Equine Studies?? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 15 Old 03-11-2010, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by heyycutter View Post
honestly, its better to do what will make the best money, then do something you love. you want to be able to afford horses, and being a professional rider, horse trainer, riding instructor, etc will most likely not make enough money.
My mother is a engineer and she works for the military. she didnt want to do this as a carrier, but it makes great money, and she can afford a great house, having 3 cars and a motorcycle, and the horses.
She always told me never go to college for the most "fun" thing you can study because its the easy way out and you'll struggle later.
My aunt was an engineer making great money, but she quit to "do something she loves", and now she's dirt poor and has to stay with her abusive boyfriend so she has a roof over her head.

if you really want to work with horses, i would recommed Vet tech or Veterinarian. Both of those carriers were in Time Magazine on their best jobs for upcoming years list.

Im sorry if I didnt give you the answer you wanted, or if i sound cynical, but im truely trying to help you out. You want to afford horses, and you want to live confortably. Professional rider, instructor, horse trainer are deffinitly not the way to go. Keep horses your hobby, or as a second job to a job that makes better money.

I understand what you're saying, but that is all entirely opinion based and not helpful to me at all. My BIGGEST pet peeve is when people try to pass off opinion as fact. Some people can do something they hate just for the money, I cannot. I would much rather not have a significant amount of money and do something I love every single day then spend my life miserable slaving away at something I dislike just to have some extra cash.

I appreciate that you are trying to help, but these are things I have considered. At this point, a career in veterinary medicine does not seem to be the best choice for me. I feel as though, although it would make me feel good about what I do, I would not actually enjoy it.

I would like a career in the equine industry because, as much as I understand money would not be fantastic, it is quite possible to make enough to live comfortably, and although I may not be able to have my own, I will spend my days working with horses and truly enjoying myself.

I really do appreciate that you are trying to help though.

Originally Posted by tealamutt View Post
Good luck with finding your path in life. The best advice I can ever give anyone is don't be in a hurry. Take time to travel and to work and live life, I started vet school at age 30 and it has not hurt me one bit at all!!!
Very good advice Also, your post gives me hope that if I begin a career that is just not working out, it is possible to go back and try something else.

"The art of riding is keeping a *horse* between you and the ground."
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post #12 of 15 Old 03-11-2010, 09:42 AM
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I would like to give a big ditto to Upnover's advice.

I frequently saw working students or graduates of equine science programs who were ill prepared to work in the real world horse industry.

Also, I got my business education when I opened my barn. I made it through that experience, but I wouldn't recommend it. A strong business or general education followed by an apprenticeship or working student position with good professionals is a much better route.

Oh, and I did considerably better than "crap for money." I made a good living and I had a fabulous time. My horse business funded my further rider education, my horses and my competitive career. The *only* reason I reluctantly changed careers was because of the physical demands of the work and the difficulty of maintaining family life.
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post #13 of 15 Old 03-11-2010, 09:49 AM
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I don't want to sound cynical either, but I will tell you the same thing that my father told me when I wanted to do the horse program at Virginia Tech.

He told me that getting an Equine degree is way too specialized. If it doesn't work out, it would be hard to find a job that pays the bills. An office won't hire you for your skills with horses, that's meaningless to them. And in the same vein, if you did want to be a trainer, instructor, it doesn't seem like the people that hire for those things would even care whether you had a degree or not.

It would be much better to get a broader degree, such as business, and then you can use what you know from that to find a job involving horses, like managing a horse business. You could use a law degree to work specifically with equine law. In getting those broader degrees though, if it works out you don't make as much money as you'd like, you can use them to get a job outside of horses.

Think carefully about what it is you'd like to do with horses. Being a equine vet is most certainly a worthy goal, and would require a specialized equine degree. Other things you can think about could be manufacturing of equine goods, sales, research, construction/architecture of equine housing, etc. With those types of things, just having an Equine Science degree may not get you as far as you like.

Getting paid to do what you love (riding/training I assume), is a nice thought, but it's not realistic in most cases. Just like there's tons of girls that want to grow up and be famous hollywood actresses, there's also a ton of girls/boys that want to grow up and work with horses, so competition is fierce in such a specialized industry. That doesn't even count the people who have already "made it" and are well established in your area. And, as someone else mentioned, if you get hurt, you can't work at all. AND you have no provided health care, no 401k, no vacation, no benefits from a company, you would have to get it yourself.

I would suggest not picking an Equine major, unless you're going to be a vet. You can still work in the horse industry, but pick a major that could be used in all industries, ex. Marketing- you could join/start an ad agency that caters to Equine clients, but if that doesn't work, you could still get a job with any other marketing firm.

If you do decide not to major in Equine Science, you could just find a collge that has a riding team, or riding classes, that way you can still do what you love and learn while you study. Maybe you could use it for a minor!

Again, I don't mean to sound cynical, but I am a very practical person. It's easy to get caught up in a dream, and maybe one day you will be the professional trainer or rider you want to be. But unless you have someone else paying all your bills during and many years after college, it would be extremely hard to start up.

I want to add also: http://diplomaguide.com/articles/Equ...reer_Info.html

This is for a Masters degree, which would require more education than a bachelors.
Average starting salary of $33,000, which is not a lot. I made that fresh out of high school with zero degree.
It's all well and good that you don't care about the money, but your horses will care when you can't afford to feed them, or keep their feet trimmed, and your car breaks down and you can't afford to fix it, or your heat/water gets shut off in your house.

I don't mean to rag on Equine Science Majors, but I highly recommend getting a more versatile degree.

Last edited by ptvintage; 03-11-2010 at 09:58 AM.
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post #14 of 15 Old 03-11-2010, 07:02 PM
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i just thought id throw my 2 cents in
and i agree with ptvintage, please do lots of research on how much jobs your interested in make, so you'll know what to expect. you dont want to dig yourself into a deep hole
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post #15 of 15 Old 03-12-2010, 07:12 AM
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I went into college absolutely CERTAIN I would be going into a career with horses, either pre-vet or equine journalism. I passed over a good college closer to home to go to one with an established IHSA team.

Through a series of rather unfortunate events, I still have doubts I made a good choice, or that my education got me anywhere closer to where I wanted to be...

Good equine industry jobs are hard to come by and most care more about documentable experience, the degree is just icing on the cake.
I ended up having to get a "real" job, because I wanted to eat and so did the horsie.

ptvintage is giving you really good advice. Most starting jobs (especially equine related ones) don't pay much and if you decide you need to get another job, your degree is not versitile.

My degree is in communications with every horse related animal science course they had thrown in. I'm currently getting teaching certifications so that I can support myself as an elementary teacher and use the remaining time to work on establishing myself in the equine industry.

Then again, I graduated right as the recession began and maybe we can just blame all of it on that, but I'm just now beginning to get to where I want to be and I figure it'll be another 2-5 years before I really get what I wanted when I started college.

Last edited by simplysouthern; 03-12-2010 at 07:19 AM.
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