I was born into a horse family. My grandfather started raising QHs in the '50s. My mom is a retired trainer. I started riding before I could walk, literally. I started showing small fry classes (w/t/c rail classes) at age 6.
I started training under my mom as a young teenager. I did a lot of the colt starting and my mom did the finish work. I did my first start to finish at 14. I've had quite a few mentors over the years, many sadly gone now.
I've not always been 100% horses for a career though. I did go to college and had a career as a stock broker for many years. Once I had my daughter, I decided that being able to stay home with her was more important than working 14 hour days in an office. So I went back to horses. I purchased the family farm, moved out of town and haven't looked back. Having a job in the finance world allowed me some financial flexibility and mgmt degree a more business minded approach to horses.
I train a few outside horses at a time and keep on about 10 lesson students. Not so busy that I can't get my own horses worked but busy enough to cover my expenses. My hubby has a fantastic job that allows for me to devote all of my time to the farm and to be fairly picky about how many I have in to ride or how many students I have. I won't be getting rich from horses anytime soon, but it is the most satisfying job in the world!
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.