Riding for other people?

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Riding for other people?

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    02-28-2011, 09:16 PM
Riding for other people?

Hello. So I am turning 15 in a few months, and I have been waiting to get a horse for a long time. I always loved horses, but I have now decided that if I don't start soon, I will never accomplish my goals. I started riding when I was 6, training a couple of ponies when I was 8 (just basic riding), and I was ALWAYS working at the barn. Unfortunately, my parents never found the right horse with my trainer so I never owned my own horse YET. Then I had to move to the east coast, and did not have a great experience at a hunter/jumper barn (I was trained as a jumper in california, also did western for fun). I rode there for about 2/3 years, stopped, jumped for fun over vacation, and took a few lessons summer '10. It was somewhat far, new, and just not the right place although the trainer was a great teacher. She said that for not having ridden in almost a year, I was doing superbly and also continued jumping there.

I have always thought I would go to be a vet, but I have now realized it is not for me. I will most likely go to an art college, but I KNOW I will be involved with horses for sure. I would really like to go to the olympics just because I know I can and i'm smart enough to get there although I'm not filthy rich.

Since I have prior experience, and have a natural ability to train horses, do you think I could post an ad on (for example) craigslist seeing if anyone needs horses to be ridden? How do I go about this if I would like to start exercising people's horses in order to further my career? Should I contact any barns if they need any exercise riders? I would like to build up my connections and ride/train more so I can do it as a profession soon.

Thanks!! :)
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    02-28-2011, 09:21 PM
In this economy many people aren't willing to pay for exercise rides and without solid training credentials (shows, trained under well known trainers, a college degree, and / or clientele and an existing business) it can be very hard. You can offer something very affordable like $10 or $15 a ride for a 30 - 45 min ride for people who want their horses exercised during the week if they work and so on - but be sure that you are clear on what you are offering and what they are expecting so that everyone is on the same page.

If you are looking for more saddle time, try volunteering at a rescue - I know we are always looking for capable riders to help put more miles on horses and start greenies and work with nervous ones to make them more adoptable, and will often let people ride a trained horse as a thank you.
    02-28-2011, 09:25 PM
I'd have to agree with the comment above. Maybe advertise as a groom? Learn to braid, bathe, lunge, work out, etc! You could probably make some decent money!
    02-28-2011, 09:31 PM
When I first started out riding for people, I was a reg. At the ranch so the fellow boarders just came up to me and asked me to ride for them, I didnt really feel the need to be paid. Do you think it would be wise of me to start off riding for free, getting to know the people, and maybe after a year or so I could start charging for my time ? I'm honestly willing to spend my time in the saddle for free, although I'm not really sure how to approach this situation as I said.

When you said to be clear on what I am offering.. how exactly would I be able to do that? Do I just say $10/$15 for a 45 minute ride plus getting the horse ready + untacked?

And yes - that's sort of the direction I'm going. Unfortunately, the "grand prix" barn of my area is about 20 miles away so it would not be possible for me to go there :( But I will be learning all those skills eventually!

And the volunteering idea is great! I never knew they might be looking for people to ride.. I would LOVE to do that, esp. Because I could get volunteer hours for school! Thanks!
    02-28-2011, 09:42 PM
Keep in mind if you were doing it for free, then started to charge, would you upset people? Disappoint people? Lose time for riding for yourself? Why should people pay for something that they were getting for free?

Volunteering is good and you get stuff to put on a resume / college apps, and so on, and experience working with all sorts of horses. It's also a potential way to meet people who adopt horses who still want your help and perhaps you can help them if the horse is adopted locally.

As far as be clear - don't claim to be a trainer w/o credentials, if you are exercising, make sure it's clear if it is riding and/or longing, or only riding, or riding only in the ring, ring and trails, jumping x times a week, and so on.
    02-28-2011, 09:49 PM
Well I probably wouldnt charge THOSE particular people but charge new clients later on. Would that be viable to do or not so much?
    02-28-2011, 11:40 PM
If you're looking for more experience and to get your name out there its never a bad thing to help someone out with a horse free of charge when you're starting out. Recently I started riding horses for a girl at the farm I board at because she didn't have the time or money to hire someone and it progressed to me training her horses for sale. When they sell I get half the profit, you never know where something can get you. All experience is good imo particularily if you're looking to further you're riding its important to change your mounts and learn to ride all kinds
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    02-28-2011, 11:51 PM
As far as getting riding time and experience, ESPECIALLY at your age, it's best to go by word of mouth. I have met SO many horse people, and have been asked to ride more horses than I could ever ride- even if I didn't work full time!! Now, I don't ask for any money in riding, in fact relieved just not to be PAYING to ride!

As far as jobs in riding goes, yes, they DO exist, but you usually find out about them at the most unexpected times, and they can be demanding-can be a lot of pressure, and can demand to travel far from home for long chunks of time. Basically, a lot of them just would not be right for you yet. I have a friend who got hired to condition endurance horses, he was recruited at a competitive trail ride, by talking to the right people. I know people who have gone out west and worked at ranches, as well.

Anyway--the volunteer idea is a good one! You're still young, many possibilities ahead :)
    03-01-2011, 04:07 PM
I started riding for people when I was spotted at a final at a show maybe you could get a loan of a horse that is pretty decent at jumping or whatever you want too do and get out there ask the judge to mention something you never no who might be watching you!!!

Place some ads get some results from horses that YOU have trained and go from there get on a sj yard as a groom or whatver
Best of luck and keep us all updated!!
    03-01-2011, 05:22 PM
I trained my horse completely, he's now got a sliding stop, fast roll-back and is starting to increase the speed of his spin. He can be ridden without a halter or bit, bare-back, english or western. I believe that if you have the talent and you stick with it you can do it =) I recently got told by a trainer I know I should be training horses, I also intend to go to an Art College in my area haha! I don't know what your situation is at your barn, but I myself will be talking to my BO about the two year olds she has on her property that aren't trained and see if she would let me use one as a project, to see if I have what it takes to train a young colt the basics (like what trainers do in those three day breaking competitions) Ask around, i've also ridden for friends, helped them when they have needed it. I've never charged though, but I did joke about it once. I just like helping the horse =) I think if you start to charge you should wait till you have plenty of experience, so that people feel like they are truly putting their money to good use, if you understand what I mean? I wish you luck! Talk to your own trainer, ask her how she got into it, if she knows people you can study under, if you could even study under her.

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