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Begging to make something out of myself in the equestrian world...

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  • #61
    I am in my mid-twenties, and believe me, from age 10-17 it was my ultimate goal to be grand prix rider and a BNT. I was convinced it would happen to me, and although I did very well in high school, I didn't give any thought to any future acedemic plans.

    I was fortunate to ride at a BNB as a teen. When my own horse maxed out at 1.20m, I had access to leases on experienced GP horses. But then I turned 18 and finshed high school, and my dad cut me off....without any prior warning of how much the lifestyle actually costs. So of course as a high school grad with a minimum wage job I had to move out of my barn, and that was the end of my showing. With no education and no income, there was absolutly no way I could make a riding career happen. Even if I sold my horse and didn't have to worry about paying board and vet bills, the costs of lessons, shows, and travel is impossible.

    I put my horse in a cheap barn and went to school. Inow have a great career that allows me to keep a horse, and when all my student loans are paid off, I will be able to show again. I chose a career that pays well and gives me plenty of time to ride. Being grown up, I no longer whant a career in horses. However, if I still wanted to, I now have the time and finacial backing to do it, and I'm still young! PLus, If I were to try to become a pro rider and it didn't work out, I have a career and an education to fall back on.

    Comment


    • #62
      Grooming is never a waste of time. I was a groom for a relatively BNT for about a year and went from riding none - 2 per day to riding 12 per day. People are not just immediately going to let you ride their fancy, high dollar horses. You have to earn it, work from the bottom up. And you still get to learn tons by watching different riders and listening to different trainers at the shows.

      Grooming gives you the chance to meet people and learn about the industry which is ESSENTIAL if you want to be successful in it.

      Pertaining to your education, get one. It is the smart decision to have something to fall back on in the case that your equestrian dreams do not get fulfilled. You are young, and I was of the same mindset when I was your age. My parents "expected" me to go to college (I did skip out some weeks to go groom but they don't have to know that!), and I will be forever grateful that they did. I decided a few years ago that I didn't want to have to rely on horses to support my lifestyle, but rather I want to have a non-horsey job that supports my "for-fun" horsey habit.

      If you want to work for it, go down to WEF and groom. It would be one of the best experiences any one in your circumstances could ask for.

      Comment


      • #63
        I feel the need to add my opinions/experience to this thread. I'm not much older than you - I'm 24 and I can understand this undying desire to make a career out of a passion. And while it can be discouraging to hear people say its really hard/you need a back-up plan/etc. it is also true, and I don't think you should take such commentary lightly - not saying that you are, just a friendly reminder.

        I was very, very lucky to be born into a horse family. When I was young, my mother had a boarding/small time training facility that she did completely on her own. The majority of her business was boarding foxhunters for people who only rode during hunting season, and often live out of state and came to VA to socialize and go hunting. However, she also had a small string of animals of her own that she bred/trained/rode and sold. I was quoted literally raised in the barn. I spent everyday (until I was old enough to go to school) in the barn with my mom and my aunt. I was babysat by the most saintly pony to ever walk this planet and spent a lot of my time playing with my toys in her stall and dressing her in towels - LOL! I was also riding said pony from the time I was strong enough to sit up, and I was jumping the saint pony at age 5 or 6. I could show you pictures - I find the purple helmet cover and tiny full chaps to be most adorable! Anyway - we didn't have the money to have me on the fanciest pony or do rated shows year-round. I bounced around the small pony ring for a few years - mostly local stuff, with some VA rated shows thrown into the mix. I never had any great success, but I sure was having fun and getting a pretty solid foundation.

        Unfortunately, as a foreshadowing to the eventual 6' tall woman I would grow to be, I outgrew my pony earlier than one would have hoped. For a few years I didn't show - I rode at home on the string of mutt $500 horse rejects my mother had acquired as trail horses/cowboys and Indians mounts/4-H projects for my three older brothers. They weren't pretty, and would have been laughed out of any show ring - but when you're a little girl a horse is a horse, and I rode them daily - it was quite an education in feel and connection with the horse. Once I started school, I still continued the riding, and my mother found a care lease pony for me to ride as she didn't feel comfortable with me jumping those aforementioned horses of my brothers. This pony was so ugly - more like a cow than a pony and she occasionally tested me. It was my first time ridin something that didn't go around the ring like a slot car. As I grew older, my mom continued to further my riding education. I laugh now at the ponies I grew up riding. My mom was very old school, and she was educated by some of the very best. We never had the funds to go purchase me a made fancy show pony, but she had a knack for finding ones with talent for cheap. They always had holes - buckers, stoppers, rearers, "won't leave the in-gate-ers" ..... Well, you get the point. The barn rat thread made me laugh - not only did my mom know what I was getting on, she was putting me on them!! I had some success, but often by the time the pony was fixed, it was either sold or I had outgrown it and my little sister got the ride. My mom eventually closed her business to raise her sizable brood of ruffians, but she continued to support our riding, as did my dad, which I'll always be grateful for.

        One of my biggest breaks came when I finally started riding with a trainer other than my mother. I was about 14 or so and at the time riding my latest maniac pony - a $2500 Arab (shhh, no one ever knew) who liked to go around the jumps rather than over them. By the time I started with this trainer, we had just gotten him going in the large greens after a year of local shows, but I was too big for him. This trainer had a student who was the type who blew through horses - she usually got tired of her current ride in about 6 months or so. Because of this, her wise mother often leased her daughter's rides. When I started riding there, she was leasing a lovely TB mate who had done the junior hunters, and some big eq stuff. I mean she hadn't done the big time stuff, but she had been pretty successful at VA/NC/MD rated stuff. Anyway, when the girl got tired of her, my new trainer contacted the owner saying she had a kid in her barn that didn't have the funds to lease said mare, but would be a good match for her. I got lucky, which anyone will tell you - luck is often as important as talent in this industry. The owners allowed me to lease her for two years - we kept her at our farm and provided all care as well as paying her insurance premiums. She gave solid experience and quite a bit of success at the 3' level and almost have a year's experience at the 3'6" level. We weren't always the winner, but I gained a lot of knowledge. After she continued on to a new rider, I continued my previous path of riding green horses or problem horses - I also under the guidance and alongside my mom, started my first horse under saddle. A homebred TB mare - when I went to college, I took her with me, and with a trainer on the ground helping, taught her to jump and had her going smoothly around courses with changes before she tragically passed away. I made mistakes along the way, but it was a learning experience.

        In my later high school years, I also took a job with a nearby trainer - we used the same farrier and he recommended me when she told him she was looking for help. It started out as a grooming job - you mentioned not wanting a grooming job. I recommend you change that attitude instantly. I worked for her for about 5 years - she had mostly young horses, with the occasional first year horse and even a 1.40 jumper for 2 years. I worked my butt off. We often had around 10 horses and I was her only help - I did everything - stalls, daily grooming, packing for shows, working at shows....all of it. For the first two years, I never sat on one of her horses. I continued to ride my own horses, which often meant very very long days for me. Finally, in my third year working for her, I got to ride some. It started out flatting some of them, and ventilation evolved to jumping a few - a client's practice horse or two mostly, but I did get to jump that big jumper over some jumps every now as again too. She gave me so many opportunities but I earned every one! Even after I no longer worked for her, when she took her annual vacation, she called me to come say at her farm for the week and keep her string of horses in work. The guy she then had working for did all their care and tacked them up for me and cooled them out - what fun being treated for two weeks!

        I did go to college, and I got two degrees. I also rode at their riding center, and was part of their riding team. Why you think that this experience will teach you nothing is something I do not understand. Obviously you'd have to find a college with a good riding program, although its academic value ought to come first. But I gained a lot from my college equestrian experience - I rode a huge variety of animals. The school owns about 80 school horses and they run the mill - we had some pretty well-known ex-hunters and jumpers, and then it goes through the levels all the way to someone's Arab/Appaloosa/Freisian/Belgian that lived in someone's backyard and now clocks around 2' like a carousel horse. I rode anything I could get my le over and it paid off - I was able to take one I the nicer school horses to some rated shows and do the 3'6" jumper stuff. I also continued to work my butt off - I did extra riding when it was available, I schooled horses that needs tune-ups, I rode people's private horses when they didn't have time and I continued to ride my own that I brought with me. To pay for that, I bodyclipped, I did work-study for minimum wage, I waitressed and for two semesters I worked at a steeplechase farm.

        Guess what? All that work and not turning my nose up at ANY opportunity has started to pay off. A very big name hunter trainer and rider has a mutual friend with our team coach. When e was looking for help, the mutual friend passed it along to our coach who then recommended me as I was close to graduating. Due to recommendations from my coach and that lady I mentioned that I used to work for, my current boss hired me without even meeting me or seeing me ride. I don't really have a job title. I do a bit of everything - manage the guys, direct which horses go to which ring with which equipment, let clients know where to be when, manage the barn and daily schedules of the horses, medicate, organize mostly everything (shipping of horses, ordering supplies, making appointments). I also organize my boss' day at the shows - organize or rearrange the orders with the gate guys so my boss can be at every ring he needs to be at at the right time with no to minimal hold-up. In addition, I ride. I started out just flatting horses - I often felt like a human lunge line as I went in circles in the rings in the morning prepping horses that were showing. But as moths went by, that evolved. I now "train on them" rather than just get the quiet. I occasionally school clients' practice horses, and when we have multiple horses in a hack class, I pick up the extra one. The best task I've earned is being the baby horse jock. I think some posters will think this isn't right, but it's just how it works. Any baby horses we get in and we usually have two or three become my ride. And, obviously with the guidance of my boss, I'm their sole rider until they are cantering 2'6" courses with fairly solid changes and ready to go play in the baby greens with my boss. Nope I won't be seeing my name up in lights anytime soon, but the experience, exposure, knowledge and contacts I'm gaining are invaluable. It's amazing what hard work and a good attitude along with some luck can get you. This year I was able to bring my own horse to FL with us - all expenses paid. Bought him for 5k because the girl's mother was forcing her to sell. He's the nicest animal I've ever owned, and guess what? My boss LIKES him! He's just started jumping after a minor injury and will hopefully be returning to the show ring with me on him, and hopefully we'll be successful enough to get my foot in the door a little further.

        Sorry for the narrative, but I thought it might be usefull to hear from someone who is out there trying to get it done. I work long days, and I'm not going to lie and say I wake up everyday so happy to be going to the barn. Monday is my favorite day, because it's my day off. However, I am thankful to be working at something I love and enjoy. I'm a lucky person. But my dating life is totally non-existent - I can really identify with that recent aritcle(the dating woes and whoas) and almost all of my friends are girls doing the same thing as me because no one else gets my schedule. I'm not complaining - it comes with the territory. I think the most important advice I can give you is absolutely lose the attitude about those "rich girls" and drop the attitude of I only want a riding job. If you're successful in your venture, one day you'll be working for those rich girls. And that's sucha disgusting and overdone stereotype anyway. I never understood why being well-off enough to ride nice horses automatically snotty and rude. It doesn't - I can think of maybe one woman who fits the bill. The rest of them are regular people - just as nice as your average person! Go find a GOOD local trainer - do whatever you need to do to get some lessons and ride anything they will throw you up on. You need the experience. And I think passing on the grooming job at WEF was a mistake - you need to exposure to something like that and to build your resume. No use crying over spilled milk but the next time something like that comes your way, TAKE IT!

        Comment


        • #64
          Oh you sound like me almost 10 years ago. At the time I was a big time local girl. My gelding and I cleaned up our county circuit doing every class we could. I was the youngest Horse Queen at my county fair. And I thought I was special. I went on to Lake Erie College and excelled in my riding classes. But life got in the way. I compromised my dreams. And after leaving LEC, I have ridden on and off for the past 6-7 years as I no longer had a horse. Money has always been my weakness. I had a few trainers that I worried with, but life got back in my way. I had to stop due to money. Now I live in an area that really doesn't have much in the way of big names and big shows. I found thus wonderful place called New Vocations, a retired racehorse adoption facility, and decided to volunteer while I applied to be an adopter. The one great thing about my area is cheap board. Within one week of volunteering, I had been offered a part time job, cheap lessons, cheap board and found a working student program. Unfortunately most offers will be out of reach for me as like I said, I live so far from where the action is happening. Though all offers were open ended so when my life changes, I will pursue them. Anyhow, I was getting to a point! I decided that I was going to do something that most probably think is stupid. But I am in desperation mode to get my life back on track. I want a life with horses. And while I'd love to be on the cover of a magazine, I would just love to have my day job to be with horses. Beyond that is icing on the cake.

          I decided to adopt a horse and start making my dreams myself. No one is going to hand me a break. I'll make it myself. Though I will be taking a lesson now and then when I can afford from the trainer that offered me the working student position. With my day job and location, I was really unable to be effective. But I know I need an extra eye with my new girl. My goal is to take my girl to the last show of a schooling circuit I attended last year and have my name listed as rider and trainer. But right now I'm working on my dream on a budget while keeping communication with people that are living my dream.

          And here's something I would have never listened to at your age. You're 16. You know so little. Hell I look back at myself even 2 years ago and laugh about how much I've changed. I really wish I had done things differently. But right now I am working on fixing my mistakes. And it takes hard work. Take every opportunity. Smile. And don't give up. I worry that I am in over my head. I worry that my dreams are too far fetched at this point. But I get out there and work anyhow. I do believe that good things happen to those that have a good attitude and ambition.

          Comment


          • #65
            From your post it sounds like you have access to your own facility and weekly lessons.

            Are you able to take on sale horse projects?

            Learning how to take a horse from "0" to "saleable" to "made" (if you can keep it long enough) is a vitally important skill, and it sounds like with your own facility and weekly lessons you ought to have the ability to do it and maybe even make some money at it.

            If you don't have a 3' horse, make yourself one. Take your weekly lessons (from someone who knows how to make up show horses) and learn how to ride like a trainer. Then sell it and start over. With each horse you will get better and better.
            The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
            Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
            Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
            The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

            Comment


            • #66
              Originally posted by horsegal301 View Post
              As a recent grad, I'm telling you to not major in English. If you get nowhere with horses, it will not be useful and end up being a money pit for you... it's one, if not the top, of the lowest paying majors. If you want to go in the BUSINESS of horses, become a business major.
              I was an English major and am a professional educator. I would never give blanket advice not to be an English major, but I do see your point. If this young person wants to be a professional horsewoman, a business degree with a minor in equine studies might be a better choice. But I also heard her say that she is very good in English and aspires to go to Mount Holyoke. If she loves English, loves to read and write, and is a good critical thinker, English can be a useful major to prepare for law school or other professional schools. However, I will say that aspiring to be an English professor is not an easy road either. It's not a good "back-up" plan. It requires a hefty investment in one's education, intelligence, drive, a true passion for academic work, and luck--the tenure-track jobs are hard to get. She may end up as a temporary instructor teaching first-year comp, probably not what she envisions.

              My advice to her would be to re-think Mt. Holyoke and the English major. If she gets in to a place like that, success is going to require passion and determination (not to mention money), which it sounds as though she's totally invested in her dream of a riding career.
              I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #67
                okay I'm really sorry, I'm just not going to have the time to read all of these. I have a lot of school work to do and I have a lot of horse chores. If there is anything you would like to say to me that you really think I should hear, send me a private message. You can even just send me your post in a private message, I'm happy to chat.

                As far as grooming at WEF goes, it was my parents decision, not mine. They wouldn't let me take half a year out of school to go groom all winter and not ride. My father supports my riding but hates when it takes away from my school work, and my mother doesn't mind as much. I'm afraid it's too late to go down there now, but you all make a very good point, and if I can get the opportunity next year, I'll try and go through with it.

                Now, just to put this to rest, as far as the money goes, I'm not asking for someone to finance competitions for me. I actually just sent a private message to someone and since I don't have much time to restate it for all of you, I'm just going to copy and paste it in here.

                __

                I'm definitely looking to work at the barn. I've thought about owning a barn maybe when I'm older and I have an established clientele or a reputation, but there's no guarantee that that will happen. And owning a barn is a lot of money.

                My entire goal out of life is like as I said in my first post, (which I don't know if you've read or not) is just to ride and work all day. I've seen the exact job I want in almost every barn. I want to start out as an assistant trainer or really the trainers working student. So, I would be helping around the barn, taking care of the horses, teaching some students, riding the training horses, evaluating new horses, and just riding and working all day. Eventually I would like to be a trainer and spend my days mostly teaching my own students, but that's not something I can just jump right into.

                I know that this career choice is not something that will finance competing or really bring in a lot or for that matter any money. But I'm not really looking for that. I'm okay with not showing, I just want to be riding all day, every day. The showing will come. I will go to shows with the trainer and warm up and exercise his horses. Then, if someone wants me to take their horse in a class, or campaign their horse for them, (which I have done almost every summer for someone. I used to ride ponies for adults who wanted them trained or sold, and they would pay for the shows.) I would happily help them out.

                It doesn't seem like such a far off goal. I'm not looking for someone to finance my competitions I'm just looking for a working student position where I can prove myself as a worker and a rider so that I'll get to that point where one day I can have a position like that with a big name trainer. Or not even a big name trainer maybe just a show barn, with horses in and out all the time. That would be my dream situation. I just want to ride a lot of horses all the time.

                Sorry I just wrote you a book. People are misunderstanding what I say left and right. But, if you understand what I'm looking for, does it seem like such an impossible target?

                __

                Does that clear up a bit of this argument? Do you guys understand what I'm looking for a bit more now? That is my ultimate goal out of life. Not for tomorrow. I literally want the chance to work for the chance to work.
                Every horse is ART
                And every rider is an ARTIST

                Comment


                • #68
                  Honestly, there are quite a few young people who want the same opportunity you want. Without some show experience, and some 3'6" experience- most BNTs are going to have more qualified candidates to choose from for their working student positions. So, there are a few ways you could go...

                  1. Get a paying job (babysit, McDonalds, etc.) to earn money for more lessons so you can improve, and get your foot in the door at a barn that might be interested in you in the future.

                  2. If you are as qualified of a trainer as you imply, sit down and negotiate a deal with your parents to pick up a project horse for yourself. You may have to work to pay board to your parents- but this seems doable.

                  3. Accept a non-riding groom job and a big name barn, work your tail off and hope that someone offers you a horse to hack at some point. Do a good job and maybe you'll get another.

                  4. Find a working student position with a local level trainer (maybe one that goes to C rated shows). There will be less competition for the job- and the trainer may find the skills you have more useful. If you're lucky, this can turn into some decent show miles (prepping ponies for their owners).

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by xemilyx805 View Post
                    [I]okay I'm really sorry, I'm just not going to have the time to read all of these. I have a lot of school work to do and I have a lot of horse chores. If there is anything you would like to say to me that you really think I should hear, send me a private message.
                    This just rubs me the wrong way.

                    You had time to post paragraphs and paragraphs detailing how very much you want it and asking for help, but then when other people take THEIR time to give you the help you asked for, you are too busy to even read the responses you asked for?

                    Now we are all supposed to PM the 16 year old who can't make time to read her own thread?

                    At least want it bad enough to READ the suggestions you are given when you ASK FOR it.
                    The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                    Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                    Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                    The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Not a Hunter BUT.....

                      Stop the begging. Stop it. No one wants to hear about the "spoiled rich kids/ladies" that and just pay and go.

                      That's how this horse life works.

                      You need to pay to enter shows. Pay your association memberships. Pay for feed, farrier, vet, stabling care for your horse. Pay for lessons.

                      There are very very few trainers who will just take a kid in off the street because they want to become BNTs themselves offering their hopes and dreams. Most trainers want the kids who work hard, have ambition and can PAY FOR THEIR SERVICES. Harsh, but true.

                      After working with a trainer for a while, they may make opportunities for the talented kid; let them ride sales horses, groom at the shows, maybe even catch ride a few. But you need a relationship with the trainers first.

                      Who am I to offer advice?
                      I'm in my mid twenties. Graduated from college. Working as an engineer. I have three talented, quality horses. All three came to me with little or no training, and now two of the three have successful show records (#3 only has about 90 days under saddle).
                      In high school, I worked for my trainer during the summer. I tacked up, warmed up, cooled down, cleaned tack, did laundry, and pretty much any little thing they asked of me. I received one lesson a day every day on *my own horse*. I learned a TON.
                      While in college, I took a summer off of "real internships" to work for free for a respected trainer half way across the country. She helped me start one of my young horses, and I got to work with 4-7 horses a day. I improved by leaps and bounds.
                      I had parental support for my horse activities through school (I'm a lucky lucky girl).

                      My advise, in a nutshell:
                      Find a trainer. Take as many lessons as you can. See if you can work off the training bill, but realize that many trainers only do this with clients that they already have a relationship with.
                      Go to college. Major in something other than horses. Something that you can use to get a job in case the bottom falls out and you need a new way to support yourself.
                      Start saving for *your* show horse. Look at young horses or OTTBs for resale projects.
                      Start saving for campaigning your horse.
                      Be humble and appreciative of all opportunities you get. Reputation is a big deal in the horse world.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        I'll tell you my little tale, I always wanted a career in horses, not as a show rider but I wanted to ride. I starting riding as kid, but always had to work for it and take care of my own plus others to help pay the bills. We didn't have our own barn so I've been to a few boarding barns. Then i went to college (one that had Equine Studies) and because of that I got a summer job working for a top show barn as a groom but I also was lucky that the job required me to ride three horses a day that were just coming back from injuries. Which lead to more riding (just flatting but that was all I wanted to do) and I went to work for them full time when I graduated. I loved grooming but I also got to ride a lot and I got to know a lot of top people in the business, made a lot of friends and lots of contacts. Lots of riders and trainers saw me riding and I got many compliments. Now I am married with two kids and a small retirement/lay-up barn of my own. Because of my contacts (and my husband, who also works in the business) we've had great success and have had many horses come and stay with us from a lot of top people. I also did some riding and young horse work for another top rider who happens to live just down the road from us. I don't think I'm the best rider in the world but I learned a lot just from being around so many top people while grooming. Yes, you have to bit your tounge when you see spoiled people who don't appreciate what they have but that is the show world. And besides, i'm sure there are many people out there who would kill to be in your position with having any horses to ride!! I get your passion and maybe you were just venting because you feel frustrated but just try and make the best of what you have and keep looking for opportunities.
                        good luck

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          YEP

                          meups....I agree with you. At the very least when she did answer it could have had a LITTLE "thank you everyone for your opinions and advice" without then going into the you don't understand part..but not so much of that in her long reply. Just more of the "you all don't understand" me type stuff.

                          EMILY..in order to get those working student/assistent positions..you have to "be" someone they would want. Sounds a bit like (as much as you protest it) the fact is that you really do want it handed to you.

                          Being willing to work for it and being the personal fabric of a working student or assistent is FAR different...hope you stop and listen. These posters are VERY smart and have years of experience that could serve you well...BUT do you really want it???? Do you really want to listen...or do you want attention and a pat on the back???? Been there, done that..."be" someone!!!!!!
                          [url]http://www.horseshowbiz.com
                          [url]http://www.ijumpsports.com

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            As a professor with a Ph.D. in English, I feel I have to step in to both defend the English major and advise you about the realities of entering the professoriate as a "back up" career.

                            1. The English major is useful. Correct, cogent writing and communication is valued in all fields and is sadly falling by the wayside. By studying and writing about language, English majors hone their communication skills in ways valued by many employers. Furthermore, careful, logical, and creative thinking is encouraged and fostered in the English major--again, these are skills that are valued in many fields. I have had students who now work as lawyers, journalists, musicians, doctors, in the non-profit sector, etc. Before I went to grad school, I managed a barn and taught some beginner lessons--and the skills I learned as an English major, such as how to communicate clearly and solve problems creatively, came into play every day as I explained concepts to students, resolved issues with boarders, etc.

                            2. College is not, ultimately, vocational training. An undergraduate degree alone, even in a professional program, does not guarantee one is employable. An undergraduate English major is not necessarily less employable than an undergraduate biology major, an undergraduate education major, etc. Many fields take some kind of advanced degree to enter the job market. English majors, because of their writing and critical thinking skills, are viable candidates for advanced degrees and professional degrees in many fields. I have had students go on to graduate school in English and other humanities fields, and I have also had students go to law school, medical school, vet school, etc.

                            3. In terms of English advanced degrees: to be a viable job candidate as an English professor will entail not only your undergraduate degree, but also approximately 7-10 additional years of graduate work to obtain the Ph.D. Once the Ph.D. is in hand, professor jobs in the humanities often have 200+ applicants--in recent years, even more. I was on the job market for 5 years before I was lucky enough to secure a tenure-track job. (The past few years have been the worst job market in our field in, well, maybe forever.) Jobs to which I applied routinely had anywhere from 250-750 applicants. When you think about the years of schooling, the years on the job market, and the ultimately slim chances that one has of securing decent employment, being an English professor is not really a feasible "back up" career.

                            4. The point here is that any career--horse professional, English professor, surgeon, vet, artist, whatever--takes years of training and work. As a result, I think that if you want to be a horse professional, you should go for it--don't waste 15 years of your life training for a "back up" career where you might not be happy. I do, however, recommend college for everyone--I wish it was accessible to everyone, and I believe it should be. The experiences one has both inside and outside the classroom are truly formative--it is an amazing opportunity to learn all kinds of things with tremendous resources offered by universities (experts in all kinds of fields, lab space, libraries, other students, study abroad, a new place away from where you grew up, etc.). To take advantage of these tremendous resources, perhaps you should consider a college where you can major in Equine Business Management, or Animal Sciences, or something like that. That way you can do research and internships in the field and make horse industry contacts. Hey--you can even double major in English!

                            5. That said, you are never too old to go to college or grad school. So if you take some time after high school to be a working student or to participate in a more formal horse-related education program (like attaining a BHS certificate or something) for a year or two, college will always be waiting for you when you get back. If you want a working student position, you might consider broadening your search to include trainers in other disciplines (eventing, for example). This would not only let you put more applications out there, but in some disciplines it is more common to buy less expensive horses (OTTBs, for example) and bring them up through the levels--that might enable you to get a foothold and riding experience that may be harder to come by in the H/J world, where, let's be frank, the kinds of horses that are competitive at the highest levels, in general, cost a whole lot more. Also, consider looking into formal training programs--maybe even abroad, like at the Wellington or Yorkshire Riding Centers, both of which (I believe) offer BHS training. I think Wellington has a scholarship or low-cost program--I had a friend who did it to attain her BHSI, but it was many years ago, so my information could be out of date.

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Thanks

                              Originally posted by amm2cd View Post
                              Stop the begging. Stop it. No one wants to hear about the "spoiled rich kids/ladies" that and just pay and go.

                              That's how this horse life works.

                              My advise, in a nutshell:
                              Find a trainer. Take as many lessons as you can. See if you can work off the training bill, but realize that many trainers only do this with clients that they already have a relationship with.
                              Go to college. Major in something other than horses. Something that you can use to get a job in case the bottom falls out and you need a new way to support yourself.
                              Start saving for *your* show horse. Look at young horses or OTTBs for resale projects.
                              Start saving for campaigning your horse.
                              Be humble and appreciative of all opportunities you get. Reputation is a big deal in the horse world.
                              Thanks for saying that..she needs to be humble and LISTEN!!! BUT 16 is such a wonderfully confusing age, I guess we did just about the same thing then :-) !!
                              [url]http://www.horseshowbiz.com
                              [url]http://www.ijumpsports.com

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by xemilyx805 View Post
                                okay I'm really sorry, I'm just not going to have the time to read all of these. I have a lot of school work to do and I have a lot of horse chores. If there is anything you would like to say to me that you really think I should hear, send me a private message. You can even just send me your post in a private message, I'm happy to chat.

                                As far as grooming at WEF goes, it was my parents decision, not mine. They wouldn't let me take half a year out of school to go groom all winter and not ride. My father supports my riding but hates when it takes away from my school work, and my mother doesn't mind as much. I'm afraid it's too late to go down there now, but you all make a very good point, and if I can get the opportunity next year, I'll try and go through with it.

                                Now, just to put this to rest, as far as the money goes, I'm not asking for someone to finance competitions for me. I actually just sent a private message to someone and since I don't have much time to restate it for all of you, I'm just going to copy and paste it in here.

                                __

                                I'm definitely looking to work at the barn. I've thought about owning a barn maybe when I'm older and I have an established clientele or a reputation, but there's no guarantee that that will happen. And owning a barn is a lot of money.

                                My entire goal out of life is like as I said in my first post, (which I don't know if you've read or not) is just to ride and work all day. I've seen the exact job I want in almost every barn. I want to start out as an assistant trainer or really the trainers working student. So, I would be helping around the barn, taking care of the horses, teaching some students, riding the training horses, evaluating new horses, and just riding and working all day. Eventually I would like to be a trainer and spend my days mostly teaching my own students, but that's not something I can just jump right into.

                                I know that this career choice is not something that will finance competing or really bring in a lot or for that matter any money. But I'm not really looking for that. I'm okay with not showing, I just want to be riding all day, every day. The showing will come. I will go to shows with the trainer and warm up and exercise his horses. Then, if someone wants me to take their horse in a class, or campaign their horse for them, (which I have done almost every summer for someone. I used to ride ponies for adults who wanted them trained or sold, and they would pay for the shows.) I would happily help them out.

                                It doesn't seem like such a far off goal. I'm not looking for someone to finance my competitions I'm just looking for a working student position where I can prove myself as a worker and a rider so that I'll get to that point where one day I can have a position like that with a big name trainer. Or not even a big name trainer maybe just a show barn, with horses in and out all the time. That would be my dream situation. I just want to ride a lot of horses all the time.

                                Sorry I just wrote you a book. People are misunderstanding what I say left and right. But, if you understand what I'm looking for, does it seem like such an impossible target?

                                __

                                Does that clear up a bit of this argument? Do you guys understand what I'm looking for a bit more now? That is my ultimate goal out of life. Not for tomorrow. I literally want the chance to work for the chance to work.

                                Well kiddo, if you don't have time to at least read all of the thoughtful, heartfelt advice people posted here for you, I'm afraid I don't have time to pm my 2 posts or anything else, for that matter, to you. You asked for help and then smacked it away pretty quickly. Good luck with your dream.
                                "Absent a correct diagnosis, medicine is poison, surgery is trauma and alternative therapy is witchcraft" A. Kent Allen
                                http://www.etsy.com/shop/tailsofglory

                                Comment


                                • #76
                                  As far as grooming at WEF goes, it was my parents decision, not mine. They wouldn't let me take half a year out of school to go groom all winter and not ride. My father supports my riding but hates when it takes away from my school work, and my mother doesn't mind as much. I'm afraid it's too late to go down there now, but you all make a very good point, and if I can get the opportunity next year, I'll try and go through with it.
                                  So your parents aren't 100% on board. You can do Independent Study or Online School and if you are diligent you can be a groom at WEF, etc. and keep up with your school work. In order for this to work before you are 18, your parents need to be 100% on board. You need to have medical insurance and have the card with you at all times. You also need to have a signed medical form authorizing the trainer you are working for to seek medical care in case you are injured and your parents can't be contacted. You parents need to sign a liability release too. You also need a drivers license. These items were required before my daughter could be a working student.

                                  Comment


                                  • #77
                                    Originally posted by xemilyx805 View Post
                                    I'm sorry there are just too many replies on here to respond to right now. I can't reply to every one of these, but I will read them later and say something.
                                    I think the only response you should have is "thank you." You came to this board seeking advice. You have received lots of valuable information from experienced and successful horsewomen. Your arrogance in thinking you should debate with them the wisdom of their collective years is shocking. You think being a groom is beneath you?! That's how this business works, “honey.” You start at the bottom and work your way up. I know a person who was 13th in the Maclay finals and their first job was grooming for a major trainer when they were no longer a junior. This person is now a highly successful trainer and runs their own barn. Get the picture? Get over yourself, start doing the jobs that need to be done and get a better attitude.
                                    Teller of Untruths,
                                    Teller of Untruths,
                                    Your trousers have combusted!

                                    Comment


                                    • #78
                                      One last thing then I am off and gone to Thermal..WAHOO.

                                      College for me in this situation is not about passing with "A"s.. its about the life discipline to succeed it teachs a young one like Emily.

                                      Its about the consistency, the responsibilty, the driving work to succeed even when you don't want to, its about getting up when you don't feel like it, its about not having parents taking care of you all the time, its about choices and results. Its about ACCOMPLICHMENT!!!!

                                      Its about ALL the things that make a successful horseman/ trainer/rider at ANY level in the sport as we know it now.....its about being someone that people who own horses really want to TRUST their horses and money with.

                                      Read the posts above Emily and LISTEN to them, these are smart people with experience trying to help you....your choice and ultimately....YOUR results!
                                      [url]http://www.horseshowbiz.com
                                      [url]http://www.ijumpsports.com

                                      Comment


                                      • #79
                                        In defense of the English Major...

                                        You can go to grad school with an English major, by the way.

                                        I went to law school after finishing a double major (in English and yikes, History ) and I graduated and have since passed the Bar. The attorney thing is the means by which I support my expensive horse habit.

                                        My knowledge of the English language and literature has made me a far better communicator and writer than I ever would have been without it. The art of writing, spelling, and communication is becoming a lost art and I think that there is real value in an English major.

                                        Minor Vent over.
                                        ALP
                                        "The Prince" aka Front Row
                                        Cavalier Manor

                                        Comment


                                        • #80
                                          There is a lot of great advice here, even if it might not be what you want to hear.

                                          My experience as someone who considered herself a hard worker and one who would ride anything as a teen and twentysomething, is that working hard is not necessarily working smart. I think we of little means and big aspirations get so very stuck on the fact that we love horses and want to be with them all day, everyday. So how do we make it happen? We clean stalls, groom, braid, etc. and if we do it well enough, someone will reward us with a ride or two, or lessons, or a free horse to show. We don't really think about getting paid for our work, or the value of our work in comparison to the value of the ride, lesson, or horse show, particularly if we are in a situation that is not set up to have a work to lesson/ride/show program. Let's face it, a lot of the fancy places are not.

                                          While always maintaining a positive outward manner, I worked so hard at one point that I had a pretty good job post college where I often worked more than 50 hours a week, plus my grooming and braiding responsibilities that were often full time, plus, as well. You know what? I did not have time to ride and barely slept enough to function (in the real job). Even so, I still couldn't afford to do more than lesson weekly. Something had to give. It was the horses until I could afford to ride in the manner that I wanted to. Now, in my early 30s, is the first time I have a nice green horse ready to show 3' (and hopefully beyond) regularly.

                                          As a teen, I was fortunate enough to have decent OTTB that was capable of showing 3', if I could have afforded it. I was able to ride the difficult or green horses, when given a chance. But it was my friends with the show experience who, thankful for my rides at home, got to show them. I was their groom, braider and moral support. As a horseless 20 something, I was groom, braider and moral support to those mortified adults, as you call them. Because of my support, they were kind enough to think of me when they went out of town and could not ride their horse. I rarely rode or lessoned otherwise. On occasion, I was fortunate enough to show a few horses.

                                          The point of my above experience is that as a teen and 20 something, I really wished I could have made riding and grooming a career. I just did not have the experience, network or financial backing to do it. Hard to believe, I was working too hard to develop it.

                                          My advice to you is to really look at your situation and what you can do to make yourself more saleable to the type of situation you would like to find yourself in. What experience do you need? Can you get this experience without a lot of financial output. What kind of networking do you need to do? What is the best way to network? Do you know someone who knows someone who might now someone with a situation that will help you gain the experience you need? While this industry is hard work, and I am not advocating not working hard; it is important to find ways to not work so hard that you can't develop your career.

                                          I think another great piece of advice that someone posted is don't expect to get all your experience in one place. One place might be great to learn about stable management, another horse care, another good flatwork, another putting in the good show round. And never underestimate the amount of knowledge you can get by standing at the ring as a groom. Even if you are not riding, you can probably learn more by helping set jumps, prepping a horse for the ring, and watching how the pros handle the greenies on up to the performance hunters and big jumpers.

                                          From what I can tell from your posts, you probably are decent at working with trouble horses or greenies, particularly under 3'. That, in and of itself is a great niche. However, to ride and show at the level you want to, is a whole 'nuther ball of wax. It takes a lot of extra training and rides on good horses, which all takes $$$. You can get a somewhat "free education" by grooming for great trainers. Finding ways to clinic or train a few times a year with great trainers is another good way to broaden your experience. Also, take stock in the assets that you have available to you. Can you manage your parent's farm and sales program in a way that will help you get a horse you can develop and show a few times in the 3'? I would really look at ways you can expand your experience given the assets you already have.

                                          Good luck. There really is a lot of great advice in the other posts in this thread. I really wish it was there when I was your age.

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