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Dressage Goals/Career/Aspirations

This is a discussion on Dressage Goals/Career/Aspirations within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Someones aspirations for riding a horse

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    10-30-2012, 02:49 PM
  #11
Foal
Well!! Hahaha I appreciate all the advice here...it is all good. I haven't really considered college seriously because of all the debt I would end up having...yet it is something I have thought about. I just don't want to spend years and years paying back debt when I could be focusing on riding. I have considered perhaps working as a barn manager or something along those lines while saving to buy my own horse and take as many lessons and clinics as possible.

I know the realities of the job...I have lived and breathed horses since I was ten. Sometimes I don't wanna tack up, sometimes I don't want to get out of bed to work, but I do it anyways. I don't have any false idea of what it would be like to do this full-time. I'm willing to do what it takes to get where I want to be.

One idea I have been throwing around is to be a working student for some good trainer/rider...while working a 'real' job as well to pay for housing, food, and shows. Anyone's opinion?
     
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    10-30-2012, 03:36 PM
  #12
Green Broke
I was actually going to suggest finding a good working student position with a reputable trainer who has the desire to help develop you as a rider. It's a good way to get your foot in the door. However... the good working student positions are almost always 6 long hour days a week jobs where you would not have time to be doing another job. (but do often provide housing!) They may even require a lot of travel. They may or may not involve a lot of riding but may be a lot of mucking stalls and grooming horses. BUT, who you know is such an important part of finding a good job and that may be helpful in getting a start.

I graduated from Virginia Tech, who has an excellent animal science department, but also has other great majors. I rode, trained horses, showed, took business classes, etc. All for a grade. There were a lot of big name trainers who hit up the riding team grads who were interested in horse jobs out of college. And a lot of barns who are looking for college students needing jobs for the summer. It's a good place to be if someone is hiring. Also check out yardandgroom.com. I think it's one of the bigger employee wanted websites out there.

Id also try and show as much as you can afford. It's how you get your name out there and lets people know who you are and how well you ride. One day when you hand your resume out to people it's nice to be able to put significant awards down on paper.
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    10-30-2012, 05:32 PM
  #13
Foal
Upnover: Hmmm good point! See everyone is really pushing the college thing...which is great and all. I can see how there would be many advantages to it...but how to pay back student loans for college while paying for lessons/a horse/and shows?? I don't know if that is possible. While I would totally go to a community college to take some business management classes...I don't think I could commit to a full time college thing sadly. Not saying that maybe I could make it work but it would be really really hard...close to impossible.

Now I'm glad you rather agree with the working student thing. I mean I would just like to get some good quality experience and then a good horse...then possibly I could turn to training and teaching. Of course I'd like to be more of a professional rider but I would like to start off by just learning as much as I can. So I am thinking of going the working student route first...I mean I can always go back to school right? ;)
     
    10-31-2012, 01:26 AM
  #14
Yearling
I was a working student and held down a part time job at the same time.

It was definitely difficult, but when I went to interview for the working student position I made sure that she knew I needed to get a part time job after we got back up north in the spring. She and her barn manager were really good about working with me on that. And then when I was in my interview for my part time job, I made it clear to them that they HAD to be flexible with my barn hours if they wanted me there. I had one set day off a week from teh barn where I could work a full 8 hours, but otherwise I had to have all closing shifts and they had to be a little more flexible about my being 15 minutes late or not. That was just how it had to be. Luckily, it all worked out for me, but trust me when I say it is super difficult to do and you really HAVE to want it to do that. That being said, it IS possible to hold down a part time job and be a working student. Make sure, if you try that, that you get the show schedule in advance so you can let them know way beforehand all the weekends you won't be able to come in!

I know others have suggested college, but for me...well it just hasn't worked out. I've completed a year and a half, then took almost 2 years to be a working student then professional groom. I'm currently taking some time away from horsesand I attempted to go back to school, but it's just not the right time in my life for that. After this year long break is up, I'm going to go back to the horses, most likely. In the meantime, I'll be taking some lessons weekly to keep my butt in the saddle so I don't get too rusty. ;)
     

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