Riding for a living? How to start? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 03-26-2010, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Riding for a living? How to start?

Hello! I have been riding for about 13 years, since I was 5... I am not 18. I don't have money to afford riding lessons which began me thinking. Since I love to ride so much and have experience in doing so why not get paid to do it? I have done SOME research about how much to charge but am not entirely sure how to go about gaining clientele. I am not sure that a stable would actually hire me to exercise horses but it wouldn't hurt to ask right?

Any suggestions about getting started or just the whole thing in general?

Feedback is much appreciated.
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post #2 of 13 Old 03-26-2010, 01:18 PM
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Being able to ride and having the ability to teach others to ride are not the same thing.

You said you've been riding for 13 years, but in the same breath said you can't afford lessons, so what makes you think you're riding correctly? How do you know what a proper seat is? What TYPE of riding do you do?

Besides, every discipline has different skill sets and cues. Trainers and instructors in these disciplines cost money, because they consistently turn out good rider/horse teams.

Instead of thinking you're going to make money teaching others to ride when it appears you don't even know what you're doing is even correct, maybe you should be thinking about getting an education.

I don't know of anyone who has the finances who would willingly pay an unproven teenager serious coinage to 'train' them to ride. If they're like me, they'll find a reputable trainer with good references.

Training horses and riders is a business, and as a business, the people setting themselves up as professionals need to have a real basis on which to call themselves trainers/instructors. You don't have that.
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post #3 of 13 Old 03-26-2010, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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My uncle taught us to ride and he had taken lessons and things like that. Also, you misread... I don't want to TEACH people to ride... I want to exercise horses. I ride english and western and have taken jumping lessons.

And i will be getting an education thank you....
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post #4 of 13 Old 03-26-2010, 10:13 PM
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What about a working student position? You'll learn riding, overall horsemanship and pick up some teaching skills all in one shot. If nothing else, it will tell you if a career in horses is for you.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #5 of 13 Old 03-27-2010, 01:55 AM
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Have you ever thought about doing trackwork?
I know you can earn quite a bit of money by doign it, and you get to ride all different horses.

Even if you dont have any expereince riding racehorses, maybe do a course on it and see if you like it.
I've always been a dressage rider, and I said i would never do trackwork, but now in my course I find it really fun and rewarding.

Just a suggestion. =]]
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post #6 of 13 Old 03-27-2010, 05:50 AM
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Perhaps your area is different, but around here there are plenty of horseless riders that will ride/excercise your horses in exchange for being able to ride (no $$s).

On the sixth day, God created the Quarter Horse.
On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.
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post #7 of 13 Old 03-27-2010, 07:47 AM
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Welcome to the fourm!

Even though you have been riding for 13 years, the question is ... have you been riding correctly? Before I would allow anyone to exercise a horse for me I would want to know where they gained their experience and I would call to check on their references. Just because a relative who has lessons taught you does not mean that they know how to ride or how to teach.

That being the case, the best place to start is at a barn and you may need to start at the bottom until they are comfortable with your ability to be able to recommend you.

BTW, your math doesn't add up. You've been riding for 13 years, since you were 5 but you aren't 18. So ... 17 or 19 with a birthday coming or just past?

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

It's not always what you say but what they hear.
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post #8 of 13 Old 03-27-2010, 10:06 AM
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Hello : )

People, either pro or private, that are willing to pay for having their horses ridden, are looking for a pretty fair skill level. 13 years is good but only to a point. How many different types of horses have you ridden in this time or have you ridden the same type of personality? Can you ride competently in several disciplines? Do you compete and place consistantly? Can you switch from a hot athletic to a mellowmutt to a fragile greenie seamlessly?

One good way to secure interest in you is to take a working student position at a reputable facility that practices your discipline. Then as you gain credibility, ride anything and everything as often as possible for the experience. Be willing and prepared to work your butt to nothing doing everything there is to be done. Learn, experience, volunteer when you can. This will put you in demand for things other than just riding. To be able to ride well and often is a privilige. Some day, GOD forbid, a rider can break physically and be limited in or even exempt from riding. Other abilities will help support job security in the horse world. Doesn't hurt to have a decent education in something indirectly related, either, like a business degree : )

Good luck!!

Last edited by foreignmusic; 03-27-2010 at 10:10 AM.
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post #9 of 13 Old 03-27-2010, 10:20 AM
Green Broke
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Welcome to the forum! I'm going to have to agree with a lot of the posts here. You may be the best rider on the entire forum, but until people know what kind of rider you are they're going to be leery of letting you on their horse. With most jobs horse related I would suggest starting at the bottom and working your way up. Go somewhere where you can get your foot in the door (possibly a working student or cleaning stalls), get a few rides in, offer to exercise horses FOR FREE. If you're a fabulous rider people will notice and you may have them asking you to ride their horses for them. At the point where you are riding several horses for people you may talk to people at charging a small fee for your time. However, there's a very good chance they have their list of fabulous riders who are eager to ride for free.
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post #10 of 13 Old 03-27-2010, 02:21 PM
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If I may, I would like to clarify my question: "..Do you compete and place consistantly?"..

While it is not necessary that you compete, those that are wanting and willing to pay to have their horses ridden are going to be expecting the same horse pretty much when they themselves get back on. It is accepted, when looking for a rider, that a basic and common skill level has already been achieved among those that compete. Often more than not this is why a trainer or current and capable competitour will be asked.

To ride for money, my dream life : ) is essentially just that. You will do best if willing to do any and all of it. The more you can do with skill the sooner you will be worth considering : ). I refer to skills such as wrapping WELL, knowing what boot is appropriate/needed, the difference between 'bute and banamine, the broad and miraculous properties of a 20 minute cold hose, stall management, nutrition, first aid, handling, and ALL the rest of the stuff we do when we AREN'T riding... do these things well and you will be wanted and eventually gain good rep worthy of being paid. Riding is that gossamer thin film of icing on a 52 layer cake. Good horsemanship makes the ride The Ride : ).

You might also consider taking a groom's position maybe. Not an easy option by any means but a solid, all-around learning experience.
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