College and careers with horses - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 10-24-2011, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Central Texas, easily mistaken for a big bowl of dust!!
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College and careers with horses

I have always known, I wat to worrk with horses as a career. Only, I don't know exactly what, I'd love to train or have a boarding/lesson barn, what should I take in college? Ay other career iddeas, appreciate repliess :)
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post #2 of 5 Old 10-25-2011, 09:29 AM
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Something that will make you lots of money.

You kind of have a few choices, you can go choosing a specialisation that will lead to a career where you can hopefully make a lot of money, therefore providing you with the opportunity to purchase your own property.

A second alternative is that you aim for a career that still brings in enough money, but with more flexible conditions, so perhaps you work with horses on the side until you have enough money and reputation to exist solely off horses.

A third alternative is to study something directly relating to horses, such as Equine Science. The problem with a job like this is that chances are your employment options are going to be those that require a lot of work with not so great money. Also, career advancement in the horse world isn't really that great because it basically rests on reputation to a point, but then ownership.

When you're in school it can be hard to really understand the cost of horses but really, once you look at your own horse business, it is immense. Its not so easy to make a profit on horses, after maintenance costs I think you are barely getting paid for the time you put in. Then, that will just get you and your horses by, but to own your own property, which, in regards to boarding costs, you pretty need to, to be a viable business, well basically you need to earn a lot more.

If you want to own your own business, try and do some business courses at uni to get an idea of what you want. Many people go for a straight Equine degree but I think it would be more beneficial to just incorporate Equine studies into a broader degree. Like in Australia, we can take one major outside of our school/faculty. So I could do a degree with a major in English and a major in Animal science if I wanted to.

Play your strengths, its no use trying to be a doctor if you suck at science and maths. Even when you get a qualification you need to be good at what you do. I'd be hesitant to put horse studies in my degree, there are plenty of independent courses you can study part time while doing your degree, or working later, that can teach you a lot. If you don't like what you are doing, and if you are not good at it, you're going to have a miserable life. So be honest with yourself about your options, make the decision best for you, not necessarily best for horses, or for your parents.
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post #3 of 5 Old 10-25-2011, 02:46 PM
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An equine-related degree is definitely a good idea if you want to work in the horse business full time.

However, dual major with something that makes you employable to a larger segment of the job market. Business, communications etc can be combined with an equine minor or dual major to give you a sound basis for both equine and non-equine job prospects.

"Riding: the art of keeping the horse between you and the ground."
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post #4 of 5 Old 10-25-2011, 06:21 PM
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Location: Colorado
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I would not recommend a job in the horse world. It's just too tough, especially right now, most jobs will pay some hourly with the majority coming from commission. But not many horses are being sold right now. I would recommend picking a career that brings in more than a decent living. With more cash flow the easier it will be to buy, board, ride, and show your horses. My girlfriend is a barn manager, the pay isn't all that great. And it's probably one of the nicest hunter/jumper barns in Colorado. I'm sure its very disheartening for her when I make ten times what she does.
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post #5 of 5 Old 10-25-2011, 06:30 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: North Dakota
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I started as a Film Studies major and decided it wasn't for me, so next year I am switching to Equine Science and finishing a Film Studies minor so those classes aren't wasted. I am going into it completely not expecting to get a related job at all, just to get a degree in something and so I won't hate the process entirely. Many employers look at the paper, not what's written on it. They care that I have a degree, just not what it is in.

I would recommend either double majoring or minoring im business if you pursue an Equine degree. Are there any barns in your area that you could work at as a stablrhand or anythimg? It could be beneficial to get your name known by at least a handful of horse folks.
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