer from the same thing as many people in any career: Things change over a 30-40 year time span! What made their skills and kind of program sought after early on isn't what works now.


                                      Originally posted by Atypical View Post
                                      MVP - In some ways I absolutely agree with you. You do need a higher level of education to teach above the 3' level. But not all riders strive to jump over 3'. And not all BNT, who jump the bigger jumps, want to be bothered, or take the risk, or specialize in babies. And what's wrong with making a really good living at that level?

                                      For the record, I have experience above the 3' level. But frankly, I lack the desire to go to a steady stream of 'A' shows where those levels fill, because frankly, on our local circuit, they don't. But on a opportunity cost/time/ want scale it's not worth it to me. If I have a client that feels ready to go beyond, I will steer them toward a professional that will suit their needs better. I dare say 'most' trainers do not cater to 'all' levels of clientele.

                                      I also don't think that keeping a roof over my head is enough. Like I said, I've spent 4 years getting to a point where my business is self sustaining. And I still keep my second job, just in case. I also have a 401k, comprehensive health insurance, and put money away every month into savings.

                                      I know of one BNT in our area, good stable, does the Prixs, that will NOT sit on a baby. He has neither the interest or desire to do it. He is also not willing to take the risk, which I totally understand, since the majority of his business caters to a different section of the industry. As such, I have gotten a few young horses from his barns to start under saddle, till they're safe and sane enough in his mind for him to take farther.

                                      I also work for a Dressage trainer in our area, successful, competes I1 or higher. But she has little experience with babies. As such, I am riding her 3 year old. My point is only that there are many facets of the industry that need to be filled.

                                      Nor do I think that 'keeping a roof over my head' is a desireable way to live. I have spent 4 years building my business to the point where it is self sustaining, but I still keep my 2nd job (with shorter hours of course) just in case. I also have a 401k, comprehensive health insurance and put money away into savings every month.
                                      You bring up some great points. The only one I disagree with is the implied idea that you can Rock It as a pro who only did, say, the AA hunters so long as you have a 2'6" barn. These divisions/horses/students are the modern cash cow for H/J trainers. I think this will continue for a long, long time.

                                      But my experience (especially of late) has taught me that people who only jump 3' really don't know what they are missing in terms of the deep flatwork foundation for doing much more...or, for that matter, doing the best job for their 2'6" horses. I do dressage-based flatwork better than many professionals who make up 3' horses. I made up my own one of these and pros consider him a broke, easy ride.

                                      I'm working for a dressage trainer for the first time since high school, and I'll tell you what, I have a think or two to learn. Comparing her horses to my really, really broke one, I can see some big holes in his training that I created/didn't fix... because I didn't know they were there and his little job didn't force me to find them. D'oh!

                                      The division you identify-- trainers who do "civilized horses" to showing ones vs. young horse-starters-- is big and real in the US. Sadly, its your white collar job that makes you *able* to afford the risk that comes with riding the babies. I'm not sure trainers see it this way, but they do know that there isn't nearly enough money in the colt-staring end of things.

                                      A helpful thread to read in conjunction with this one is in Off Course about "Where will the horse industry be in 3 years."
                                      The armchair saddler
                                      Politically Pro-Cat

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I don't want to discourage people from it..

                                        But I think a lot don't have a back up plan.

                                        And there is someone being paid less than a trainer.. And that is the injured trainer who has no other skills.
                                        "Sadly, some people's greatest skill, is being an idiot". (facebook profile pic I saw).

                                        Comment

                                        Working...
                                        X