Professionals in this Industry - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 34 Old 12-12-2011, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 2,042
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Professionals in this Industry

Come one, come all!

Tell everyone how you make money in the horse biz, whether it be trainer, rider, groom, barn manager, or whatever!

Why do you do what you do? We all know it is a tough industry--How do you stay motivated?

How did you get where you are today?

Personally, I am going to persue a career this coming year as a "head groom/barn manager". It is hard work, but the relationships created and the free knowledge is incredible. Being able to rub elbows with the rider's I've always studied through the TV/Internet is amazing.

Please share.
Even if having a horsey career is only a dream for you at this moment|!
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Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. ~Harriet Tubman
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post #2 of 34 Old 12-12-2011, 11:11 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Higgins, TX. YeeHaw!!
Posts: 22,258
• Horses: 24
Trainer here.

I basically grew up in the industry. My Dad was a trainer before me and much of what I know, I learned from him.

I do it because it's fun and there is no feeling quite like seeing a young horse have a lightbulb moment when you're riding them. It's just amazing to watch them get better and better every ride.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog:
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post #3 of 34 Old 12-12-2011, 11:29 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Cariboo, British Columbia
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You want to make money, become a vet.
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post #4 of 34 Old 12-13-2011, 12:05 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Originally Posted by waresbear View Post
You want to make money, become a vet.
Or not, as the case may be. You're extremely unlikely to get rich that way, and with average starting salaries for equine veterinarians at $41,636, with $120,000 in student debt....yeah. But it does have better earning potential than trainer or groom or breeder or whatnot.
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post #5 of 34 Old 12-13-2011, 12:16 AM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Princeton, Illinois
Posts: 149
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Hoof care professional, I shoe and barefoot trim. It's hard hard work but the positive effects and influence you can have on the horses and owners can be very rewarding. Plus you earn a wage you can live off of.
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post #6 of 34 Old 12-13-2011, 08:24 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: MD
Posts: 23,907
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I agree with bubba here. As funny as it sounds vets don't do much in reality and have a huge debt (I did research out of interest as well as talked to couple of vets I'm using for my horses). I'd consider farrier or eq dentist to be better paid profession with less original expenses (now THAT is true when you have established business, in the beginning money are not big).

Boarding doesn't seem to bring lots of money in (unless you throw 20 horses in field and barely feed them with the moldy hay you get for very cheap, and yes, I've seen that happening at couple farms, very sad). Training is paid-off, but again you have to be a good trainer with lots of lessons and (although not always) horses in training.

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass: it's about learning to dance in the rain..."

"When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves."

"How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours."
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post #7 of 34 Old 12-13-2011, 08:28 AM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Germany- but not German =D
Posts: 5,151
• Horses: 2
Head groom, occassional manager is the others were away.

I lasted 6 months. The yard was horrific, the people were worse. As a 16yo I was left in charge of 11 horses and ponies to care for, tack up, sometimes excercise and clean up after. It depends were you go, but I wouldn't do it unless I was working form someone with pennies.

I like having my horses as a hobby, something to escape the world to. Not a chore.
Some people enjoy it, I didn't! Saying that, whenever I'm on leave I'm at my new yard (for the last 18 months) helping out, more for experience and knowledge, and its superb.
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post #8 of 34 Old 12-13-2011, 08:39 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Surry, Va
Posts: 4,712
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small animal vets tend to do much better, there are alot more small animals, people bring them to you, and you are treating/billing instead of driving up and down the road. Not to mention the HUge college expense.
I love the vets I deal with, God bless em, but you have to do it for fulfillment, not so much because you will strike it rich.
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post #9 of 34 Old 12-13-2011, 09:08 AM
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 11,869
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Trainer, instructor, judge.

Why? My family has been in the horse biz for over 50 years, I was born with the horse bug. After college, getting married and doing the corporate grind for quite a few years I realized that my heart wasn't in wearing a suit and other people's financials. I always did the horse thing part time but making the decision to go back to it full time allowed me to be a stay at home mom.

How - Grew up with a grandfather that raised QHs, a trainer for a mom, have shown my whole life, was on judging teams through school and lots of mentors along the way.

It's not the most glamorous job, nor is the money even comparable to the corporate career I had but it is something I love. It's not a chore to get motivated for work, I'm motivated to do chores I do well enough to cover my overhead for a pretty good sized farm without having any boarders but won't be getting rich from it anytime soon. If my hubby didn't have a great job as well, I'd not have the option of having a job that certainly has an ebb & flow with the economy.

Life is like a camera. Focus on what's important, Capture the good times, Develop from the negatives and if things don't work out, Take another shot.
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post #10 of 34 Old 12-13-2011, 11:11 AM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: The sandbox
Posts: 5,573
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Colt starter

Being female has it's disadvantages...I have found I had to work a little bit harder than my male counterparts. There is some thinking that if you are a female then you are there to meet and get married to a trainer. I was there for the horses not to hook up with trainers. So I had to deal with some BS.

My first job in high school was starting mustangs off the desert, it stuck with me and moved up from there. I have made money starting colts for trainers, reiners, cutters and cowhorse. I think everyone knows that trainers don't start their own colts, they either hire someone to come in for the winter/spring to start and hand them over. Or the assistant/assistant trainer does it. Great job, I love starting colts and I have worked for trainers who have showed me how to push past that point and finish them. A huge do you know how to start them if you don't know what the end product is like?

I have never been rich from it but I will never trade it for the experience.

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