Degrees... What to study for?
 
 

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Degrees... What to study for?

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        10-11-2009, 06:57 PM
      #1
    Started
    Degrees... What to study for?

    I want to do the whole training/boarding/competing/barn managing thing and own my own barn, give lessons and possibly do some rescue work. I'm mostly interested in training jumpers and dressage horses. My first question is, is it possible to get to that kind of position (owning and managing a stable) without a truckload of money? I'm willing to work hard for it, but I'm not exactly rich. I can see myself starting out by working at a stable and then working my way up the totem pole, but after that I'm not sure.

    And secondly, I want degrees in equestrian science and animal husbandry, but I've heard that most people don't care if you have a degree or not and it doesn't make much of a difference. That doesn't make much sense to me because you'd think people would be more inclined to hire you if you have a degree. Does anyone have any advice? Thanks in advance!
         
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        10-11-2009, 07:18 PM
      #2
    Yearling
    For the more scientific or medical end of things people wioll care if you have a degree. For training and giving lessons and things people care if you've got experience. At least that's what I've gotten from what poeple have said.
         
        10-11-2009, 08:59 PM
      #3
    Green Broke
    Working with horses, you could have all the degrees in the world and still be crappy. It might be a nice added bonus to have a degree but I don't think its going to matter very much to employers.

    I don't know how great it will be to "work your way up" at a stable. If you started from the bottom you might be a stable hand on crap wage, and not necessarily learn anything. You could do you instructor levels, not sure what they are called where you are from and be an instructor but I still think to own and manage a barn you are going to need a chunk of money.

    At my old riding school there is a woman who has been teaching there for about 20 years. She's the manager of the riding school part but there is nowhere to really progress much past there. Most owners seem to manage their own places overall and you cannot really work your way up to owning. Plus the pay is not great.

    I honestly think that the best thing to do would be to get an education and enter a highly paid profession for 5 - 10 years and save your ass off. If you get a job you can work part time or from home (some kind of consultancy, or a registered trainer (of people in things)) then you can eventually start your farm and supplement your income.

    You can probably get a career managing a place, but that is a far call from owning it. I honestly don't think that the way to owning a barn is by working up at a stable.

    If you want to get into training then do courses and such along the way, but I do not think its really possible to do it without a chunk of money.
         
        10-11-2009, 10:04 PM
      #4
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Saskia    
    Working with horses, you could have all the degrees in the world and still be crappy. It might be a nice added bonus to have a degree but I don't think its going to matter very much to employers.

    I don't know how great it will be to "work your way up" at a stable. If you started from the bottom you might be a stable hand on crap wage, and not necessarily learn anything. You could do you instructor levels, not sure what they are called where you are from and be an instructor but I still think to own and manage a barn you are going to need a chunk of money.

    At my old riding school there is a woman who has been teaching there for about 20 years. She's the manager of the riding school part but there is nowhere to really progress much past there. Most owners seem to manage their own places overall and you cannot really work your way up to owning. Plus the pay is not great.

    I honestly think that the best thing to do would be to get an education and enter a highly paid profession for 5 - 10 years and save your ass off. If you get a job you can work part time or from home (some kind of consultancy, or a registered trainer (of people in things)) then you can eventually start your farm and supplement your income.

    You can probably get a career managing a place, but that is a far call from owning it. I honestly don't think that the way to owning a barn is by working up at a stable.

    If you want to get into training then do courses and such along the way, but I do not think its really possible to do it without a chunk of money.
    Oops, I should have explained it better. I meant work up to a decent paying position and eventually buy my own place, but it doesn't sound like it's going to work that way. Would it still not work even if I got a job at an upscale facility?

    Thank you for the info. It was very helpful. :) I have one more question: Do equine chiropractors make any better money?
         
        10-11-2009, 10:43 PM
      #5
    Green Broke
    Getting into the horse industry is a combination of a lot of really really hard work and a lot of who you know. A degree for a person with a lot of experience and a great resume can be icing on the cake. A person with just a degree is pretty much worthless to a BO. I'd go ahead and get a degree as a fallback in case anything were to happen. If you definitely want to work with horses getting an animal science/husbandry degree isn't a bad idea, but if you really want to be a BO/manager one day I'd take lots of business classes. Accounting, Finance, Managment, small business classes, etc etc are all classes you're really going to need and use.

    But on top of that you're going to want to get into the horse industry and work HARD, even if it starts off with cleaning stalls and sweeping aisles. Ride as many horses as you can and learn to ride a wide variety of horses. If you can, get into the show ring. That will be the biggest collection of trainers all in the same area who will get a chance to watch you ride. You want people to know who you are and see your riding skills, and they're going to want to see you win, or at least make a lot of progress with a horse. If you are a fantastic rider and have the right connections, you *might* after time be able to find someone who will pay for you to show their horse. Quite honestly it's hard to get there without paying a lot of money first. I would start off by finding a good, experienced, well connected trainer who is willing to take you under her wing a bit and work your butt off for her. That's the best way to get trained and get experience in the field. Hopefully after time if she hears of a job opening up she can be a good referral. Word of mouth is the best way to find a job in this industry.

    Also, at some point you're going to have to narrow down some of your interests. A barn owner, barn manager, dressage trainer, and jumper trainer can be 4 very very time consuming and highly varied jobs on their own, depending on the size of the operation.
         
        10-11-2009, 10:53 PM
      #6
    Green Broke
    Also, buying an upscale facility can easily be a several million. I don't know any trainers who have become wealthy off being trainers, but I do know some who teach at some really nice facilities that their wealthy clients have built for them. Now that I think about it, I don't think any of the trainers around here actually OWN their farms...
         
        10-12-2009, 04:59 AM
      #7
    Green Broke
    There was a horse massuese type person who I used to know and she was really good at what she did. She did Bowen as well, and this light thing. Anyway she ended up being quite successful, and now lives in Europe or something and still has people working for her down here. You can make a fair bit of money doing horse therapies such as these but I think the key is being good at what you do, being honest and reliable. I've seen a fair few chiropractors around. The thing is you generally have such a small market that even if there are only two others working in your field and area, that can easily be too much competition.

    I firmly believe though that if you are good at what you do then you will do well. Its not being good enough, its being good, and better than most other people, preferably all other people.

    I know it seems ideal to get a job in the equine industry, but to be honest 95% of the time the pay is really crap. If you factor in your own rent, food, living costs, and then if you want your own horse, horse costs - there is going to be very little left to save up a decent amount for your own place. Even at the top places its not great pay. Lots of people are into horses, lots of people want jobs with them. If there are lots of people needing jobs pay doesn't need to be that high. I think you can earn enough to get by, but not own your own place.

    Upnover - read what they said. Personally I don't think its a great way to get into horses cleaning out stables. The best way to do that is to successfully ride and probably compete and then maybe you will find someone wanting to employ you as an exercise rider or something, or someone will take you under their wing.

    The people who I see who go the furthest in the horse business are those with great interpersonal skills. The kind that can just talk to anyone, make friends, and are memorable. I believe that the opportunities don't come through slugging it out cleaning stables, or an add in the paper, they come from people you know and people who like you.

    I still think the best way to eventually own your own horse farm is to get an education and job in a paying field, then move to horses. I've seen a lot of riders or trainers with law degrees and such behind them.

    My advice would be: get very good at what you do. If you want to do horse riding then ride, take lessons, compete, whatever. And get very good at talking to people - look into maybe an NLP course (Neuro-Linguistic-Programming) its basically a system that teaches you how to speak in a way that will influence people in your favour.

    Think if its a life you want though. To me, struggling through years of working through stables with obnoxious clients and arrogant bosses, and dirt and early mornings and peanuts for pay does not sound like what I want from my life.
         
        10-12-2009, 10:29 AM
      #8
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Saskia    
    Upnover - read what they said. Personally I don't think its a great way to get into horses cleaning out stables. The best way to do that is to successfully ride and probably compete and then maybe you will find someone wanting to employ you as an exercise rider or something, or someone will take you under their wing.
    Saskia- If you reread what I wrote you'll realize we both said about the same thing: ride and compete successfully and hope someone will take you under their wing. The problem is that it takes money to get there and the OP specifically asked if it was possible to get there without spending a truckload. Without money the best way would be to start at the bottom. Obviously the pay to clean stalls will not give you enough to build a nice facility. BUT, if you clean stalls in exchange for lessons from a good trainer THEN she can get some riding training under her belt until she gets to the point where she's experienced enough to exercise/show for other people. Without money I don't know any other way to get your foot in the door unless you start at the bottom.
         
        10-14-2009, 04:38 AM
      #9
    Trained
    Money in horses is terrible. SO many kids have this huge aspiration to breed horses and get rich doing that. Not going to happen. You'd need to sell the foal as soon as it was weaned for a VERY decent amont of money to make even a small profit.
    As for training horses and being a coach, you have to be one of the best in the industry. Anyone can go out and get a coaches certificate, but I know from experience there are so many of these people out there that have to charge the absolute rock bottom price for lessons because the only market is 'saddle club' kids who will faze out of horses.
    Anyone who knows what they're on about and wants to get somewhere with their riding 'career' will only go to the best and most well reknowned coaches in the area.
    Same goes for training jumpers and dressage horses. You have to be the best of the best for anyone to want to have anything to do with you. Unless you're up there with the best, the money will be extremely average and very 'on-off'.

    As for getting a degree in animal husbandry/equine science, you do those courses for the love of the job not for the money. The pay is terrible unless you are again, extremely good at what you do and are the best of the best allowing you to squeeze into a rare, well paying position.
    Equine physio, you have to either be a human physio (lots of studying!) or a vet, and then more studying to specialise in physio.
    I'd find something that isn't relevant to horses that you are interested in, and pursue that. You'll earn more money out of the horse industry than in it.
    I'm assuming you're still at school? Depending on what level of schooling you're at, you've got years ahead of you to decide on a career ;)
         

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