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A scary step into the horse industry. Advice for down the line?

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  • #61
    Two things:

    1) Do what you want in college, but do it without going into debt if at all possible. Really unless you get an engineering or science degree, it doesn't matter much what your major in. You're obviously smart, grades aren't going to be a problem, so work while you study. It seems like an abstract idea at 18, but when you are 23 with $25,000 in students loans it will seriously hamper your freedom to pursue those opportunities you dream about, either horses or film or something else you discover you care about. A couple of years at community college is a wise investment if it limits the debt you take on for education.

    2.) Health insurance. You can stay on your parent's if they have it until you are 27, but just always make sure you have it. Nothing will derail your dreams faster than a $30k hospital bill after a riding accident or a burst appendix.

    Bottom line: Don't underestimate the burden of debt! And good luck whatever you choose.
    "Here? It's like asking a bunch of rednecks which is better--Ford or Chevy?" ~Deltawave

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    • Original Poster

      #62
      Originally posted by PaintPony View Post
      The person I mentioned earlier is also one of the team captains. You should definitely send her a message. She's great!
      really? i'll have to drop her a message then

      OP, Read This Thread!:

      http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...-riders-salary

      I think you'll find this very interesting!
      I would take that job in a heart beat it sounds perfect HOWEVER, i'm currently attending community college so I wouldn't be able to do the 7 day, all day work schedule! if it was offered over the summer i'd jump on that but i doubt it will :/

      One other thing I want to mention (which I think several others have done as well): do you own horses right now, at home?
      I own a horse at a stable I board at, so yes and no haha. I've worked at a barn in montana for a month over the summer previously and did all the hard work so I do recall it was a lot harder then i have now! Although I am at the barn all day as it is.

      THANK YOU everyone else for your replies, once again.

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      • #63
        Originally posted by atilthia View Post
        I own a horse at a stable I board at, so yes and no haha. I've worked at a barn in montana for a month over the summer previously and did all the hard work so I do recall it was a lot harder then i have now! Although I am at the barn all day as it is.
        Move your horse to a self care board situation wile you're in college - it will be excellent training for the reality of horse care - summer absolutely does NOT count

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        • #64
          When I listen to your story, I hear a confused and unsure soul seeking direction from others. Neither of your study choices at this point is making you happy enough to persue.

          Sounds like a "gap" year to me. You say your parents are supportive of your choices, and offer a fall back plan of employment within their business. Maybe it is time to do this, but be careful you do not use it as an an excuse to coast. Throw yourself into the work. Learn everything you can about the business and become a valuable employee. Earn a wage, support yourself and learn what it costs to live in a way you will be comfortable.

          Ride at every opportunity. Groom on weekends, muck stalls to pay your board. Work until you are exhausted, and have no social life. Under no circumstances allow your parents to contribute to your expenses. (other than paying you a well earned salary) Pay your parents rent/board, pay your own car insurance, do not accept "gifts". Become a self sufficient adult and learn who you are and what you love.

          Gather some life experience by working. Discover what really interests you enough to work for. Develop realistic goals. School will always be there.

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          • #65
            Speaking from personal experience, I WAS going to attend Averett University in VA and get a degree in equestrian studies.

            Thankfully, oh so thankfully, I went to a local college instead and got a business degree. Now, a mere 6 years later, my husband and I have our own farm with enough acreage to support 16 horses (we currently have 13). I teach a minimum of 50 lessons a week, board horses, teach a drill team, host horse shows here, lease horses, run summer camps, and a lot of other things.

            I also have another business sewing hats and upcycled clothing, and I recently published my first book.

            If I had just gotten the equestrian studies degree, I have no doubt that I would be fully immersed in the show world, but that's never where I wanted to be. I wanted to be a riding instructor for beginners to provide a good foundation, and the business degree helped me get there.
            Teaching Horseback Riding Lessons: A Practical Training Manual for Instructors

            Stop Wasting Hay and Extend Consumption Time With Round Bale Hay Nets!!

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            • #66
              Originally posted by paintedpony View Post
              Sounds like a "gap" year to me. You say your parents are supportive of your choices, and offer a fall back plan of employment within their business. Maybe it is time to do this, but be careful you do not use it as an an excuse to coast. Throw yourself into the work. Learn everything you can about the business and become a valuable employee. Earn a wage, support yourself and learn what it costs to live in a way you will be comfortable.

              Ride at every opportunity. Groom on weekends, muck stalls to pay your board. Work until you are exhausted, and have no social life. Under no circumstances allow your parents to contribute to your expenses. (other than paying you a well earned salary) Pay your parents rent/board, pay your own car insurance, do not accept "gifts". Become a self sufficient adult and learn who you are and what you love.

              Gather some life experience by working. Discover what really interests you enough to work for. Develop realistic goals. School will always be there.
              Great post. I think gap years are a terrific idea for just about everyone - especially to step out of the mindset of "I finished high school, now on to college"....college is a huge investment of time, effort and money. Be sure you know what you want to get OUT of college before you go.

              I think more than half the graduating seniors out there go to college because everyone has told them that's what you do when you finish high school.

              A year of working and exploring your options will only help you in your future career -- especially if you have the support of your parents to help you make it happen.

              I am looking into gap year programs for my kids. I wish I had had the chance to do one before college also - I think I would have gone into further education with a very different mindset than simply moving from HS to college because "that's what everyone does."

              Comment


              • #67
                I don't want to tell anyone how to live their life, but I will say that if you were my kid, I'd echo most everyone's statements about getting a degree in something you can start a successful career in and keep horses as a passionate hobby.

                I had a roommate in college who went to school to be a horse trainer, I kept horses as a passionate hobby. During a huge fight, she screamed at me about how if I "really loved horses" I would make it a career. It hurt at the time, but fast forward a decade: we reconnect and she's struggling to pay bills with three healthy horses of her own to show, use for lessons, and advance her riding career as well as having a full training career, while I am living very comfortably while paying astronomical vet bills to fix two of my injured show horses. If she had to pay the vet bills I was paying, she would be in the hole and her career would have stopped, where I'm just out of ponies to ride while they're rehabbing and I had extra time to put into my career to advance even further.

                Sure, the above situation isn't guaranteed on either side, but let me tell you how grateful I was, and have been every day since then, that I am an amateur with a solid career outside of horses to pay the bills, regular and vet-related!

                Comment


                • #68
                  SO, SO many good responses to your post!!

                  Let me chime in as an "Equine Studies Success Story."

                  I went to DelVal for equine studies, and while I absolutely agree that it is in no way, shape, or form, a practical degree for doing anything but managing a barn, working in a support industry, or teaching beginner lessons, I don't regret it for a minute. I absolutely LOVED every second of my four years there, learned a ton, and can proudly say that I have held good jobs (with health insurance!) in the equine industry since I graduated.

                  I came out of high school not really knowing what I wanted to do with my life, but that I loved horses and writing, so I majored in Equine Studies and minored in English, and graduated with honors. Through the connections I made by furiously networking and working as an intern for USEF several summers in a row, working hard, and creating a good reputation with my employers, professors, and trainers, I graduated with a steady office job that allowed me to remain working in the equine industry AND keep riding.

                  Since then, I adopted my favorite DelVal school pony when he was retired from the program due to bad behavior, got married (to a man I met at DelVal), moved to the area where I went to college, and am now a licensed realtor working for an incredible small company that specializes in selling horse farms. I love my life. I work in the industry, have an interesting, challenging job, make my own schedule, am always learning, and have the funds to keep and occasionally show my own horse.

                  For me, it couldn't have worked out better, but everyone is different! My advice to you is to follow your heart, be true to who you are, and do what you love, but BE SMART ABOUT IT! Make sure you are MAKING GOOD CONNECTIONS, cultivating a GOOD REPUTATION, WORKING HARD, and BUILDING MARKETABLE SKILLS. The job market sucks for EVERYONE these days, no matter what degree you have! Get your bachelor's in something you love and work your butt off networking!!

                  Best of luck to you, PM me if you want to chat about this more, I'm always happy to help!
                  Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

                  PONY'TUDE

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