I am fourteen and have been around horses my whole life, riding them for ten years now. I have always ridden arabians until recently. I rode saddle seat up to a national level (none of the abusive stuff), and jumped for four years + four years of hunter/jumper (I jumped and practiced hunt seat simultaneously). I don't really know anything about western although it is one of my favorite disciplines and I have ridden western several times. I am currently trying to get western lessons and dressage lessons. I spend all my free time studying horses and the rest of the time at the barn or at school. My life is dedicated to them. I love all breeds and all disciplines. For my age, I think I am pretty good at training horses. I own a four year old arabian gelding who my family bred ourselves and has been raised mainly by me. For training him under saddle of course I have turned to a professional horse trainer. Anyways, I have used mainly natural horsemanship techniques for ground training him and he has turned out fine, although I admit it was definitely a rocky start. He was born when I was ten, so it took me a little bit to figure out raising and training a baby horse would take some extensive research and effort on my part since my family has basically no involvement in horses. So he did develop a biting habit and bad ground manners at first, however once I got a grip on basic horse ground training I straightened him out.
I know it was unwise for someone my age to be entrusted with a foal, but I didn't at the time, so please no commentary there. I have NEVER lived on a farm, but I have spent all my time at stables. The problem is I want to breed and train arabians when I grow up. It is the only thing that makes me truly happy. However everyone I see who succeeds in this business either has the assistance of a trust fund or grew up in an extreme horse family. I possess neither of these advantages. Not only that, but my twenty year old sister loved horses too and when she went to college she was forced to drop everything horse-related. I am terrified that is what will happen to me.
So, obviously, if I am going to have the faintest chance of making a living off horses I am going to need not only a backup job but an INSANE amount of skill, knowledge, talent, time, and beforehand money. I need all the help I can get. Do you guys know any types of camps, courses, classes, books, documentaries, ANYTHING that can help me? Any tips? ANYTHING.
Then comes the problem of college. I know of colleges that have show jumping teams, but I don't have much experience in that field, nor do I have the money to buy a national level warmblood for that (or even to show A-circuit, like I used to) plus I have a learning disability and it will be all but impossible to get the straight A's required to get into those colleges unless I spend all the time that I need for horses studying. I need some way to keep up my studies with horses throughout college.