I am currently a junior in high school, and so, it is time to begin my search for the right path in life xD I've always been 100% about having a career in the equine industry. However, I have swayed back and forth from equine veterinarian, to professional rider, to trainer and everything in between. I have also been 100% about going to college. So at this point, I am trying to find the right major and college. I recently recieved mail from Delaware Valley College and so, checked out their website. In doing so I saw they have an Equine Studies major. I have heard about it before but never really read up on what it was. From the DelVal website, it seems to be really interesting. And so here is my question. Has anyone here majored in Equine Studies or does anyone have extensinve information about said major? If you did major in Equine Studies, do you think it adequately prepared you for the equine industry, and how well rounded would you say it has made you? Thanks!
I have an animal science degree (pre-vet) with an equine emphasis from a major university. I rode with IHSA, took classes on equine industry, equine evaluation, equine production, behavior and training, etc etc. I've been teaching/training full time for about 6 years now and while I absolutely loved my college years, quite honestly, my degree hasn't helped me out a whole lot. Sure, it's crucial to be able to evaluate the conformation of a horse but you don't need a degree to do it. The things that I use in my job are things that you need to learn with hands on experience and time in the field. I have a reputation as a trainer because people bring me horses to ride and they leave happy, healthy, and more rideable horses. I have a reputation as an instructor because people bring me their kids and they learn how to ride. Success in the show ring (for myself, my horses, and my kids) doesn't hurt either... Do you need a degree to do this? Nope. For me it's just icing on the cake. I know quite a few very respectable and very successful people in the industry with no degrees.
I think in this day and age though a degree is very important. I'm glad you're definitely going to college. It's especially important to have a back up plan when your life and dream is horses. You never know what will happen in this industry. What i think is really lacking in a lot of really successful trainers is business skills. Trainers/instructors/BMs/BOs use business every single day: management, law, insurance, finance, investments, accounting, advertising, different computer programs, I could go on and on. If you REEEAALLY want to work in the industry, my suggestion would be to get a degree in some kind of business and spend your summers working your butt off as a working student with a reputable trainer who is willing to teach you everything she knows and has a sizable network of people who she can hook you up with for a job after graduation.
Sorry, this is kind of long. :) But quite honestly if someone came up to me looking to be hired I would care less if they had an equine degree, or any degree at all. All I need to know is can they ride, can they teach, and are they willing to work hard.
I'm only in grade 10 but like eventer17 i am also looking at an equine future. is getting a major good enough. I was considering going to Olds College and getting an Equine Business and Management major. I considered a horsemanship major but my boss and instructor is an olympic rider so I get all the riding needs right there. Would getting a major be good enough?
Do what you love. The downside to working with horses is you will make crap for money. Don't get my wrong, you will make enough to perhaps live "comfortably" but money will always be tight. If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.
I always thought I wanted to work with horses, I got accepted into three different colleges for large animal science/equine sciences, but I would come out with what? you know? Now I'm in college to be a vet tech with a minor in large animal science so atleast I have a backup plan. Always have a backup!
^^ After re-reading your first post, I got accepted into Delval and I loved it!!! But it was more expensive to go out of state. They have a GREAT equine program. The town next to it is really cute it's called Doyles town and it's like an old english style place. I have a friend who goes there for Zoology. It's a very very small college though.
And the girls on the riding team are very close-nit and the majority of the girls are stuck up.
Thanks so much for info guys!
upnover: That is my major concern about a degree in equine studies. I was scanning through the major specific courses, however, and there were quite a few involving business and barn management, so I'm thinking maybe it would still be okay. Do you think I should minor in business?
White Foot: Yes I know Doylestown. Lol. I actually only live a half hour away in King of Prussia, so I'm right in the area ;]
To the OP- I am just about to finish my second year of vet school so I can give you some input on that route. If you want to become an equine vet, you should definitely shadow/work in a clinic first. Equine medicine is a 24 hour a day 7 days a week job and most of the time you are working with owners who are difficult. You don't get a lot of time to ride or to be with your own horses and if you want to have a family in the future that is also very hard.
But it can be done so don't let these things stop you, just realize that you must think about them long and hard. For me, I love science and solving puzzles and that is what vet med is all about. As far as majors in college, it doesn't matter what you major in as long as you fulfill all the pre-reqs. We have girls in our class with majors in foreign languages, theology, communications, and of course things like zoology and animal science. The most important thing to getting into vet school is having lots of experience and good GRE scores. Straight A's are not necessary but will help you a lot.
Good luck with finding your path in life. The best advice I can ever give anyone is don't be in a hurry. Take time to travel and to work and live life, I started vet school at age 30 and it has not hurt me one bit at all!!!
xD Small world.
If you go for equine studies you can do alot in the field. Anything from lab work (testing food, looking for cures, eta..) to working and riding in the field.
honestly, its better to do what will make the best money, then do something you love. you want to be able to afford horses, and being a professional rider, horse trainer, riding instructor, etc will most likely not make enough money.
My mother is a engineer and she works for the military. she didnt want to do this as a carrier, but it makes great money, and she can afford a great house, having 3 cars and a motorcycle, and the horses.
She always told me never go to college for the most "fun" thing you can study because its the easy way out and you'll struggle later.
My aunt was an engineer making great money, but she quit to "do something she loves", and now she's dirt poor and has to stay with her abusive boyfriend so she has a roof over her head.
if you really want to work with horses, i would recommed Vet tech or Veterinarian. Both of those carriers were in Time Magazine on their best jobs for upcoming years list.
Im sorry if I didnt give you the answer you wanted, or if i sound cynical, but im truely trying to help you out. You want to afford horses, and you want to live confortably. Professional rider, instructor, horse trainer are deffinitly not the way to go. Keep horses your hobby, or as a second job to a job that makes better money.
We have good friends down the road that have been in the horse business for 40+ years. They have no college, do no advertising, have no internet access, but have a great reputation, all via word of mouth. They are very savy business people and weather the ups and downs of the economy, seasons, and horse business because they are well diversified... breeding, training, instruction, boarding (full and self care), trail rides/special occasions, farming (hay), and construction (e.g. arenas, fencing, etc).
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