What should I go to school for?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by SarahFair, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. SarahFair

    SarahFair Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2008
    Monroe, Ga
    My dream since I was a little girl was to become a professional horse trainer, instructor, and rider (but what little girls isnt? [​IMG] ). Well I started taking riding lessons in 1st grade. I loved it and moved up the ladder quickly. I moved barns several times over the years because they could only teach to a certain point, locations, poor horse care...
    Well after a few years I landed myself at Rose Ridge Farms. They took me as far as my parents pay check could. My sister and I did group lessons and they only instructed so far and wanted to move me to private lessons (which = more $$). Well my mom saw that I got as far as I could with them (that and her love for the bottle) and pulled me out when I was about 15.

    I havent ever really found that kind of happyness since [​IMG]
    I STILL dream of wanting to become all those things when I "grow up".
    When I sit and think about whwere to take my life next Im not happy with anything but. Horses were truely the only thing I was fully passionate about. Ive ridden some family owned horses since I was 15 but I havent gotten the chance to really take one out and stretch their legs.

    I am 21 now. I need to pick something to go to school for and I want it to be in the equine field. I want someday to own my own barn and run a business out of it.

    I dont know where to start. [​IMG]
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    If you want to own a barn and make money from it, better go to school for something that will make you reasonably rich first [​IMG]

    If you already have reasonable prospects of being able to raise the requisite money, a degree in business would be useful, or an equine studies program that offers good coursework in the business end of things.

    IME most people who own successful horse operations either started with a goodly amount of money from other sources (the most common route), or (a much smaller minority) worked their patooties off training and catch-riding horses from like age 12 onward and had the great good fortune to be naturally talented at it, so that they could have enough showring success with enough rich peoples' horses to get financial backing to set up their own operation.

    If you just want to *work* with horses and are not actually that picky about owning the operation yourself, IMHO what you need to do is go get a job, not take coursework. I am a firm believer in the value of a good liberal-arts education, and all that -- but as far as *practical* value, employers don't really care if you got a piece of paper from some college, they care about your working resume and experience and actual demonstrable skills. And, more than anything, your work ethic. By and large, it seems to me that the people who do well in employment in "the equine field" are those with not too terrible people skills, good to excellent horse skills, a reasonable amount of common sense for handling other problems, and are willing to work as hard and long as required (which is sometimes pretty hard and long).

    Good luck, have fun,

  3. chickflick

    chickflick Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 10, 2007
    Only YOU can answer that. Really. No one knows you like you do. Likes, dislikes.... Follow your dream if you can. If it's in horses, go for it. You'll know what feels right to you.
  4. SarahFair

    SarahFair Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2008
    Monroe, Ga
    I dont see me coming into a lot of money for another 10- 20 years. Since not working with horses for 6 years I think people would be a little bit hesitant to hire me. The only job I could get would be mucking stalls. I understand thats a big part of it but its not the only thing I want to do [​IMG]

    I want to learn to train horses. Do they not have schools for that?
    I dont know anyone who can train them well enough to turn around and say they are professionally trained. Everyone I know just watches the Clint Anderson videos (or whomever they choose to watch) and go out and try it. I mean that might work for fixing a small problem you have with the horse but I want to be able to take a wild mustang from a roundup and have it bombproof. I know I could learn and I know I could go places with them.
    I just dont know anyone in the horse world.
  5. Rusty Hills Farm

    Rusty Hills Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2008
    Up at the barn
    Suggestion: Research the type of riding you like: cutting, jumping, dressage, for example and then find who are the top competitors in that discipline. Then go apprentice yourself to that person.

    Many years ago a friend of mine had the great good fortune to work for the late Hans Renz. Renz was associated with several different countries' Olympic teams, for whom he coached jumping and dressage. She always said the years she worked for him were her "college education" in horses. A situation like that would teach you TONS. And it didn't just "happen". My friend sought Renz out and traded her labor for his expertise. He watched her ride, said she was teachable, and took her on.

    Something to consider.

  6. Chicks_N_Horses

    Chicks_N_Horses Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2009
    South Alabama
    You don't have to go to school to be a horse trainer! Best way is to get hands on experience. The apprenticeship, as mentioned, is the best way to get the best experience.

    I know Clinton Anderson has apprentices that live on his ranch for years to learn the trade. He is a great 'people trainer' more so than horse trainer. He is great in starting out beginners in horse training IMO

    I am self taught, and if I can learn to do it without any schooling, you can too!! Best way to become a trainer is get all the CDs, books, and reading online that you can soak into your brain. Get you a green horse and go to work on him. You have to start from scratch and work your way to the top. You have to learn to solve those small problems way before you ever make it to the "Road to the Horse" and bombproof a wild mustang or any other horse that has never been touched.

    Don't expect to make a huge living in the horse business unless you plan to go all over the country as a clinician or you make it to the Futurities [​IMG] There is alot more expense than profit most of the time....but the rewards are greater IMO than money!

    I train reining horses and we have one going into Non-Pro this year!
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2009
  7. bockbock2008

    bockbock2008 Why do they call me crazy??

    Dec 30, 2008
    Southwest Indiana
    I have a friend who does exactly what you want to do. She owns her own business of training and boarding horses, and gives riding lessons. She went to John Lyons "school" when she was 19 and is now 33 and thats pretty much all shes ever done. Alot of the big name trainers have courses you can take to become certified under their program. I think she was out west for about 6 weeks.
  8. SarahFair

    SarahFair Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2008
    Monroe, Ga
    6 weeks I can do but not years away. [​IMG]
    I have 2 boys here at home.

    I have to find a job that will fund me a horse but Im just scared Im going to get into something Im not passionate about and getting stuck there because its whats easy for everyone else. [​IMG]
  9. Chicks_N_Horses

    Chicks_N_Horses Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2009
    South Alabama
    You don't have to go away for an apprenticeship. It would just help you move along ALOT faster in your learning. You can do it all on your own. You have access to the internet and that is where I started. Just read, watch videos, buy clinicians DVDs, books, join clinicians websites, etc.... Stuff like that will help you learn too.

    I learned completly on my own. It did take me at least a year to even figure out what the heck I was doing. I didn't understand it all and then when I went to apply what I learned on a horse...it didn't always work out like I read/watched it...

    It is a big thing to learn to do. If you have any "horse" in you and the passion for it then do not give up on your dream!!! It may take years and lots of frustrations and efforts but you will eventually get it and when you do....it will have all been worth it and you will be so proud of yourself and what you can then accomplish with a horse.

    Horsemanship is an forver learning experience. If you find someone who thinks 'they know it all' then that person obviously doesn't know too much [​IMG] Even the best of the best find new ways to deal with things and new tecniques to deal with situations.

    Do you have any horses now to work with?

    Feel free to PM me anytime, I would be more than happy to help yo out if I can in any way.
  10. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 25, 2008
    Well, my suggestion would be look into some school. If I were to look into something like that, I would look up equestrian specific programs.

    I am attending school with the intention to become a vet. Part of my schooling incorporates an "equestrian specific care". I would look into genetics or breeding programs. With some schooling, you may be hired onto a high end breeding facility. From there, raise money to start your own breeding/training facility.

    It just depends what you want to do. If you can't find someone to hire you, volunteer until you find what you want.


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