As horse people, what do you think would be more valuable? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 04-04-2012, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Question As horse people, what do you think would be more valuable?

I'm a sophomore in high school, and want to aim for a career in horses, preferably stable management.
I have toyed with the idea of going to a university and majoring in an equine major, but I'm not sure how valuable it would be to me.
I am considering not going to college, but taking "co-op" jobs at well-reputed stables in my state (or out of state, potentially). I could take some business classes as well, but more on a community-college level. Would this be better? I'd get the experience, and the money I'd save on tuition would definitely be a good jump-start on my career.

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post #2 of 11 Old 04-04-2012, 01:20 PM
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Go to an accredited college and get an MBA. That way, if the equine jobs don't pan out, you'll actually have a marketable degree.

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post #3 of 11 Old 04-04-2012, 01:29 PM
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I agree with Speed Racer. Besides it being more useful if the equine business idea doesn't work out, you can tell who has business knowledge just by working with someone in any field. I find the knowledge learned in business classes invaluable.

I'm currently working on a bachelors degree in business, majoring in human resources, but I've learned things to help my personal life from investing, better ways to communicate with people and law from what your entitled to as an employee to the hard to understand details in contracts such as bank loans or the real catches on insurance policies. Even criminal law is looked at in one of my classes.

All that aside, if I had to pick dealing with a boarding barn run by some good random horse person versus a random horse person with good business sense, I'll pick the latter hands down.

And my school offers co-op jobs. And if you happen to find a job in a stable that meets the management requirements, you can apply for it to be considered a co-op job position. Look for something like that. You get an education, a job for a semester and good connections in the real world.

Last edited by DieselPony; 04-04-2012 at 01:32 PM.
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post #4 of 11 Old 04-04-2012, 01:31 PM
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I agree with SR. I do make my living with horses but have that degree & investment broker's licenses as backup. Don't plan to use it again but it's comforting to know I have that option. Also getting that schooling first allowed me to have a great paying job out of college that then allowed me to pay off the farm and be able to do the horse thing full time without worry. While I was working as a broker, I still trained & gave lessons part time to get my horse fix. You can have both ;)

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post #5 of 11 Old 04-04-2012, 01:42 PM
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Agree with 1,2, and 3.
If I were you, I'd get my basics covered at the community college and save money. Then find a passion and go further with a "regular" degree while you have the time. Another idea is a real estate (brokers) license. I have an Associates in graphic design and have my RE License so I can work for realtors using their databases and do their advertising, listings, ad's, etc. I also work on political campaigns and do my major artwork. All this is to supplement our OTHER business and cover our tails if things get slow.

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post #6 of 11 Old 04-04-2012, 02:09 PM
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I also agree lol, getting some qualifications would be really helpful as back up and might give you the edge over other candidates for jobs.

However, what i've found (I don't know if this is just my area or what) that when applying for animal related jobs, nobody was interested in my qualifications. All they required was experience, experience and more experience!

So maybe you could study for a qualification to back you up and get some experience from an apprenticeship or something? Then you'd get the best of both worlds!

Good luck!
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post #7 of 11 Old 04-04-2012, 02:38 PM
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Go to college get your accounting, and business management. And work at a stable if possible. Then you will be even more valuable for a stable. You will be able to do there books, and manage and deal with the horses.
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post #8 of 11 Old 04-04-2012, 03:21 PM
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get your business degree, learn how to run a business and make a profit, hire the equine certificate people at minimum wage to do the horse work.

I know on the surface it makes sense. I wanna run a XYZ business, so I need to learn all I can about XYZ. This is really a bad way of thinking. Being successful at running an XYZ business is more about knowing how to run a business. How to market that business and how to make a profit. I am sure accounting, tax prep, book keeping is probably way more important than product knowledge. Generally the market is flooded with product knowledge people you can hire. Also basic business management is a career field that can cross over to almost anything. Your equine studies cant do alot.
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post #9 of 11 Old 04-04-2012, 03:50 PM
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I'm in a similar position as you. I want to get into to law enforcement, so I've been told that the best way to go would be to get a BA in something kind of generic in the case that things do t work out. This way I'll always have another option.
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post #10 of 11 Old 04-04-2012, 04:04 PM
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Back up plan first. Others have given you good options. Then try to work it into your love of horses.

We receive at least, one letter/email a month, from someone wanting to work in farm management or just work with horses. Few can afford to keep as many horses as before in this economy and many are losing their farms. There are far more seeking work in the horse industry, than the industry has to offer. Many who write to us, have already a solid background in the business/training/foaling out/breeding etc., but still cannot find work.

I am not meaning to put you off here, but just know that finding a decent job in the horse industry, is not easy and especially these days.

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