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Corazon Lock 01-02-2012 11:51 PM

Horses as a Career?
Right now, I'm in my first year of college studying social work. Lately though, I've been getting interested in being a riding instructor or a horse trainer. I've considered at least doing some training or instructing on the side of my counseling services (what I'm getting my degree for). I have ridden since the third grade off and on in English riding, and I got my first horse my junior year in high school. So far, the only thing I'm doing that even remotely counts as horse experience is teaching my horse, who was taught to be heavy on the forehand and drop his head, to get his head up and quit leaning on the bit. Also, I am training him for hunters. Other than that, I don't have a big, horsey background. I would do training or instructing in hunter/jumper or eventing, more likely hunter/jumper because I've had no experience with eventing (but would love to get some) So here's a few questions:

Where could I go to get the experience needed to be an instructor or trainer?

Would you recommend being a in a working student program, going to a college to get an equine degree, or going to trade school and why? Which trade schools or college programs or working student programs do you recommend and why?

How much does an instructor make a year on average - small town setting compared to city setting, hunter/jumper compared to eventing?

What kind of skills does a person need to have to succeed in this setting?

What does the job market look like in these career fields right now?

What can I expect in these career fields?

....and anything else you would consider helpful.

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