College??? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 14 Old 04-04-2010, 04:49 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Washington, USA.
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What Kevin and RiosDad said. There is no money to be made in the horse business. 90% of the time, most of your money earned is put back into the horse for one reason or another, usually training.

I had a friend who spent a year doing a Natural Horsemanship program in Montana, and she said it was a total waste of time. It got her nowhere, and it's not going to mean diddly when it comes time for her to settle into her career.

Honestly, it will mean much more to any possible clients if you had spent time working underneath a well-known trainer, any well-known trainer you can find. And even then, there are SOOO MANY PEOPLE out there, on this forum, that want to be trainers, so getting a client in itself is super hard, because you have to prove you are better than almost every horse lover in the world.

Oh, and as far as SeWCH said about equine massage, I would never hire a masseuse, nor a chiropractor, for my horse that wasn't a licensed vet, and there are a lot of people who feel the same. Just something to think about.

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."

Last edited by riccil0ve; 04-04-2010 at 04:52 PM.
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post #12 of 14 Old 04-05-2010, 09:26 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
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there are some horses out there worse thousands of dollars.
Though it's already been said a few times, there is generally no money in the horse business. Even if horses are 'worth thousands of dollars', those sale prices are nothing compared to the cost that goes into maintaining them. To put in some numbers one horse costs roughly around $3,000 annually (more or less) just for ideal upkeep, and this would be for a healthy, easy-keeper and does not include any emergency vet calls, training fees, or things of that nature. Once again, that's an estimation for good mandatory upkeep - things like feed, bedding, deworming, trims, shoes, vet check-ups, vaccinations, dental work, board fees (if the horse isn't kept on your property), etc.

Considering the difference after a horse is sold, depending on how long the owner who's selling has had the horse (or depending on circumstances), the loss of profit could be - and usually is - huge. Very rarely would you ever come out with more money than you put in. Even if you had a really great horse that you had highly trained and were ready to sell for some decent bucks, you never know when 'luck' could turn around with horses. That 'star horse' could get terribly injured the next day and be rendered unsuitable for riding, making it worth nothing more than a companion horse, and if your income was dependent on that horse then there'd be a serious problem. There is no solid foundation on such a business; it's very chancy, and unfortunately the odds are against it.

Even if you do pursue education in horses, I agree with what others stated: have a back-up plan (a different career to 'fall back on', in other words), and don't go to college for it. I'd find going to college for horses, while sounding extremely fun, to be a bad idea, especially if you want to have a business in something like training or boarding. College is going to put you up to your neck in debt to begin with, and if you go into a non-profitable business while being in extreme debt, that'll turn into even more debt, and you then wouldn't be able to provide what is needed for your business.
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post #13 of 14 Old 04-06-2010, 12:15 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Central Iowa, USA
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Well, if you really are dead set on going to college FOR horses - then I recommend Stephens college. I can say from experience since I'm sitting in one of their dorms and just about to head out to the barn for my riding class.
They do have a major that is more training oriented if you really think you're qualified enough to pursue it, but I recommend the major I'm currently doing; equine business management. It's pretty much a business degree with a specilization in the equine industry. They have a "plus one program" where in an extra year you can acquire a masters in business which is my "fall back". If horses don't end up working out, I always have that on my resume saying I have a masters degree in business. But - I'm also getting that continuing horse knowledge and they program is great. I ride for at least 2 hours every other day, often everyday because I'm dedicated to the program. They really give you what you put in. The horses aren't spectacular show horses; we have about three or four "show ready" horses per seat - but the rest are a variety of school horse type to gerenally green broke. That way you are able to work with anything and everything. It is definently NOT a "riding" school - they push education and academics and they have a high job-placement rating in the equine industry.
For example, I minor in photography (I take class at Missouri State who "shares" classes with Stephens which is VERY nice) and have always been pressured to become a equine photographer. Well, my instructor and advisor got me an internship with Jeff Kirkbride for the summer; a nationally known photographer who does shows such as QH congress and world and other of that such. I found out that photography ISN'T what I want to pursue, but the experience was great and I really was able to network in the QH industry.
So yeah - if you're really wanting to do it, I'd check out Stephens. It's located in Columbia, MO.

Last edited by jagman6201; 04-06-2010 at 12:18 PM.
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post #14 of 14 Old 04-06-2010, 01:23 PM
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Yes, this subject has been rehashed enough to be turned in to a sticky!!

I'm going to echo the sentiments of most of the people on here. How many big time trainers have graduated from MM? None. They got to where they were by hard work, the right connections, etc etc. Not a degree. I don't think it's a terrible idea to go to college and study animal science or equine studies or what have you, but to go to such a narrowly focused school like MM is very impractical. Especially in the world of horse training. if you really want to be a horse trainer you need to work under some great trainers (working student is a fantastic idea), you ought to show to get your name out there, get as much experience in the horse world as you can from the ground up. It would be MUCH better for you to major in business and spend your summers working for a trainer who can eventually help you find a job after you graduate.

I am going to disagree that while there isn't much money to be made in the horse world it can be done. it's NOT because there are horses worth hundreds of thousands of dollars (believe me, it took hundreds of thousands of dollars to make that horse worth that much). I have about 30 students I teach once or twice a week that pay off most of my bills. I have about 6-8 horses in training a month that supplement my income. Taking kids to shows and showing horses pays a bit more. Occasionally I'll make a commission off buying/selling a horse. I make a decent paycheck. How did I get here? Sure as heck wasn't by getting a degree from MM....
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