I've been thinking about this for a while, but didn't think it was possible until I saw Shananigan's post.
I've been riding for 12 years, I've trained 3 horses, two with help and one by myself. I also own a mare who, when I bought her, was a green 4yo that bucked a lot and she is now perfect. I can ride any discipline, but I specialize in English (any form of jumping or u/s), dressage, saddleseat and western. I'm also good at driving, and a ok at sidesaddle - but not great.
So far, I have 'volunteered' at a barn where I've given lessons, helped give lessons, was a camp counselor twice and I've worked and trained their horses.
I'm experienced with green, problemed, and hot horses. I've worked Off track and racing thoroughbreds, worked with hot arabians and saddlebreds, and I've also worked with abused horses.
I've given shots before, helped medicate (eyes, wounds etc) I've ultrasounded a horse a few times (eck), and I've assisted in surgery.. sort of. lol
I have a very good history with working with horses and I was wondering about a trainer internship. What kind of jobs and lessons could I get? Who would hire me? When could I start training? etc etc.
Lets just play make believe here for a while.
I am all about encouraging young folks to to get involved and get out there and learn more about horses.
If you lived across the street from my place,you could come on over and "Hang out" and just mess around as the horses were worked each day and pick up a lot of information about this kind of riding.
If you got good at doing the things that make the ranch run,then I would be asking you to drop on by for a specific job or jobs and I would pay you for that work.
Now by paying you I might from time to time expect that you would be asked to do a job or two that you might not like so much but still had to be done.
As you learned more and got better at everything I would start giving you tougher and tougher jobs and as you got them done then you would more than likely get more hours and a little raise in pay.
Now the REAL tough part is that you are gaining skill and feeling pretty good about yourself and sooner or later you are going to want a new truck,two weeks paid vacation,a big raise,housing,and more time off,and a full medical and dental plan.
So this is the REAL TOUGH PART.
Unless you are at one of the biggest barns and the most expensive horses and the economy is way better than it is right now,you will be competing with people that have college or years with a BIG NAME trainer.
So you find the best that you can and work your way up and that is available but the pay is real small if there is any $8 to $10 per hour to start,Maybe food maybe housing.
I tell most of the young helper that start her on the first day "start looking for a better job right now"and when they have gotten what they can from the experience I help them move on to something better.In a Western barn if you can get ready to be a "Good hand" you will be driving a truck and trailer,helping with all the farrier work and be loping the horses out and cooling them down,setting up for shows and grooming too.
About 80 hours a week in the season.
At the end of the month you are going to have enough money in your pocket to buy a cup of coffee but you are living the life that everyone that is working in an office is dreaming about.
So there are a lot of choices to make like part of the country,type of riding ,how good is the ranch or barn is,etc.
It is out there for sure.
I have worked 9 hour days at a barn I ride at, in exchange for riding and showing, etc. I did heavy work. I mucked all the stalls, arenas, and sometimes fields and the roundpen. I fed and gave hay, checked water - then watered, groomed horses, set up jumps, painted jumps, baling hay, etc etc. I was doing all the jobs no one wanted to do. so I know about barn work and I'm willing to do it. I am also a good rider and smart around horses so I can be around them and have no worries.
I'm also good at grooming, I can clip, braid and bathe. so I'd be a good help in that department too. I'm just trying to see if I can have a future with horses. I'm willing to start very small... I've already been doing all the heavy labor at my barn all summer.
That is great background and I am sure you could find a job and explore it further.
What would your family think?
What if you got a job offer from two states away?
go on yard and groom and search for working student opportunities. great chance to learn a lot from trainers, opens lots of doors to great opportunities, most of the time gets you free room and board, and if you're lucky, a small stipend.
There are lots of opportunities, in my/our world especially. Are you willing to relocate?
And I am dedicated. I worked ALL summer almost EVERY DAY (except weekends, but I was willing to do those, too) 9 hours a day at the barn in exchange for a half hour to an hour of riding time.
So, I'm I guess what I'm trying to say is, I'm completely serious and determined about doing this and I think my family would be fine with it.
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