I recently discovered Meredith Manor International Equestrian Centre in West Virginia. Curious and optimistic I requested information from them that I received this morning. I plan to take their "Riding Master I-VI" courses. With this I plan to use as a major stepping stone in the right direction to (a.) become a better rider and instructor for the company I work for and to (b.) work with training and other skills (such as barn management) so my friend and I can more actively [and knowledgeably] pursue our dream to start a canine & equine rescue/rehab/re-homing center.
However, I don't own my own horse -- and therefore, don't own any tack. For this college I would have to buy a plethora of riding gear; grooming, bell boots, tack, bits, clothes, etc. I'm not clear yet but I believe I can choose my discipline(s) (Western, Jumping, etc.) so I won't have to buy tack and gear suitable for ALL disciplines. (Let's hope not!)
Should I pursue this college? As many of us are experiencing, money is tight. I'm afraid to buy this tack (it doesn't have to be brand-new; I plan a few trips to my local auction), though I'm not sure why. I'm fairly adamant about this college; it has the best curriculum and options in contrast to more localized colleges around my area (East-Central Illinois).
Since I work at a livery consumed by mostly dead broke horses (and my cousin, who owns a boarding facility, needs no help), what I lack is experience. Going to this college will help me get that experience, as well as more knowledge and even more "horse-people" friends.
The pros are prominent. The cons, you may ask?
- The college is in Waverly, West Virginia. City-to-city, it's nearly 7 hours away from where I am now. From address to address, the center is nearly 400 (396) miles away.
- The whole tack situation. Since I don't have my own horse yet I've had no need to purchase tack.
What do you guys think? By graduating this college I open up several business doors as opposed to taking the "smaller" classes that local colleges have to offer, restricting the number of those "doors" a little bit more. I am also working with the company to become NARHA certified as an instructor for disabled people (and will be working, more than likely, under a non-compete contract).