Unsure what to do? *long rambly thing*
Just a warning before you read this, it's going to be long post and just me rambling and this will probably make no sense, so beware:lol:
Ok, where to start. Basically i'm almost 16 years old and in my last year of school and next year i need to start thinking seriously about what i want to do after school and start to apply for colleges. For years and years i've always wanted to be a veterinary nurse or working with dogs or small animals. That was until i started riding horses 2 years ago.
Ever since i started riding everything changed, they were all i thought about and i just wanted to spend all my time with them, i was visiting the college i'm thinking of applying to earlier this year and they have an excellent equine course that i'm interested in and would like to apply for, but i'm unsure what to do. My first problem is, is that i don't want to make a fool of myself. I have about 5 'friends' who all want to do the same course but the thing is they've been riding for years and years and all own horses, whereas i spend about an hour and a half a week with horses and have been riding for 2 years, i'm inexperienced and i'm worried my riding will let me down and my lack of knowledge with horse care, i am taking a course to learn about the basics of horse care and have just passed my first 4 modules and would say i know the 'basics' of horse care. But i'm a nervous rider and haven't been riding long, whereas all these girls have competed and owned horses since they we're young.
I love horses and would love to make a career out of them but i don't want to make a fool of myself, i understand that i'm learning but i dont want to embarrass myself. Should i follow my heart and accept that i'm going to make mistakes and look like an idiot or not? It's confusing!
Also, i don't think my parents are particularly happy about me wanted to go to college with the horses. My mum has always wanted me to make something of myself and go to university and be a doctor or something like that or at least follow in her footsteps and be a nurse. My dads always telling me that i need to think about money and that working with animals won't make enough money. Neither of them take any interest in my hobbies and both believe that my horse riding is just a fad and i'll 'grow out of it', but it's not.
This makes me sound like a spoilt child i guess because i'm moaning because they take no interest in what i do but i'm also worried about letting them down. I don't want them to be ashamed of me and my choices, but i wish they could understand that animals are my choice and accept the fact that one way or another i will work with animals when i'm older. Its all i've ever wanted to do.
I just want to know do any of you have a career with horses? Did it work out for you? Because at the moment i'm worried about letting my family down and making a fool of myself, i just don't think i'm good enough at the moment?
I'd like to be a dog trainer or groomer or something also and a lot of people are telling me that i may as well do that and have horses as a hobby, have any of you gave up your dreams of working with horses and just had them as a hobby because of financial things?
Thank you for bearing with me in this long rambly post which makes no sense. I just needed to get this off my chest. It's confusing being a teenager having to make these choices, i just don't know what to do, i'm afraid of failing and letting myself and others down. Is it worth trying to get a job with horses? or should i just do something else?
Don't let anyone else influence what you want to go to school for. I'm 21 and still don't know what the heck I want to do. When I was 6 I wanted to be princess, 12 I wanted to be a cowboy, 16 I wanted to be a horse trainer. Now I'm 21, horse trainers can barely get by around here. Do I really do what I WANT to do and risk being dead broke the rest of my life, or do I do something I wouldn't mind doing, like becoming an art teacher, and have a semi-secure job with benefits. Are you talking about being an equine vet? If you are, I don't see why you wouldn't be able to make money at that. If you are thinking of going into training...it really depends on the area you are in and the discipline you are wanting to do. Do some research on it, don't do something you aren't going to want to do for the next 40-50 years, you will be miserable.
Follow your dreams go for it
When I was in high school, my dream was to be a zookeeper. I wanted to work with exotic animals and spend all my time caring for them, observing them and working to make their captivity a positive experience.
I went to college and majored in Biology with an emphasis in zoology. It was HARD. While I excelled in my animal classes, the required chemistry and other supporting course work nearly killed me. 3.5 years of hard work and I somehow managed to graduate with my degree.
I applied and got a position at the city zoo. It was a contract position, paid $12,500 per year, no benefits. My days off were Tuesdays and Fridays. I arrived at the zoo by 6:00 a.m. because the animals had to be fed and all my exhibits cleaned before the zoo opened to the public. This meant getting up at 4:00 a.m. to get ready for work. We worked 365 days per year...because animals need to be fed and cared for every single day. Christmas morning the animals still need to be fed... and the people who had been there he shortest time always were assigned those shifts.
The worked was glorified janitorial work. Yes, I got to work around exotics and spend time with them, but 85% of my time was spent raking an shoveling manure and maintaining the exhibit.
The money was a joke and barely covered my school loans and living expenses. I never saw my husband or family because of my hours. The reality was far from my dream/vision.
I lasted 9 months. I decided to quit the day I returned from my day off to discover they had taken my camel in for surgery and he had died on the operating table. It broke my heart. I realized it would be YEARS before I accumulated enough seniority to actually move into a position where I could do more than just clean. I would also have to incur more debt because they wanted a doctoral degree. With a heavy heart I switched careers.
I now make 8X more than I did as a keeper. I work 8-4 Monday-Friday with full benefits and holidays off. I get to spend quality time with my family. Because I make a decent living, I am able to afford the luxury of pets including a horse. I would NEVER been able to fulfill my dream of horse ownership if I had stayed a keeper.
No one can tell you the right decision for you. I shared my story with you just so you would see someone that has been there and done that. I do know MANY people who have gone into the animal industry and been very happy. They are NOT wealthy in material goods (so few who follow that path end up rich), but they seem content.
Do your research and search your heart. Think about plan A and then form plans B and C just in case A doesn't work out.
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OK, so there are a few things that caught my attention here.
First of all, you should never, ever, ever sell yourself short because you compare yourself to other people. If you love horses, then GO FOR IT. You should not compare yourself to other people!! Even a beginner horseperson or less experienced horseperson could go to college for horses. I mean, I could go to college for engineering if I wanted to and have never engineered in my life. You go to college to learn. If you feel as though this is something you are passionate about, then why not? If it is in your heart, that's awesome. You go to college to learn -- not to be perfect, not to get a career as a college freshman. You go to college so you can excel in what you love.
Who said that working with horses is not "making something of yourself?" I personally would love to be a doctor, psychologist, scientist... I've considered equine careers, but you know, I have time to think about it. The point is, you make something of yourself in whatever you want. We see these Olympic equestrians.. they have made something of themselves. We see everyday local horse vets... they too have made something of themselves. You will not waste your life with horses unless you expect to be successful with them easily. I do not have an equine career, but I've been working with horses for a decent while. I know that if you want to be successful, you'll have to push through it with blood (ex: if you pinch your finger in the girth buckle), sweat, and tears. Literally -- I've had all 3 as a rider, an equestrian, a horse woman. It happens, you'll get used to it, you just have to love it enough to get through it and pursue that final goal of _____ (whatever you expect in your equestrian career-- it could be one thing, or the list could go on endlessly).
Back to the parent thing. If your parents honestly love you, they should be happy with whatever you choose. My dad always wanted me to play basketball. Basketball, basketball, basketball. No, he would have much rather had me on the court, because that was his passion and basketball was so close to his heart. But you know what? Now, my dad loves my riding. He embraces it so much. He spends hours with me every week enjoying my passion, even though he can't ride to save his life. If your parents truly love you, they will be happy with whatever you choose. They might not be too thrilled at first, but when they see how happy you are, don't you think they'll be happy for you? I mean, every family is different, but why put yourself in a situation that you aren't happy?
Now, the phase thing. You can switch colleges, majors, whatever you want to do. But just keep in mind that as you are planning this out, you want to at least have an idea of what you want to do. So, God can change things in a heartbeat -- you could have an equestrian major one second and the next have this urge to become a doctor. Well, maybe not that drastic, but... anything's possible. My point is: you might change majors, you have that option as far as I'm concerned, but just know that before you commit, at least realize that you are passionate about it. I mean, you might have "fun," but if you aren't truly passionate about it, then eh, can you do it for the rest of your life?
Keep that in mind. From what it sounds like, and I CANNOT make any decisions for you, you sound like you should consider the equestrian career. You strike me that you seem very passionate about it, and that you are more worried about what other people will think. Not everyone relates to this, but I want to serve God above everything else in life. If this is a gift from God (meaning your passion for horses), do not swallow and hide that gift, but use it and raise it up to Him! I hope that you take these points and ideas into consideration, and follow your heart.
P.S. A lot of people make a living off horse careers as far as it seems... I mean, equine vets, for example. They seem to do fine. You know? It might not make as much money as a neurosurgeon, it might -- I don't have statistics. But you do what makes you happy, not for the money. :D
I'm going to college next month for horses..While I won't be able to make a living out of it immediately, I'm debating on going to either college again for CAD and estimating work (almost garunteed that I can get a job in WV, or police academy to eventually be a canine officer. Meeting my boyfriend who has wanted to be an officer his whole life made me think that I'm probably not going to be rich from horses (especially since I'll own them!), but I don't have to be able to go right out of college and make the big bucks because once my mum saw how happy horses make me (even working with some downright RANK ones), she supports that that is what I want to do with my life, even if I'll just be getting by every month.
I didn't start out wanting to work with horses as a career, I always wanted to be either a police officer, security gaurd, or an estimator like my dad. I only recently decided a year ago I wouldn't be happy without horses, but my mum basically acted as if she'd disown me if I didn't go to some sort of college or trade school. I might decide in the next week that I don't wanna go to college when horses when no one in this remote area looks for some **** certificate in a trainer, they just look at their previous horses. I already have a good foundation around here on that. This week, I've been debating on telling my mum I don't want to toto college for horses and I wanna go to Police Academy to move towards being a canine officer and doing horses on the side. If I can make enough money to keep 2-5 horses on the side and have 3 of those to train and sell as show horses, I'll be happy. Plus, I'll be able to have my canine partner as well.
I know quite a few people that'll think I'm crazy for wanting to be a cop because every one of my friend's always talk about how we just saw that pig drive by, but I couldn't care less, to be honest. I've had people laugh at me for wanting to work with horses, but again..I couldn't care less. Follow your dream, especially if you're as passionate about horses as you seem. Your gut feeling is rarely ever wrong.(;
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