Equine Career Advice - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 11-08-2011, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Equine Career Advice

I've decided that my future is for sure going to be in the horse industry. I have a passion for animals, and after working in rescues for years, vet clinics, ranches, I've decided that horses are what I love the most. I'm touring Meredith Manor and plan on attending if I really like it. I dont want to go to a regular collage, I hate classroom learning, and this is my favorite program so far.

Now for the questions. How likely do you think it is that I'll find a job coming out of school, and is it possible to support yourself on an equine career alone? I've never done dressage, or jumping, or anything like that, but I want to see if I have a knack for it. Right now I plan on focusing on western, reining and speed events, training and teaching. I love endurance riding, is it possible to make it a career?

Your allowed to bring your horse with. Do you think it would be beneficial to do so? Would it be best to bring along my 10 year old grade mare, or buy a young horse with tons of potential and have them started and learning along side me at school? Does it really make much of a difference in the horse industry as far as getting a training job and such if you have your own horse?
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post #2 of 14 Old 11-09-2011, 01:17 AM
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Good luck. Expect to work painfully hard, making a career out of the equine industry is extremely difficult. Expect to do it for the love of the job, not for the money.
As for finding work in the industry straight from high school, maybe look into some racing stables to work as a strapper. It's hard to find work, you might be lucky and get a grooming job, but the money is usually terrible, barely enough to live on even if you're still at home with parents.
Don't bottle yourself in, only looking for equine jobs. At this point in your life, getting ANY work is the most important thing to do. If you need to go and flip burgers or work on a check out, then just 'suck it up' and do it to make some money and get a work reference for your CV.

The equine industry also very much relies on experience, if you don't have a great deal of experience with horses, training, management, nutrition etc. then I suggest you go and hang out with a few trainers and learn from them. Experience is often more important than a few letters under your name when it comes to being employed in horses.

~Horse & Hound Artistry~.

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post #3 of 14 Old 11-09-2011, 10:45 AM
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i am happy you decided to go into the horse industry. but right now is not the time to get into just one thing. just speaking about a few of my friends who went just for a equine degrees and haven't found a job in 2 years.
so my suggestion and what my friends would also suggest is to not spend money on a school that limits you to one degree especially if you want to work with equines when the economy doesn't support it. my friends and myself looked at colleges that offered both equine degrees and other degrees such as accounting, engineering, blah etc..
one of my friends went to sweet briar in VA and came out not being able to even give riding lessons or trianing at a barn but having her second degree in another major helped her find a job until she could support herself in the equine industry.
its a rough place right now but if you go to a school that offers more than just equine and do a double major you would be better off and more prepared in my opinion. my other friends all had to go back to school excpet for that one. more money they have to spend on something they don't want. :(
eventually though i do think you can make a living off of horses. whether its owning/running your own stable, being a barn manager, trainer/instrutor, etc.

all i am trying to say is don't limit yourself with just one degree when you are spending money (alot of money) to learn for a career. go for 2 degrees and pay for 1 and come out prepared for both worlds so one can help the other... does that make sense... lol

goodluck and work really hard!!! :)
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post #4 of 14 Old 11-09-2011, 08:51 PM
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Take a look at Virginia Equestrian.com and compare how many help wanted ads there are compared to how many seeking employment ads there are. Keep in mind many many of those jobs do not pay cash.

I suggest figuring out something else to study in college and see if you can find a horse job that incorporates those skills. For example, I've heard that the people who create the recipes for horse feed pay well. And then if you aren't able to find a job that incorporates horses, at least you'll have a valuable degree that can get you a job that will allow you to afford to pursue horses as a hobby or side job.
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post #5 of 14 Old 11-09-2011, 09:06 PM
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First of all don't go to meredeth manor. That is not a good program to be associated with. You will not find work graduating from there. If you are looking to go to an equestrain college, go to the University of Findlay. Horses are a hobby and they have been hit EXTREMELY hard by the recession. Finding a job in teh equine industry right now is almost impossible. I train now for quick cash in college but its a come and go buisness. And it's truely about who you know, not what you know.
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post #6 of 14 Old 11-09-2011, 09:49 PM
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Thank you for saying it, Hollywood.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #7 of 14 Old 11-09-2011, 09:54 PM
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As someone who makes a living with horses, definitely have a backup plan & save, save, save. I have 2 degrees and investment broker's license on the backburner should I need it.

When the horse market is good, it's great, when it's down, it can be really bad. I still make enough to cover my operating expenses and a fuzz extra but it's not near what it was even just a few years ago. If it wasn't for my hubby's income, I'd only be training part time and back at a brokerage as my steady job.

Life is like a camera. Focus on what's important, Capture the good times, Develop from the negatives and if things don't work out, Take another shot.
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post #8 of 14 Old 11-09-2011, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
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About 80% or more of the feedback I hear about Meredith Manor is negative. I'm the kind of person that I dont judge until I see something for myself, but as of right now I dont have my heart set on it. I was given the name of a guy in Colorado who runs an awesome ranch and offers paid internships, about $100 a week, and you learn amazing stuff. I'm leaning towards that right now. I would like to talk to actual graduates of Meredith Manor but I have yet to contact any.

As for a backup plan, like I said I've worked in rescues for years now, I'm a certified dog trainer, and I work as a vet assistant right now, as well as my rescue work lol. I can always find a job with animals easily with my experience. I'm not a kid coming out of high school looking to have an awesome horse career with no actual job experience. I'm in my 20s and I just feel that I need to start thinking ahead. As for actual collage, unfortunately I wouldn't make it. I've tried a couple times, but I'm a drifter and school never works out for me.
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post #9 of 14 Old 11-10-2011, 12:25 AM
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I am very curious to know why Meredith Manor is considered so bad?

Also, jmdnarri on here is a graduate from MM. She is one of my friends and you can link to her page from mine if you want to pm her I am sure she would be happy to talk to you.
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post #10 of 14 Old 11-10-2011, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
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For one your supposed to bring your own saddle and used it on every horse you ride, if it doesnt fit they make it fit.

I've heard that they have lots of problems with people stealing tack from each other, and if I'm paying that much for school, I'd be livid if my stuff was stolen.

They also have no turn out for the 150 horses there and only feed hay and whole corn.

The housing is really crapy and some students live in converted crates and school buses.

Idk those are just a few complaints I've heard.
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