12-28-2011, 08:23 AM
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I know two people who paid their or their horse's way on the A circuit by braiding - and I mean entry fees, coaching, board and hauling, and their own expenses and other people who have had a side job doing it. It's very good money if you're good and reliable. The disadvantages are of course the travel and the hours. You're also self-employed, so no worker's comp, no paid days off etc. Most of the pay is in cash, which can be a plus or a minus, depending on your situation.
If you expect to make good money at it, you better be able to turn out an A show ring quality mane in 40 minutes or less. I've seen one guy braid standing at the ingate, talking a mile a minute the whole time, in under 30 minutes, and the pony could have gone into a strip class when he was done.