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Did you start to be a horse trainer and then change jobs?

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  • Did you start to be a horse trainer and then change jobs?

    I was just looking at the George Morris clinic update and was seeing young faced, eager newcombers on the way up to becoming trainers. They made me think back to my original goals. I started out managing stables, training horses, being a working student, teaching students, etc. as full time jobs. I barely broke even most months, and it was always a struggle (in the northern states) to make ends meet during the winter months. I ended up going into other, more conventional types of work to make ends meet and then got sucked into it as a full time way of making money and having better benefits. Teaching and training then moved to side careers.

    Anyone else start out wanting to do it full time and then realize it just did not pay as well as a full time, indoor job?

    I wonder how many people have life change those goals. How many stick with it (and I'm not talking to 20-somethings, I mean people who've stuck with it for 20 or more years as a pro), and how many have families and other life experiences that changed that goal and moved them into something different.
    Last edited by Velvet; Jan. 7, 2011, 01:27 PM.
    "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

  • #2
    O Yes, but I was a trainer/breeder/coach for years and years. I had outside jobs to make ends meet and then at the end was doing the horse thing full time right up till I was in an auto accident. Dr told me that if I still wanted to enjoy my horses I had to change things.
    So I went back to school and became a drafter/designer and was making more money doing that a month then I ever mad with the horses. Now I didn't mind not making lots working with horses as I was happy but it sure was nice to have money in my bank account.
    Now with our move I am not even putting all that schooling to work, there are like next to nothing for jobs in my field so when my EI runs out I will get a job that will cover my horses costs.

    I wish I was still doing the horse thing full time and even was hoping to start a new barn, but that didn't work out.
    My life motto now is "You can't fix stupid!"

    Are you going to cowboy up, or lie there and bleed


    • #3
      I briefly contemplated it, as I think many of us do, and I've had people approach me and ofer me training jobs, but I very quickly realized that I don't have nearly enough tolerance for stupid people to realistically make a go of it

      Sure, there are other aspects that also make it undesireable, but ultimately I really can't deal with the people who make the same dumb mistakes over and over again and refuse to listen to common sense.
      "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
      -Edward Hoagland


      • #4
        I'll be interested to see everyone's responses. I currently am training full time and making a decent living, but was just offered a full time job working from home with totally open hours (so long as I put in 35/week at least) that pays more, and with room for advancement. It's really tempting me, although I don't care for the work that much and love training. But actually having money and time to spend on my own horses, without all the fear of "what if I get injured?" and dealing with sometimes less than fun clients that comes along with being a trainer? Like I said, hard to pass up...
        exploring the relationship between horse and human


        • #5
          I've done the corporate America thing for the last 20 years. I've been teaching off and on for a while and a few years ago quit Corp. America to teach full time. I am poorer than I've ever been but I sleep at night, which is something I didn't do over the last 20 years. I just leased a barn for boarding and to teach out of. I know I'm going to struggle a bit to make ends meet at first (hopefully not for too long), but I really can't see myself ever going back to a job that stresses me the way sales did. I've decided to be basically poor and happy rather than financially comfortable and miserable. I do have a good support system of friends and family, so I won't starve, but, well, ask me again in a year I guess!


          • #6
            I am currently in this situation. I am planning on going back to school to get my PhD so I can teach at the college level. I fully intend on continuing with training and giving lessons but it just won't be my main job.

            For me it all comes down to wanting a decent family life. I don't have children yet but when I do, I would like a) to be able to afford them b) to be able to spend time with them and c) to be able to take time off for a vacation when needed.

            It was a bit disappointing when I first made this decision but I figure I will end up with the best of both worlds- a flexible, good paying job AND a life with horses.


            • #7
              I trained and taught for quite a few years. I loved it, but when I got married, then had children, I thought I needed a more 'conventional' job. I've been teaching school for quite a long time now, and when I retire (June - YEA), I think I'll probably go back to the horses in some way - aside from just having my own that is.


              • #8
                Yes, I was training/ teaching for a while right out of college- but had a bad accident (on my own horse...sigh..) and had to stop- Got really out of shape in a body cast for 6 months- worked a couple of other jobs- taught high school, worked at a bank- then went back to the horse world at a mostly office job
                "As soon as you're born you start dyin'
                So you might as well have a good time"


                • #9
                  I taught and trained (a little) for about 10 years, and then realized that I was sick of alternatively freezing and roasting depending on the time of year, having little to no benefits, and making very little for the hours that I put in. I also stopped enjoying horses and that is when I quit and redirected my life. I work in an equine related office, but I enjoy my horses more than I did in all the years I was teaching.


                  • #10
                    Reading the reply's I see that some people think they can't do the horse thing and raise kids.

                    To me it was the best, I was able to have my son with me at the barn, or only feet away at the house with a student looking after him. I also was home when he got home from school and set my lessons around supper time so I was able to eat supper with him. I also took every other Sunday off so that we had family day.

                    I found that I had more time at home with my son, wail working in the barn then I did after I started working in the office. When I worked in the office I still had to make time for my horses and the other stuff I need to do.
                    My life motto now is "You can't fix stupid!"

                    Are you going to cowboy up, or lie there and bleed