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How common are working student positions like this?

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  • How common are working student positions like this?

    With one pony leased out and another on her way to being sold, I'll soon be left with one horse and I'd really like to get another working student position.
    I feel I'm very qualified to be a working student (and I've had WS positions in the past) but I'm not sure how common the ideal position for me really is.
    I'd really like somewhere that I can work off board and possibly lessons on my personal horse, at a barn that's active on the A circuit, goes to WEF, finals when needed, etc.
    My reason for this being that we can afford board and lessons at a nice facility with a reputable trainer, OR we can afford to winter in Florida, travel to KY for finals, and do more A shows besides the ones close to home. Doing both would be a stretch, and I'd love to be able to help out my grandma (who has supported my riding, horse collecting habit, and "show ring fever" for years) as much as I possibly can.

    Is it common for working students to work off board and lessons, but pay to show their own horse with the farm?
    "It's hard to wait for something you know might not happen, but it's even harder to give up when you know it's everything you want."
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  • #2
    When I was a working student with a BNT, I was given room and board for my horse and I at home as well as lessons and training rides plus a small paycheck. Any show expenses for my horse I paid for (stalls, entries, paddock, ring). My horse and I learned so much and I never would have been able to afford it otherwise.
    Originally posted by JSwan
    Prove it....Otherwise, you're just coming off as a whackjob.
    Founding member of the "Not too Klassy for Boxed Wine" Clique


    • #3
      If you're a junior, this works out great. DD had this arrangement and it made it possible for us to afford showing. If you're an adult and plan to keep ammy status, you can't accept anything of monetary value, so things get complicated.

      If you want to work at a barn that shows in Wellington, you probably won't be able to have your own horse. Stalls are at too high a premium there. Having free stall and board at home doesn't do you much good if you are on the road for months at a time and have to pay stalls on show.

      A serious working student position is amazing training and experience - best of luck!


      • #4
        I did this for a year with my trainer as a junior - working student at home and shows, and paid any extra show fees on top of that/plus my own horse if I was showing.

        It worked out wonderfully, but I was with my trainer I'd ridden with for years - I think it's easier when you already have a good relationship - I would suggest you try to find somewhere that the trainer is really invested in you and your riding career, not that you're just another working student that comes and goes. I know that's a tall order, but if you work hard and are talented, it should be possible

        Good luck!


        • Original Poster

          I guess they're more common than I thought!
          Tap2Tango, that's basically exactly what I'm looking for, although I wouldn't need a paycheck. I'd hope I can find something similar!

          Muggle Mom, I believe you posted a bit about your daughters experience as a working student about a year and a half ago on another thread I had on a previous account I no longer have access to (I used to be bigeqxo on here, posted trying to get recommendations for barns looking for WS's, and I also had a pretty long thread going asking for suggestions for a horse-related name for my new puppy.. you might remember me)
          Yes, I am a junior.
          I'm hoping to get a position at a barn in Wellington (as there's a possibility I might be moving there) and a lot of the barns I've been looking into are within hacking distance from the showgrounds, so I wouldn't be paying for a stall at WEF. But even if I had a WS position outside of FL, there's a few barns I looked into that travel to WEF for 12 weeks (and a few that stay for the spring circuit) where board really wasn't THAT expensive compared to other barns of that caliber.
          I'd really like to be able to keep my current horse. I got him for next to nothing, and there's no way I'd be able to get a horse as nice as him for a price even remotely close to what I paid for him. If he maxes out at the 3' then I will sell him, but if he can be successful in the juniors (which physically he has the potential to do easily, it all just depends on where his mind is at when the time comes) I'd hate to get rid of him. :/

          Gil's Girl, I agree that it's easier with a trainer you've already been riding with. My last working student position, working off board and lessons, was at a barn I had been in Pony Club at, spent way too much time willingly mucking stalls for nothing in return, helped work horses while trainer was out of town, etc.. by the time I approached the trainer about working off my board, he knew I was a hard enough worker and that I deserved it.
          Unfortunately I don't really know any BNT's that do the kind of showing I'm hoping to move up to personally. However I'm very knowledgeable when it comes to horses, am willing to work hard, and consider myself a good rider, so I feel that I could prove myself to a trainer willing to give me the chance.

          Thanks everyone!
          Last edited by AlyssaSpellman; Apr. 2, 2012, 11:18 PM.
          "It's hard to wait for something you know might not happen, but it's even harder to give up when you know it's everything you want."
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