I'm going to have to agree with Anabel and Alison and encourage you to seriously consider going to college first. I know, you didn't ask for advice, but as a horse professional I'm going to give it to you anyways.
First of all, what people in the horse business often seem to be lacking is business skills. And you use it. A LOT. Management. Advertising. Accounting. Business law. etc etc etc. You use it all the time. I've seen good riders struggle or even fail simply because they have terrible business skills. Also, as much as you might hate to hear this, but you 1) need a back up plan should your riding not work out and 2) you need a back up plan should you ever change your mind. I know, you may think you will NEVER change your mind, but a lot of people start off thinking they'd love to ride professionally and end up hating it. As much as you may love riding, you may not love that it will one day become A JOB. It doesn't matter how much I love my job (i'm a trainer), how much I love to ride, how much I love a particular horse, there are a lot of mondays when I really just don't want to get on another horse. But i have to. It's also a job that has almost no bounderies. There have been months where I teach mon-thurs and then horse show fri and sat. and then go horse shopping with clients on sunday. (or show tues-sun and then use my "day off" on Monday as the day to pack up, attempt to do laundry somewhere, and unpack at a new show to start all over again) I think I wnet a good two and a half months last year without a single day off. And on the days i ride/teach I usually work a good 12 hour day. On horse show days? haha. well, on Saturday I was on a horse when the sun came up and on a horse when the sun went down. And when i was in the saddle was the only time I got to sit down all day! But at least I got 5 hours of sleep that night. Because there are shows when I only get 3 or 4.
All that to say, I LOVE my job. ;) I have the best job in the world. I'm not a dressage trainer, I do hunters and jumpers but I've had opportunities to work alongside or ride with some of the top olympians in the world. I've cliniced with some of the best clinicians out there. I don't pay to show, people pay me. I get to train horses and create something cool out of a blank canvas. I get to be there for a kids first blue ribbon. I get to do what I love. it's a great job! But I have worked my butt off to get where I have and been very very lucky to have had the opportunities that i"ve had. Soo.. If that's really want you want to do, go for it. But again, I'd be very practical about how you get into this profession.
Last edited by upnover; 10-29-2012 at 11:50 PM.