Wise advice needed on career moves.. Rant

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Wise advice needed on career moves.. Rant

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    01-05-2011, 03:05 PM
Wise advice needed on career moves.. Rant

First off, I'm sorry for the long rant, and thank you if you make it all the way to the end :) Also, I apologize if this is in the wrong place.

So, I'm 26 years old, have a degree I'll never use (because I'm no longer interested in what I went to school for) and I am kind of stuck in a rut.

I've done a little riding over the past 2 years but nothing more than here or there. It was only in September that I started going weekly for lessons, and would love to be riding every day if it was financially possible (I do not own a horse). Every day I spend around horses, my love for them grows even more. I have started thinking that I would love some sort of career where I could be around them all the time. I am aware that it's hard work, and that under common circumstances there really isn't much money to be had. But then I am also second guessing myself that I could be grasping for straws in wanting to start some sort of career, maybe I'm just trying to rush into things. Maybe I would really just like to have horses as a hobby, own a horse or two, and ride on my off time.

I guess what I'm wanting to know is what everyone else does with themselves. Do you have a career involving horses, or do you do something else and have or make time to ride and enjoy your horses. I think my problem is the lack of knowing what's out there, and after making the mistake with my first degree, I do not want to rush into anything that I may again regret later.

Thanks again for reading.
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    01-05-2011, 03:34 PM
I am much much happier owning horses than working with them. I own a dog grooming, boarding, and daycare business and I make a heck of a lot more money doing this than I did working with horses when I was younger. I am also not so exhausted by the end of the day that I don't even want to ride my horse.
    01-06-2011, 06:21 AM
For some its a rewarding career, for others it takes the love and essence out of the horse world. I had a friend who worked for a stables and at first she loved it, but the long hours, and the physical work out of it took her love away from her own horses. She'd come home exhausted and then have three of her own to look after. It felt to her she was doing all chores and no fun stuff. So she quit working there, and has never been happier.

I think you have to have a strong drive, and a lot of patience. Because its not for everyone, some wouldn't choose any other lifestyle, whilst some wouldn't go near it, wanting to keep horses just a hobby.

If you really want to go for it though, why not trial it? Is there any way you could do weekend work at a local stables (of course if that is the way you want to go, there's so many professions in the horse world these days haha!) ... that way you kind of get the experience, whilst not diving right on in.

Good luck!
    01-06-2011, 07:47 AM
There are lots of professions on that even with the degree: vet, vet tech, agriculture (like in UMD there are people researching horses and the environment like pasture management). You can also look into being nutritionist, chiro, dentist, farrier. There are SO many choices!
    01-06-2011, 11:08 AM
Green Broke
I completely understand your sentiment! I have worked with horses since I was 14 and like you I would love to spend as much time as possible with them. I worked out early on that to do this, I need MONEY!!! So I focused on my education so that I could have a good job, with good pay that I could spend on my four legged hobby. I also train horses for others and *could* make a decent living doing that however, as ohitschelle mentioned, I don't really enjoy doing it as a living. I much prefer doing it as a hobby, a sport and an escape from the every day grind.

I am 28, have a degree in Biochemistry and have 5 years experience in medical research, now going to graduate school to obtain my MBA which I will most likely use to pursue a career in an nonhorse related field, probably pharmaceutical sales or the like. I suppose the difference is that I also enjoy my chosen occupation and can't wait to resume a career once my study is completed. Rest assured that whatever job I eventually end up with will be predominantly used to fuel my equine passion!

So I guess my advice to you is to find a career that you enjoy and find stimulating. If this involves horses directly - lucky you! If not then keep your hobby and career seperate and enjoy each for what they are.
    01-06-2011, 11:19 AM
Have you ever considered being a groom? Also, there are a few olympic riders around where I live, and they are always looking for people to exercise their horses or help out around their farm. If there are some near you, try and contact them, or sometimes they will post job listing on their website.

Also if there is a race track near you, you can help out there too.
    01-06-2011, 11:20 AM
At first I wanted to be a equine vet, but it's so much work and your always on call, that I decided I would ( I hope it's meant to be and it happens) rather be a doctor or some health specialist for people. I love science, and helping people/animals, so I hope I can get a good medical job that will also give me the sufficient funds to have a horse, and give it to my children if they wish it. Though despite if I'm rich or poor, my kids are going to work hard to deserve that pony.
    01-06-2011, 12:45 PM
Thank you everyone so far for your replies. Everyone has such good advice. I think in the back of my mind, like equestrian and ohmyitschelle have stated, I'm afraid to burn out on something that I really love to do. Up until a few months ago, I've never had a "hobby" or something I love to do, and it was pretty discouraging. I think I might be happier having a normal job and spending every free minute with my future horse. Not that it's the same at all, but I used to work at a ski mountain for a few winters as a lift attendant, for 9-10 hours a day, 6 days a week. Before that I was an avid snowboarder, but during those winters I couldn't stand the thought of being in the cold any longer. I'm so worried that that would happen again.
I've wanted to ask my riding instructor if I could help out around the barn, but being as I've only been taking lessons at this place since mid-November, I feel a little out of line (it's also 45min-1hr away, could be worse depending on rush hour). I feel that as a beginner I don't really have a place, since I'm so new and don't have much to bring to the table. I guess it's a confidence issue.

And as a groom, don't you need a lot of experience?
    01-06-2011, 12:50 PM
I know how you feel. But when you get a better relationship with your trainer, things will get better and soon the barn will feel like your second home. :)

As a groom, you don't need tons I think, but enough to be able to handle any horse comfortably, know when something is wrong (like teh horse feels sick or etc...)and obviously, the basic care of cleaning, grooming...
    01-06-2011, 01:08 PM
Green Broke
I can tell you one thing about seperating career and horses - If you have a bad day at work you always have the horses to cheer you up and take you mind off things. If horses ARE your career and you have a bad day, they are no longer a refuge.

Of course it is rewarding working with horses and I would never suggest otherwise, just be aware that once it becomes your source of income, the dynamic is a little different. Suits some and not others, perhaps you could try it for a year and see if you like it or not?

Also, to make a career in a field that allows you to be around horses every day, you will probably need a lot more experience. I am not saying this to discourage you in any way shape or form, just so you know that there may be a few years work ahead of you yet!

Otherwise, as kittenval suggested, how about studying to become an equine vet tech?

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