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How to find a job in the horse industry when you're past the working student age?

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  • How to find a job in the horse industry when you're past the working student age?

    Where do I look for a job in the horse industry when I am well past the “working student” phase of life with a University degree in Animal Biology and 3 years’ experience in a managerial position?

    I am very good at my job, and they love me, but I am BORED out of my mind being stuck inside on a computer all day! I would love to work in the horse industry again but I have been out of it for so long, and am now living in an area where I can barely find affordable riding… where can I start?

    Or do I just suck it up and be happy that I have a job that pays well, respects my work and is very secure… maybe not liking your job is just part of being an adult and my fiancée is just super lucky to have a job he loves?

  • #2
    I do not think you should have to Not like your job. I am Waaaay past the working student age, and I have often missed the work in the horse industry. But when I was doing it full time, I was in my twenties, And it was wonderful, I never ever complained, it was the happiest time in my life, But I tell you now my body would not hold up to it.
    I have no advise, but I am sure many on here will, Good luck. You should be happy with what you do.


    • #3
      My fall WS was 32....and now she rents a barn and does her passion re selling OTTB's...never to late..


      • #4
        I don't know, I've never had a job I really like (I've had many where I like the people I work with, but never really had any I wouldn't walk away from) so I do think it's normal, just be glad to have a job (benefits are a bonus.)
        Author Page
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        • #5
          If your body can hold up to it there are likely plenty of opportunities, just need to ask.

          Personally, my body won't hold up to the day in day out of WS load. But it will happily hold up to the weekly volunteer WS load I do at the local rescue! But to be fair I don't ride that often either. When I do it's with the trainer and then only on the steady eddie. (Oh how the brave have been humbled by one too many falls.)
          Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
          Originally Posted by alicen:
          What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.


          • #6
            I think the answer depends on where you are with dependents & responsibilities in your life.

            Right now, I really, really don't like my job. I don't like the people I work with either. But circumstances make it such that it would be difficult to impossible for me to find another job making this much money with job security & great benefits. Also, I am a single woman with 3 years left to pay on a mortgage. My 'dependents' are only cats & dogs, but with 12 cats & 3 dogs, it would be very hard for me to find a cheaper place to live. With destroyed credit, I don't have the option of refinancing to buy myself time to look for a job I like better.

            If I can just hang in those last 3 years, I'll own my house, require about half the income I require now, and be able to look for a nicer place to work.

            Those are my personal circumstances & weighing it all together, I've decided I can hang in the last 3 years.

            Now, if things were different - say I was younger, still childless, fewer pet "dependents" so I could move about, did not have a major responsibility such as a mortgage, and/or had someone in my life that could bring in enough income to keep us afloat while I started anew - that is a whole different picture, and I would look carefully at my options, and it would be possible I'd decide to leave the current good job.

            Maybe list your options, 1., 2., 3 etc, and pros & cons under them, and weigh it altogether. You still seem plenty young enough to pursue a job in the horse industry if weighing things altogether makes sense!


            • #7
              What kind of job are you looking for exactly? If you are looking to just get in to your local scene then there is always the option to start by doing stalls. Good reliable help is not easy to find and your experience and maturity would definitely be an asset. The question is whether you are willing to walk away from what you have gained so far to start over from scratch.

              Once you begin to start making contacts and demonstrating your experience, then better opportunities could come up.


              • #8
                I was 40+ when I started working at a barn as the weekend manager, on top of my full time job. I would never quit a FTJ to be a FT BM or WS because I like the benefits of my "real" job too much.

                Would a weekend warrior position satisfy the need to work with horses? For me, it gives me enough barn time to balance out my desk job.

                Good luck with whatever you choose.
                Alis volat propriis.


                • Original Poster

                  Luckily dependents are not an issue, my fiancée and I have two dogs and one cat. The "problem" (if there is one) is his job, we might be living here for the next four years, we could leave this year because he is the one with a successful career and I just have a job that helps make us enough money to live in such an expensive area (Berkshires, MA)... a job that is very secure, and I work online remotely so can live and work anywhere there is a high-speed internet connection.

                  I guess I am just feeling stuck and like I don't know where to look for a better job... I search online, but do not know where to look for jobs in the horse industry in this area. I was looking into a caretaker (horses & gardens) job that could have been alot of fun and satisfied my need to work outside/not on a computer all day, but the lady turned out to be as nutty as a squirrel turd so I turned it down.

                  Maybe if I could find consistent riding I could afford then I could be happier with my job but this area is just so darn expensive The best I was doing before we moved into a more expensive rental was $200 a month to part-lease a horse OLDER THAN ME and beyond boring to anyone but a rank beginner (and I can't even afford the $200 anymore with such expensive rent!).


                  • #10
                    Why not visit your local stable and find out of you can work in exchange for lessons?


                    • #11
                      Life is too short to stay in a job you hate, but it can be pretty tough to find a new job. If you miss being around horses, have you considered volunteering in a Therapeutic Riding Program? I volunteered in TR for over 10 years before getting certified to teach and it is very rewarding to be part of that dynamic.

                      You might also look around for a half lease, or someone who just needs some miles put on their horse. Good luck!


                      • #12
                        I don't think you'll find a better job in the horse industry. I would stay at the job you're at and volunteer your time at a barn to get free rides on horses in exchange for work done. Good luck.
                        I LOVE my Chickens!


                        • Original Poster

                          Thanks everyone for your responses... I would have responded sooner but my Colt (dog, not horse - see profile pic) got very sick this week and is just now getting back to himself after an expensive vet visit (and two night of not sleeping for me)!

                          I guess I just have to hang in there for now. I do have free riding available to me because I am an experienced rider, but it is not on my time, is mostly western (I prefer Hunter & low level dressage) and is always supervised in a ring.... I guess I just got spoiled owning an awesome horse and trail riding and having fun (did I mention how much I miss my mare!). Ring work is ok, but gets dull after over two years.... and having to ride on someone else's schedule makes it a lot more difficult to find riding time.

                          I guess I will have to stick with my job while living here.... there really are no opportunities, the stall work is done on the cheap in any barn I have been to and I do not plan to take a 50% pay cut to muck stalls. Maybe someday I will live somewhere that more opportunities exist.