Originally Posted by maura
If you're serious about working with horses for a living, the best route to go IMO is to go to a school where you can major in business and minor in equine studies and then also apprentice yourself to a trainer or find a working student position in your discipline.
Here's my reasoning:
Many horsepeople give up on making a living as horsepeople because they're terrible businesspeople, not because they're poor horsepeople.
A degree in Equine Studies, without customer service skills, people skills, computer skills and business skills will only get you a job saying "Would you like fries with that?"
People chose trainers based on reputation, word of mouth, results in the show ring and with problem horses. Your brand new Equine Studies degree won't give you any of that, and your new diploma won't bring you training clientele.
The college education, combined with the real world experience is the better way to go.
Agree. I'm majoring in business, and actually, I am helping a trainer tonight on the business part of the training. She has troubles communicating to clients and is trying to expand. She also works independently and has troubles budgeting, saving and keeping steady clients. Which is, what I assume, probably the biggest problem with a job like training.
Plus I'm sure any college that offers equine degrees have many many connections to get you equine related jobs during breaks. Right there would be a huge deciding factor to go for me.
But to answer the question, degree or not, I'm judging you by word of mouth and by watching you ride and handle several different types of horses. But that all can be traced back to your experience.