Equestrian College Advice: Worth it?
   

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Equestrian College Advice: Worth it?

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    02-14-2011, 09:41 PM
  #1
Weanling
Equestrian College Advice: Worth it?

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).
     
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    02-14-2011, 10:25 PM
  #2
Started
To be honest, I don't feel like you have to have a degree to be a successful barn manager/trainer.

I know someone in the arabian horse world that started mucking stalls at a big name trainer's stable. Slowly, she worked up to going with him to regionals/nationals and helping train horses. Soon, people started seeing her with the trainer and noticing her work. She circled around with lots of well known (and incredibly rich) trainers for a while and made good money working for them. She has since started her own training facility and has many many clients.

IMO it is all about who you know, and who they know, and who they know and so on.

Being at the college would give you more contacts, on the bright side, and therefore more opportunities.

You might be just as well taking business/management classes, not necessarily specified to horses. There is really nothing you can learn there about riding/training/horses that you can't learn working for a trainer or taking lessons.

If you do decide to go to the college, wait until you enroll to get your supplies, that way you don't buy anything you don't need.
     
    02-14-2011, 10:41 PM
  #3
Weanling
I don't have any advice of my own, but i'm subscribing! My parents and I just had a conversation about his subject the other day, and I literally searched this question up. I'm excited to see what people say!
     
    02-14-2011, 10:46 PM
  #4
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eliz    
To be honest, I don't feel like you have to have a degree to be a successful barn manager/trainer.

I know someone in the arabian horse world that started mucking stalls at a big name trainer's stable. Slowly, she worked up to going with him to regionals/nationals and helping train horses. Soon, people started seeing her with the trainer and noticing her work. She circled around with lots of well known (and incredibly rich) trainers for a while and made good money working for them. She has since started her own training facility and has many many clients.

IMO it is all about who you know, and who they know, and who they know and so on.

Being at the college would give you more contacts, on the bright side, and therefore more opportunities.

You might be just as well taking business/management classes, not necessarily specified to horses. There is really nothing you can learn there about riding/training/horses that you can't learn working for a trainer or taking lessons.

If you do decide to go to the college, wait until you enroll to get your supplies, that way you don't buy anything you don't need.
Thank you, Eliz!

My biggest issue with being a trainer is that there are none in the area. The one I do know about went to school with my farrier -- who confidently tells me his word isn't worth the weight of a horse turd.

I've been shoving myself into books, asking questions when I can, and watching videos (on television -- RFDTV -- and YouTube) about training. But what I lack is experience in the situation. With sane, fully trained horses I won't get any problem solving experience. Let alone I fear if I "touch up" one of these horses I could make a mistake and end up "ruining" a livery horse (as a child volunteer has done with 1 or 2 of our horses already in less than 6 months).

The people who do have horses accessible to me, I'm not sure how to ask. Most of them are strangers. The only real "connections" I have are my bosses, an ex-barrel racer I work with, and my cousin. I have only recently begun to work with horses (back in April or May of last year is when I started), so my connections are few and far. I'm hoping that, at the Veedersburg (Indiana) horse auction this weekend, I'll be able to delve into more resources.

And thank you again!
     
    02-14-2011, 11:02 PM
  #5
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eliz    
To be honest, I don't feel like you have to have a degree to be a successful barn manager/trainer.

I know someone in the arabian horse world that started mucking stalls at a big name trainer's stable. Slowly, she worked up to going with him to regionals/nationals and helping train horses. Soon, people started seeing her with the trainer and noticing her work. She circled around with lots of well known (and incredibly rich) trainers for a while and made good money working for them. She has since started her own training facility and has many many clients.

IMO it is all about who you know, and who they know, and who they know and so on.

Being at the college would give you more contacts, on the bright side, and therefore more opportunities.

You might be just as well taking business/management classes, not necessarily specified to horses. There is really nothing you can learn there about riding/training/horses that you can't learn working for a trainer or taking lessons.

If you do decide to go to the college, wait until you enroll to get your supplies, that way you don't buy anything you don't need.
Where I'm currently located, there are several world famous horse facilities in the area and a good portion of the owners/managers/trainers even assistant trainers have degrees, if not masters+
     
    02-15-2011, 11:02 AM
  #6
Started
Hm, it's the opposite around here!
Posted via Mobile Device
     
    02-15-2011, 11:12 AM
  #7
Green Broke
First, Meredith Manor is a waste of money..

Second, no you do not need an equine degree to be successful in the equine business.

Quite opposite actually. I wouldn't waste your money.

I go to an equine related college called Midway College, Midway, KY | Midway College | Midway College in Kentucky...however, I'm getting an English degree.
     
    02-15-2011, 03:27 PM
  #8
Weanling
Good reviews on Meredith Manor seem to be hard to come by. Try doing a search for Meredith Manor on this forum.

I think it'd be a more valuable experience being a working student for a trainer. You would get experience plus do a lot of networking. Many trainers offer on site housing. It would take more legwork, and you might end up moving across the country, but that's what I'd do if I was in your shoes.
     

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