Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Ontario, Canada
If you wanted to learn the ropes I would go to a breeding facility and ask if you could learn in exchange for barn help. I will take a younger person on every once in a while if they meet the following criteria;
a) they have at least a solid foundation of general horse knowledge.
b) they are willing to actually WORK. This one is the biggest issue. I have found so many young people who want to just kinda hang out and do as much as they feel they need to.
c) they LISTEN and respect the rules.
d) they must have a genuine desire to learn.
e) they must respect and understand that the farm is a workplace, not a play place. These horses put food on or tables and pay our mortgages.
I don't want that to come by as harsh, but it's the way I see it. I have taken on quite a few young people (one as young as 12!) and if they show dedication, drive and ambition, I will bend over backwards to teach them all they want to know. Most of them even get paid a little under the table for their efforts. Most horse people I know are the same way. We all have to learn somehow - so if you want to go out there and gain some knowledge I say go for it. Just be prepared to pay with sweat equity!
~Lindsay~ Mom of 2, wife to the goldsmith, doula and childbirth educator in training, life-long horse dork