Career help....I don't know what to do.... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 02-10-2013, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Washington State
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Career help....I don't know what to do....

So, I just got a letter from Rocky Mountain College saying that I'm the type of student they want at there college and are wanting an application letter from me. What I've read, is that this college has a good equine program. It is a dream of mine to become a horse trainer and would be the type of job that I would love. I've always thought I wanted to be a Mechanical Engineer. I enjoy the designing aspect of this career. But honestly, it would never be a "career" it would just be a "job". I know I can be good at it, but the only thing that really appeals to me is the money they make. What I've read is that horse trainers make on average is about $40,000 a year, where ME make like up to $100,000 a year. It has me considering do I want a job that I will always love and enjoy and would love it so much I wouldn't have to "work a day in my life". Or do I get a career that can fully support a family with only one parent working. I'm so confused and it has me contemplating my entire life almost. Any advice? Any trainers out there that have any advice or had this problem?

By the way, the kind of training I want to do is training colts, green horses, and helping fix problem horses. Not the NTRA training or horse racing.

Sit tall in the saddle, hold your head up high. Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky. And live like you ain't afraid to die. Don't be scared, just enjoy your ride - Chris LeDoux
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post #2 of 19 Old 02-10-2013, 01:24 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Go for Mechanical Engineering if you are going. A degree won't help you a lick with horse training. You won't get clients because of your degree. You won't land a training job in a barn because of your degree. You will get that job by your skill and ability. You learn the most about this kind of career by apprenticing and becoming an assistant to an established trainer.. However, should you say "Hmm, I don't care much for this aspect of horses." And decide that professional training is not for you, where would you go without that degree. It would be super nice and impressive on a resume to have that degree in Mechanical Engineering.
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post #3 of 19 Old 02-10-2013, 04:42 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
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I have a couple of former working students that are at Rocky right now. It's a great school, and you can major in something outside of horses and minor in some form of Equestrian Studies.
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post #4 of 19 Old 02-10-2013, 04:48 AM
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I definitely think you should go with ME.

Think about it this way - with the amount of money you make doing ME, you will actually be able to afford to set up a horse facility later in life, and there's nothing saying you can't train horses all the way through on the side. We all know that making money through horses is dang near impossible for the average person, so having the money from a different career would be a bonus.

Plus, think of all the extra knowledge you can gain over the years. There are plenty of older horse trainers out there (heck, I know one that is mid 60's, although his back doesn't allow him to do the riding himself), so you could always do ME for 10 years or something and then move into horses.
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post #5 of 19 Old 02-10-2013, 05:04 AM
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Yep, go for the ME degree. It's easier to do something you love when you can afford it.
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post #6 of 19 Old 02-10-2013, 07:49 AM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern Illinois
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I definitely think you should get the ME degree and maybe minor in something equestrian. The money will give you the opportunity to set up a decent horse facility in the future. If you have the skill and ability to be a horse trainer, not having a degree in it won't stop you from getting hired. Best of luck!
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.*. Let a horse whisper in your ear and breathe on your heart. You will never regret it. .*.
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post #7 of 19 Old 02-10-2013, 10:53 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Bronson, Florida
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^^What everyone else said. Get the ME degree, soak up the money, invest in a facility that will be PAID for. Make your goal, plan it out, use as much CASH money as you can. Stay out of debt. While you are working on this, use your spare time for your horsemanship skills.

If I want a trainer, I'm not going to ask them for a degree because a piece of paper will mean nothing to me. I want to know and see what they've done. Keep records of personal projects you take on in your spare time. It's easy to forget or remember just how difficult horse "X" was. Even videos so folks can see what you have been able to accomplish with your horsemanship skills.
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post #8 of 19 Old 02-10-2013, 10:59 AM
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Go for some type of engineering, you could specialize in a horse related field.
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post #9 of 19 Old 02-10-2013, 11:09 AM
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Location: Oregon, USA
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ME degree is not only good money, but DEMAND for ME is high. That field is growing. Horses are awesome but it is a field where demand is not growing right now.

Does the school you are considering have both fields available? If yes, get your ME and take equine classes as you can, so that you have something you enjoy in your schedule each term. Get your ME, and get a job right away ( because you will, there are many available!). You may even be able to adjust your hours so you can do ME 1/2 time and training 1/2 time. That way, you will always have at least some of your time doing what you love AND the money to do it.
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post #10 of 19 Old 02-10-2013, 11:10 AM
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Location: Oregon, USA
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I like Taffy's idea too!
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