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Where are all the twentysomethings?

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  • #21
    I'm 25 with a fairly decent job as a Manager in the Medical field... boy I am envious you must have landed softly in the economy (no doubt due in part to your hard work ) but it was a disappointment after college. I had straight A's and internships in my field but no jobs were out there... or jobs paying $25k/yr. No one can life off that! With student loans, rent, and the other necessaries I make a comfortable living but NO WAY could I afford a horse. I am a very serious Amateur and keep riding by catch riding for a few local professionals and riding whatever needs ridden.

    I'm the same, no kids now or anytime in the near future, a good career and very serious riding goals... there's just very few of us out there making the kinds of salaries that can afford a horse. Put it this way... I have 3 employees making an entry level salary of around 30k/yr that graduated from BERKLEY.

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    • #22
      I'm 26, a college grad, and I'm barely scraping by. I have a horse, and I work an entry level job with little to no potential for advancement. I make appallingly little money, and I truly scrape by to make it work with my horse. I'm fortunate enough to have found a place where I can live above the barn where I board her, and in exchange for caring for the other horses, I get reduced board for her/rent for me. (This is in addition to my full-time job, plus freelance writing, babysitting, and teaching flute lessons.)

      I also have student loans, though thankfully not huge huge ones. I need/want to go to graduate school next year, but I'm feeling so stuck, and I have no idea how to pull it off financially. If I wasn't living here, I don't see any way I could possibly keep my horse. It's scary, and frustrating. And I know many others who are in the same situation. (I have 2 friends who graduated from college who are still working at McDonalds. It's not for lack of trying - they're excellent hard workers and are both actively out job hunting. But the job market is a frightening place right now.)
      Dapplebay - home of original equestrian clothing and accessories.

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      • #23
        Many people now graduating from college do not have any job, much less one that affords the expense of horses and the cost involved in showing. Hopefully the economy will improve and more of our graduating college students will find employment that offers them a decent living and the ability to pay off all those student loans.

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        • #24
          I'm starting my 30's. Plenty of money and time for riding whenever I want to but I have no interest whatsoever in showing. I don't like the culture or the people.
          Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!

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          • #25
            I am in my mid-twenties and bought my now coming 6 yr old when she was a coming 4 yr old. I have done almost all the work with her and have kind of put my life on hold for the horses. This last nationals ( worked harder than ever this whole yr) our goals and hard work were rewarded. I have decided that this coming show season we are going to keep working as hard as ever, but may not show much if at all. If I want to move out of my parents house I really need to allocate my funds to purchasing a house, not show shoes for my mare and show expenses.

            Personally I think at this point in many of our lives we have to start not just thinking about our futures but be active in bringing it about. That may mean starting families for some and that may mean purchasing a home for others, whatever it means for every individual this is a sort of turning point for many.

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            • #26
              Originally posted by tua37516 View Post
              I'm 25 with a fairly decent job as a Manager in the Medical field... boy I am envious you must have landed softly in the economy (no doubt due in part to your hard work ) but it was a disappointment after college. I had straight A's and internships in my field but no jobs were out there... or jobs paying $25k/yr. No one can life off that! .
              ROTFL, of course you can. Lots and lots of people do it all the time, every day. You have to live in the right place (ie, not the Northeast or California, which are horrifically overvalued, that or you have to accept a very, very long commute), you have to make sure you don't spend on unimportant things (no wasting money on going out for drinks-let me tell you how much we mark up alcohol in the food-service world, no buying designer/boutique clothes and shoes, no NEW/expensive car), cutting costs at the grocery store (Super Wal-Mart has much lower prices than Whole Paycheck)...

              Now, can you afford to show anywhere other than the local family show at the 4-H fairgrounds? Probably not, but that and having a five-figure horse with a four-figure saddle isn't a part of LIVING. It's a nice perk. And people with a lot less than $25,000/year can have horses. I very much doubt my neighbor across the road is clearing that on his retirement, unless he's got a whole boatload of investments he hides very well, and I doubt the friends who keep their horses with him are paying $1500/month in board. But they seem to have a lot of fun riding their gaited trail horses, and he kept his favorite old mare retired in her own paddock, the one nearest the barn, doing nothing but eating and loafing, until she died-couldn't ride her any more, but he'd had her for years and she wasn't going anywhere.
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              • #27
                I was lucky. I'm 28, and going into my 5th year at my law firm. I went straight through college and law school- and made it out about a year before things got bad.

                I live in a very expensive part of the country, and pay a lot in loans- so I can't swing multiple horses, but I have one very nice FEI horse that I keep in full training and ride 6 days/week. I got my USDF silver medal, and when my PSG confidence builder, I'll be looking to buy myself a big-time young horse to pin my GP dreams to.

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                • #28
                  I'm an amalgam of several of the factors already mentioned in this thread.

                  At 23, I'm working in entry-level hell in an insecure industry, with no advancement opportunities on the horizon. I make $18K a year. Pre-tax. We exist. There is no "second job," as my county has the highest unemployment rate in the state, but I can't afford to move. Fortunately I'm debt-free, which is why I'm averse to the idea of graduate school.

                  I live at home, with my single horse and his pony friend in the backyard. My discipline is eventing, but Horse has made it pretty clear that he doesn't want to play. I'm considering focusing on straight dressage, although I doubt we'd ever be better than mediocre in that discipline.

                  For those of us owning or trying to compete on a shoestring, we're really only a colic surgery or mysterious lameness away from coming to a screeching halt - financially and competition-wise.

                  If I had my priorities in any kind of order, I'd quit showing and taking lessons completely so that I could save up to move out or better yet relocate completely. As I have no SO at the moment and no intention of ever reproducing, I'm a little too comfortable in this holding pattern.

                  An aside, one of my best friends, who graduated with a four-year business degree in December, had to move back home and work as a Walmart cashier until last month. She finally got a temporary grant-funded job at a university in another part of the state, which puts her in a better place to seek employment when that position ends.

                  It's really not a pretty picture for most of us.
                  "Why would anybody come here if they had a pony? Who leaves a country packed with ponies to come to a non-pony country? It doesn't make sense!"

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                  • #29
                    Mid-20s here...I'm in professional school at one of the most expensive programs in the country, in one of the most expensive areas in the country. The rotations when I have enough time to ride are spread out -- and I feel like by the time I got back into shape, I'd be on to another rotation that didn't allow me time to ride. I really, really miss it though.

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by danceronice View Post
                      ROTFL, of course you can. Lots and lots of people do it all the time, every day. You have to live in the right place (ie, not the Northeast or California, which are horrifically overvalued, that or you have to accept a very, very long commute), you have to make sure you don't spend on unimportant things (no wasting money on going out for drinks-let me tell you how much we mark up alcohol in the food-service world, no buying designer/boutique clothes and shoes, no NEW/expensive car), cutting costs at the grocery store (Super Wal-Mart has much lower prices than Whole Paycheck)...

                      Now, can you afford to show anywhere other than the local family show at the 4-H fairgrounds? Probably not, but that and having a five-figure horse with a four-figure saddle isn't a part of LIVING. It's a nice perk. And people with a lot less than $25,000/year can have horses. I very much doubt my neighbor across the road is clearing that on his retirement, unless he's got a whole boatload of investments he hides very well, and I doubt the friends who keep their horses with him are paying $1500/month in board. But they seem to have a lot of fun riding their gaited trail horses, and he kept his favorite old mare retired in her own paddock, the one nearest the barn, doing nothing but eating and loafing, until she died-couldn't ride her any more, but he'd had her for years and she wasn't going anywhere.
                      Well I certainly didn't mean to insult anyone who does... what I was getting at was "I can't afford to repay my student loans off of that salary while paying rent with the high cost of living in my region."

                      So having extra mouths to feed is not a sound financial decision for me about now.

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                      • #31
                        Scaramouch- thanks for your post! I didn't want to hit it with a thumbs up, because it is a difficult position to be in, I know. But i did 'appreciate' your point of view added to the thread!!

                        I'm also making a fraction of the amount that most of my former classmates make. I will not relocate right now, and moving will increase my cost of living expenses (I'm doing it on the cheap(est) now). I could move to other places that would be easier to find a better paycheck but i'm pretty set on moving to this one city where my family lives in the next few years. And it's difficult to look and interview for jobs from hours away!
                        That said, I make more money in my current position than many other positions within the company. That company is the main employer in my county, the other options would be even less pay with fewer benefits. That's another thing-- I *need* a job with decent medical insurance. Absolutely cannot take one without, and probably wouldn't be able to afford the insurance on my own! So i'm in a holding pattern as well. Will have to have lots of ducks in a row once I do move to the new state.
                        Showing horses is pretty much towards the bottom of my concerns! Riding is at the height of my sanity-saving, but will probably have to take a back seat once i do move in the next few years.

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                        • #32
                          I'm in the same boat of "25, Graduated College, no job" At this point I'm working on my masters because it pushes my loans back more and I was planning on getting it anyways, might as well be when I have all the time in the world.

                          I have been really lucky to find a horse of a friend that needs exercise and I get to ride her for free (minus the lesson fees when I have my trainer there). We actually met up here on COTH and its turned into a great relationship!

                          I hope to one day eventually own a horse of my own, but right now its pretty much impossible.
                          Telling a worrier to relax is counterproductive. Then we worry about relaxing.

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by dani0303 View Post
                            It's a financial thing. I'm in my mid 20's. I work an entry level job and can barely afford to pay my rent, much less for horses (although I do have one...).
                            ^this.
                            "A horse gallops with his lungs, perseveres with his heart, and wins with his character." - Tesio

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                            • #34
                              I'm 28 and in the same situation. All the girls that are at my barn are in High School. All the women (and there's only a handful of them) are in their 40s and riding with their daughters.

                              I rode more when I was in college. I worked off my board one year in college, and used to ride before or after classes.

                              Once I graduated I was focused on working and building my client list. I had a very flexible schedule working for myself but I was always working. I couldn't pursue showing without the saddle time.

                              I have the disposable income to show just not the time. I just did my first show last weekend which is my first one in like 7 or 8 years. I felt very unprepared but I made myself do it. I had to take Friday off of work to be able to school. I have no idea how I can possibly show regularly because I would have to use all my vacation time specifically for showing which I don't want to do. It's my goal to do at least one more before I breed my coming 15 year old mare. Depending on how that goes I might purchase a prospect to bring along during her pregnancy or lease or just take lessons.

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                              • #35
                                I agree with a lot of the posts above. I am late 20's and have a green bean Oldenburg that I will start this spring. It boils down to time and money. My job sucks up a lot of my time and unfortunately doesn't pay well - plus, the hubby and I live in the DC area, so housing takes up a lot of our money. I am still paying off student loans, though this spring I will be able to apply for teacher loan forgiveness - the only reason I've stuck it out at a school I hate being at. Then, I will either be switching to another school or switching from teaching entirely. And then who knows what will be the plan later on.
                                "The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited." - Plutarch

                                Owned by: Ghold Nugget (Gold Luck - Pablo - Weltmeyer)

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                                • #36
                                  ^ also agree with this.

                                  I'm 28 - have a decent job, but pays much less than the average for my field. After graduating from my Masters, I also have tonnes of debt that needs to be dealt with as well. I am hoping to move into a much better paid job within the next half year or so and my goal is to buy my first horse before I am 30. As of right now this feels feasible to me, but we'll see how it goes.

                                  Currently I scrap together enough money to lesson weekly, so at least I get some saddle time

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                                  • #37
                                    It's the same deal in my area - not a lot of twenty-somethings (or over, either) competing. Granted, it is a relatively small horse community and rated shows are a minumum 2 hour drive. There are no large dressage, hunter/jumper, or eventing shows around here at all.

                                    Another factor in my area is the lack of good instruction. Riders come up the ranks and hit a wall because there's no one to teach beyond a certain level - the only woman who was capable of that retired recently, but very few people wanted to ride with her because she was really hard core (or, I should say, very few childrens' parents wanted their kids to ride with her). Not many take it that seriously.

                                    Pretty much, if you want to advance, you have to move. I know several young women who have taken off to the next big city and are going strong. I also know women who have had to give up horses completely in lieu of a career that can allow them to (hopefully) get back into horses.

                                    I can't afford to go to rated shows and barely make it through schooling shows, but even if I could afford it, I don't have the talent to "make it" as it were. I have a lot of trouble focusing, so that's no help. Still, I'm always seeking more knowledge; once a month a dressage instructor drives in from the next state over and I get to ride under her tutelage. I've learned a lot. There's no way I'll be able to move out of state and pay the outrageous boarding/lesson fees for any BNTs, so I make due with what I can. My OTTB and I are starting our first show season together next year

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                                    • #38
                                      Some twenty-something's are busy traveling and/or saving and buying a house. Personally, I didn't get back into horses till I was 27, after about a 10 year hiatus and several relocations and houses. You are fortunate your life is stable enough to comit to a horse and horse shows but for some, home ownership and travel/relocating for business may hinder a horsie lifestyle.

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                                      • #39
                                        Well I'm on the lower end of the twentysomethings but I'll contribute my perspective.

                                        I am 22, a semester into grad school, and have a 17.5 yr old "for lifer" who is slowing down. I am blessed with parents who support me and my horse habit but there is no way that I could make enough part-time to get us back into full training and showing. Honestly, even if I could afford it and my horse could hold up, it isn't a priority. Right now I am more concerned with school, my hobbies, my community, friends, family, SO, etc, etc, etc. I love getting out to the barn every day and some days I wish I was pushing myself but at the same time, the barn needs to be a refuge for me and not another source of stress.

                                        Since my old girl isn't going anywhere the only chance of me competing in the near future is if I luck into an awesome free lease down the road or land a 6 figure job that only requires me to work 3 days a week ( I can dream right ).

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                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by danceronice View Post
                                          ROTFL, of course you can. Lots and lots of people do it all the time, every day. You have to live in the right place (ie, not the Northeast or California, which are horrifically overvalued, that or you have to accept a very, very long commute), you have to make sure you don't spend on unimportant things (no wasting money on going out for drinks-let me tell you how much we mark up alcohol in the food-service world, no buying designer/boutique clothes and shoes, no NEW/expensive car), cutting costs at the grocery store (Super Wal-Mart has much lower prices than Whole Paycheck)...

                                          Now, can you afford to show anywhere other than the local family show at the 4-H fairgrounds? Probably not, but that and having a five-figure horse with a four-figure saddle isn't a part of LIVING. It's a nice perk. And people with a lot less than $25,000/year can have horses. I very much doubt my neighbor across the road is clearing that on his retirement, unless he's got a whole boatload of investments he hides very well, and I doubt the friends who keep their horses with him are paying $1500/month in board. But they seem to have a lot of fun riding their gaited trail horses, and he kept his favorite old mare retired in her own paddock, the one nearest the barn, doing nothing but eating and loafing, until she died-couldn't ride her any more, but he'd had her for years and she wasn't going anywhere.
                                          I am 24, had my horse (he was a three figure horse) and my three figure saddle at a small barn that was just under 400 a month, living just barely off my 27k salary.. while trying to afford ridiculous rent and student loans.. that was in 2010 about 4 months after I graduated.. no showing. I never went out, mainly because I worked at a company where I was at least 18 years younger than the other youngest employee, and living in a college town with crazy college kids. I worked 8-6, and went to ride, made dinner, and went to sleep. I didn't really have any other luxuries of shopping other than food.

                                          Fast forward to this year, I have an SO who is incredibly supportive, yet very financially conservative, though I do think that's a smart thing. We put together a budget and found out I can afford to board him here in Buffalo (which is a total rip off, btw - the only places with indoors around here that AREN'T a 45 minute drive into the boonies start at 500 a month), and I can take him off his super cheapo 24/7 pasture board where my mom has generously worked his board down back at home.

                                          I'm incredibly thankful that my parents have helped me through this. I do have a new job, but it's still grossly underpaid for my position and the experience I had, despite it only being a couple years after graduating, I had freelanced in the past.

                                          We're there, you just can't see us because we can't afford it. With a growing weight on our shoulders between student loans and no jobs, people need to afford basic living essentials and pay off loans first.

                                          I'll also agree that there's a huge majority that doesn't understand budgeting or looks more than 6 months into the future when making plans that could drastically alter their expenses... either because parents help and have no choice, or they really don't have a choice and can't afford it... especially those who went to college.

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