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Am I qualified to be a Working Student?

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  • Am I qualified to be a Working Student?

    Hi all!
    I've been wondering if I am anywhere near qualified to be a working student at a top show barn. My parents just don't have the financial means to support my riding, so if I want to keep riding I need a working student position! Here's just a little about me:
    I am a 16 year old, motivated male rider
    Have a license
    I've ridden for 11 years,
    I can ride green, experienced, or difficult horses
    I can clean stalls, groom, clean tack, poultice, sweat, wrap, medicate, feed, mix supplements, have knowledge about basic meds and supplements, can set-up at shows, can exercise horses, do most barn maintenance (fix fencing, etc..), bathe horses, can somewhat braid (still working on that), and handle stallions and trouble horses
    Competed up through 1.10m, but school 1.20-1.35m at home
    Know some very, very basic dressage
    I've worked as a groom in a showbarn for 2 years
    Good with people
    Lastly, I'm willing to work hard!
    Please be as honest as you can be, I can take the criticism ! I really want to make a career out of riding, so please let me know if there is anything that I should learn/improve!
    Feel free to PM me too!
    Thanks so much!!

  • #2
    Honestly being a working student at a top show barn is very hard, no matter your talent, without some connection to that trainer. There are a ton of talented riders but not that many BNTs. I think you are qualified to be a working student at a competitive barn - it just might not fit your definition of "top" (although it might, people have very different views of what they consider "top barns.")

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes, you are! I've taken on kids with less experience. They don't get as much ride time, but they did learn a lot and got lots of lessons.
      www.hilltopfarmva.com

      Facebook: Hilltop Farm VA

      Comment


      • #4
        You had me at "clean stalls, clean tack, groom, poultice, sweat...."
        http://patchworkfarmga.com

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Jsalem View Post
          You had me at "clean stalls, clean tack, groom, poultice, sweat...."
          Me too! Want to come play with babies in Northern CA? hehe...

          In all seriousness, where would you like to work... I may have a few ideas. CA? East? etc...
          www.jazcreek.com
          Specialized Equine Rehabilitation, Reproduction, and Fitness in the Wine Country of Northern California

          Comment


          • #6
            Damned straight you're qualified. I got paid positions at top barns with much less in the way of qualifications. Gotta say, though, that one of the most appealing things about you is your humility-- a whole lot more experience/skills than graduates of college "equestrian programs" who seem to think they know it all because they got a degree. If your apparent willingness to follow the program of your chosen BNT comes through-- and you can ride "green, experienced and difficult horses" WELL, the BNT's I know and have worked for would gobble you up... especially if you might be a "working student/talented junior" capable of showing sales horses in the jr. and equitation divisions. At your age, I would hope, though, that any trainer who took you on would also make sure you at least finished your high school degree-- e.g. the BNT I worked for had a teenaged working student living with her and going to high school on an "early dismissal" program-- i.e., she was out of class by noon every day, released to accommodate show schedules, etc.

            Good luck in your search.
            http://www.tunnelsendfarm.com

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            • #7
              ^^ditto

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              • #8
                My dear, there is a line a mile long for you. And at the best barns in the country. When you are willing to work, the best are willing to help you. Apply at the top. You can always go down from there. :-)
                www.midatlanticeq.com
                Mid-Atlantic Equitation Festival,Scholarships and College Fair
                November 11-13, 2016

                Comment


                • #9
                  Just the fact that you even questioned the fact that you were qualified (rather than just assuming that barns would want you, like so many kids do), hints that you really are qualified. If you do ride at the level you say and can and are willing to do all of the things you say you know how to, you can find somewhere to work.

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                  • #10
                    There is a trainer out west(the name is escaping me...anyone?!) who offers an internship of sorts to students like you. I do not believe it is a paid position but programs like this lead to bigger opportunities. Your prerequisites are strong and are seemingly more serious than other young posters before you. But, you really have to start *somewhere* and programs such as the suggested are sometimes the way in.

                    Start networking, finish high school, and if you like school, get a degree in something that interests you. I cannot stress this enough because if you get hurt and do not have the finances to continue in the business... your ships bound to sink. I attend a university with a well known Equine Studies program(although I am a pre-med major) and those girls take classes we would all dream of taking. Most of them are lackadaisical and do not have the resources to make a name of themselves, however.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by HJPony View Post
                      There is a trainer out west(the name is escaping me...anyone?!) who offers an internship of sorts to students like you. I do not believe it is a paid position but programs like this lead to bigger opportunities. Your prerequisites are strong and are seemingly more serious than other young posters before you. But, you really have to start *somewhere* and programs such as the suggested are sometimes the way in.
                      Are you thinking of Julie Winkel's program? If so, her program is strange in that it requires the intern to pay her (huh?! ). http://mwstables.com/internship.php

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Also OP, you should be very encouraged by very encouraged by the responses you are getting here! Good luck to you

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by chunky munky View Post
                          My dear, there is a line a mile long for you. And at the best barns in the country. When you are willing to work, the best are willing to help you. Apply at the top. You can always go down from there. :-)
                          Yep-- this says so succinctly what I was trying to say. All these things you can do-- and speak English, too, for the opportunity to learn? If you're for real, you're golden.

                          As long as you don't let it go to your head!! After all, the bottom line has got to be having a passion for the work.
                          http://www.tunnelsendfarm.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Seriously, send your resume to the best and start with John and Beezie, Mclain, Margie, and just keep moving on the list. They all will want a kid like you.
                            www.midatlanticeq.com
                            Mid-Atlantic Equitation Festival,Scholarships and College Fair
                            November 11-13, 2016

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It sounds like you have a lot more experience and resources than many who inquire. A position with an AA-circuit trainer would probably require you to travel and hotel/food may or may not be covered. Count on being away from home during the school term and how you would handle that. You may be allowed to bring a horse and work off home board, but bringing your horse on-show would probably mean you have stall and splits to pay. Working students on the show circuit often are not allowed their own horse, but have opportunities to catch ride if they are very good. Working students at home often may bring their own horse and work off board.

                              If the trainer leaves a barn/clients at home, perhaps you can travel sometimes and work with asst. trainer at home the rest of the time. A mixture of both is really good because you learn how both operations work.

                              I suggest you draw up a resume with references - keep it short but detail your skills and relevant experience. Ask any trainers who you have worked for to recommend you. The horse world is small, and you may be surprised by the connections "lesser trainers" have and will access for you if you're good and they like you.

                              It's a huge commitment by you and your parents, but it is well worth it if you are serious about a career in horses. GOOD LUCK!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Tha Ridge View Post
                                Are you thinking of Julie Winkel's program? If so, her program is strange in that it requires the intern to pay her (huh?! ). http://mwstables.com/internship.php
                                I have always wondered about Julie Winkel's program and if anyone on COTH has done it for the full two years and did it lead to a meaningful position in the industry. Total cost would be $24,000. That is a lot of money to pay to work for someone, even Julie Winkel.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by chunky munky View Post
                                  Seriously, send your resume to the best and start with John and Beezie, Mclain, Margie, and just keep moving on the list. They all will want a kid like you.
                                  Wow, thank you for all your support, encouragement, and positive feedback! This means to world to me. Words can not describe how ecstatic I am right now!
                                  If I knew how to quote more than one person, I would quote all of you guys!
                                  Thanks again!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by HJPony View Post
                                    Start networking, finish high school, get a degree in something . I cannot stress this enough because if you get hurt and do not have the finances to continue in the business... your ships bound to sink.
                                    You say you're 16. Are you intending to drop out of high school to ride/ NOT a good idea.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by nightsong View Post
                                      You say you're 16. Are you intending to drop out of high school to ride/ NOT a good idea.
                                      There are so many options now for continuing high school while showing. Talented, motivated riders tend to be smart and manage to get it all done somehow.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I am 15 and I have only competed up to 1.05 and I managed to find a working student opportunity! It is not a AA barn but wew do some As throughout the year. Like you I am extremely dedicated. I don't have my own horse but the trainer has practically given me a school horse of hers, whose not really a school horse because he's too hard for beginners to ride. I catch ride, I school ponies, I work clients horses, had the opportunity to show one of the clients horses all year with her paying the bills and I get to do it again this year! But with that I have no life at all! I am at the barn everyday all day, and I am with them at shows all the time, meaning I have to work hard to keep up in school. It's been hard but definitely worth it!
                                        I'm just saying if I can do it, you definitely can!

                                        Comment

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