Buying first horse, Equine college education, training aspiration! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 07-05-2019, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Buying first horse, Equine college education, training aspiration!

Hello everyone!

I am fairly new to horses I would say, despite being around them for around 2 years now. At first I rode Western at a family friend’s farm for lesiure. There I learned the base of riding and became familiar with horses. Then I did English riding lessons for 3-4 months, took a break, and now I am finally back and happier than ever!
It has been about a month since I decided that I wanted to prepare for my first horse. We have plans for a barn, land for turn out, plans to build an arena, and more. All I have been doing constantly is learning hands-on horsecare and reading around 5 different books at a time over horse behaviors and how to care for them. I want to get started though, because this is something I want to do for the rest of my life and as a job. I want to be a horse trainer, a riding instructor, and anything else I can get my hands on! (Besides being a vet, I am way too squeamish for that.) I am struggling to decide what I should aim for in finding a good college for Equine Studies, knowing of any scholarship opportunities and how to achieve them, and how to get an early start to be prepared for my future.
I have a few horse connections around me, but I want to aim for English training and knowledge (hard to do in Southern Oklahoma) and I am pretty picky about morals and beliefs. I pick and choose based on what I think aligns with a horse’s psychology and behaviors most of the time.
I have a lot more but I am sorry about this mess of a post! If it’s unclear what I want answered, I am also sorry. I have so many questions about the equine world! Thank you to anyone who reads this and responds.
Have a great day!
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post #2 of 19 Old 07-05-2019, 04:09 PM
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It sounds like you are looking for a university for equine studies? FWIW, I have read people on this board saying that a degree in equine studies isn't really helpful getting a job.

But what I'm wondering is, when you say you have plans for this barn and everything, how does that fit in with possibly having to move to go to college? Why buy a horse now, right before all of that? You would have to choose between taking him with you and boarding, which would be expensive, or leaving him at home where it wouldn't even feel like he was "your" horse because you would rarely see him.

My two cents.
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post #3 of 19 Old 07-05-2019, 05:02 PM
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You'd be better prepared getting yourself in lessons and finding a barn to work in to gain experience. If you are going to college then having an added degree in equine science can give you a broader base of book knowledge but it is hands on that counts. 3-4 months of lessons is a drop in the bucket when it comes to learning for yourself much less teaching someone else. Working up to training and giving instruction is not a short term accomplishment that a degree can give you and not something a degree is going to prepare you for.


Not trying to rain on any parades but a horse isn't a car where you can open a manual and have a directions to fix what ever is wrong. Instruction is taught by a formula either. Each rider is different as is each horse and horse/rider pairing. What works for one may not work for another. I learned a lot from the classes I took in college so I'm not knocking taking classes but what got me where I am wasn't the classes I took it was the time I spent hands on working for others and having people see me with horses. My degree got me the job that afforded the horses.


Most here enjoy answering questions and are used to posts from excited horse lovers. Answers may not always be what you want to hear but they are given based on experience.
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post #4 of 19 Old 07-05-2019, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACinATX View Post
It sounds like you are looking for a university for equine studies? FWIW, I have read people on this board saying that a degree in equine studies isn't really helpful getting a job.

But what I'm wondering is, when you say you have plans for this barn and everything, how does that fit in with possibly having to move to go to college? Why buy a horse now, right before all of that? You would have to choose between taking him with you and boarding, which would be expensive, or leaving him at home where it wouldn't even feel like he was "your" horse because you would rarely see him.

My two cents.
I hope this is the right way to reply to someone. I’m still getting the hang of this whole forum thing or whatever. First of all, thank you for your response!
I have considered everything you said. I am an All-State vocalist and previously wanted to be a Music Major, but I ran into the exact same thing. A music degree is not going to help me out, especially when I don’t even really want to do it in the future. It does save me lots of money and time to skip out on college, and I would love to do that. My parents really want me to go to college and it is something to fall back on, also I have not been around horses all my life, so that’s why I am considering being an Equine Studies major.
About the barn thing, I was shooting for the stars and planning to take my horse with me and board it near my college, or do an online college. I still have a lot of time before I leave so I thought it would be worth it. I have taken into consideration the difficulty of going through with these kinds of things.
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post #5 of 19 Old 07-05-2019, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QtrBel View Post
You'd be better prepared getting yourself in lessons and finding a barn to work in to gain experience. If you are going to college then having an added degree in equine science can give you a broader base of book knowledge but it is hands on that counts. 3-4 months of lessons is a drop in the bucket when it comes to learning for yourself much less teaching someone else. Working up to training and giving instruction is not a short term accomplishment that a degree can give you and not something a degree is going to prepare you for.


Not trying to rain on any parades but a horse isn't a car where you can open a manual and have a directions to fix what ever is wrong. Instruction is taught by a formula either. Each rider is different as is each horse and horse/rider pairing. What works for one may not work for another. I learned a lot from the classes I took in college so I'm not knocking taking classes but what got me where I am wasn't the classes I took it was the time I spent hands on working for others and having people see me with horses. My degree got me the job that afforded the horses.


Most here enjoy answering questions and are used to posts from excited horse lovers. Answers may not always be what you want to hear but they are given based on experience.
I know horses aren’t cars and I have spent a lot of time with many different kinds of horses and horse riders. I have spent lots of time with and ridden abused horses, horses who aren’t trained well, and perfectly pristine school horses. Of course 3-4 months of riding experience isnt enough, but I’m going to have 3 more years od experience before I even go to college. Reading books is something that makes me feel better when I don’t have any opportunity to just hop on a horse and learn hands-on, or visit a barn at that moment. I also plan to have more hands-on experience in the very near future. My resources are just limited when it comes to that. I understand what it will take to become a trainer, and many colleges that I have looked at are hands-on. The campuses are huge stables with tons of acreage, and you are out their working with the horses. That is your class. I really do understand what all of this means.
You probably thing I’m older than I am, but I’m going to reassure you, I have plenty of time. All I needed was a suggestion on where to start and thank you for giving me that. I plan to continue my lessons up to twice a week and to get stable jobs. Thank you again for your response.
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post #6 of 19 Old 07-05-2019, 05:28 PM
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So, from someone who worked in the barns, as a stall cleaner and every duty done up to & including managing 60+ horse, top-notch show facilities...
It is far different to make a living, a real true living by "horse" than owning one and thinking it is all rosy and fun.
It is fun, till you are over-worked, under-paid and give of yourself, give of yourself and give more...
Called burning out.
This is not fairy-tale and happily ever after for most barn employees...it is dirty, hard work to make a living.

I would recommend go to college or trade-school and get a education where paychecks would be sufficient to offer a living where extra cash to afford my horse{s} and my hobby as a hobby.
Today there are many areas of equestrian and horse related careers that are lucrative...
I'm not sure being a instructor is one of them though unless you have made a name for yourself usually done as a child-rider and can bring along money clients to accolades well connected to you.

Then having a backyard barn is far different than a commercial entity in what you must offer, must do, must provide to a paying clientele, what you must tolerate and put up with or close the doors and only do for you.
You need to know before making the first mark on the ground which this thing at home is going to be and why..
When you make a comment like this... "I am pretty picky about morals and beliefs. I pick and choose based on what I think aligns with a horse’s psychology and behaviors most of the time." it is obvious you are very naive in what working professionally is like with horses.
If you want to eat, to survive you must bend and do sometimes that what goes against your everything, you do. Or you do what I did when I could take no more and walked away from it all...done!

Today, I have horses in my yard if I wanted to to show are very ring acceptable and we could win, but my greatest pleasure today is to just go ride for pleasure, enjoying their company as we traipse along trails enjoying nature.
Ask your friends, your contacts who rely solely on their horse-related paycheck if they make enough to live on on only them, and if they had to do it over would they do differently...
Then listen carefully for their answers and listen to how passion was and is now concerning their job, their horses and what their future looks like.
...
jmo...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #7 of 19 Old 07-05-2019, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post
So, from someone who worked in the barns, as a stall cleaner and every duty done up to & including managing 60+ horse, top-notch show facilities...
It is far different to make a living, a real true living by "horse" than owning one and thinking it is all rosy and fun.
It is fun, till you are over-worked, under-paid and give of yourself, give of yourself and give more...
Called burning out.
This is not fairy-tale and happily ever after for most barn employees...it is dirty, hard work to make a living.

I would recommend go to college or trade-school and get a education where paychecks would be sufficient to offer a living where extra cash to afford my horse{s} and my hobby as a hobby.
Today there are many areas of equestrian and horse related careers that are lucrative...
I'm not sure being a instructor is one of them though unless you have made a name for yourself usually done as a child-rider and can bring along money clients to accolades well connected to you.

Then having a backyard barn is far different than a commercial entity in what you must offer, must do, must provide to a paying clientele, what you must tolerate and put up with or close the doors and only do for you.
You need to know before making the first mark on the ground which this thing at home is going to be and why..
When you make a comment like this... "I am pretty picky about morals and beliefs. I pick and choose based on what I think aligns with a horse’s psychology and behaviors most of the time." it is obvious you are very naive in what working professionally is like with horses.
If you want to eat, to survive you must bend and do sometimes that what goes against your everything, you do. Or you do what I did when I could take no more and walked away from it all...done!

Today, I have horses in my yard if I wanted to to show are very ring acceptable and we could win, but my greatest pleasure today is to just go ride for pleasure, enjoying their company as we traipse along trails enjoying nature.
Ask your friends, your contacts who rely solely on their horse-related paycheck if they make enough to live on on only them, and if they had to do it over would they do differently...
Then listen carefully for their answers and listen to how passion was and is now concerning their job, their horses and what their future looks like.
<img style="max-width:100%;" src="https://www.horseforum.com/images/smilies/runninghorse2.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Runninghorse2" class="inlineimg" />...
jmo...
Thank you for sharing your truth. I hope you know that this isn’t going to stop me from pursuing this career path. I know it’s not rainbows and butterflies because I’m not stupid. Have a nice day.
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post #8 of 19 Old 07-05-2019, 05:46 PM
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After reading your responses to others...I peg you about 15 in age.
Sadly, you don't understand that what you are up against is kids who have been riding and winning, have name recognition in accolades from the time they were 6 - 7 years of age to current.
They are show-brats...
They can have doors opened to chances offered just because of their name and the door shut on your nose...it is going to be tough, really tough.

You mentioned love of music, like to teach, love of the horse... so combine them and look for some type of therapy degree that can combine those loves to make a living and love your job.
Look at being a Ag teacher who teaches animal science and hands on animal in many areas of this country.
The combining of loves can be very rewarding and open more chances to a successful love of your job and the income to accompany that job as appropriate in nature.
Look to be a vet tech...to be a good one is a nice income, very respectable and the undesirable parts of being a vet, you will have some hands-on but none of the responsibility of hard decision making the vet does as you carry out his orders and requests made.
Look at working in a environment for the disabled who have a training center with animals to care for...a mix of things and this can also incorporate love of music as recreational therapy time... = marketing you to be employable and paycheck worthy.
All some other ideas where reality has just met dreams and a workable balance can be achieved.
Just a idea...
...
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The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #9 of 19 Old 07-05-2019, 06:04 PM
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"I understand what it will take to become a trainer, and many colleges that I have looked at are hands-on. The campuses are huge stables with tons of acreage, and you are out their working with the horses. That is your class. I really do understand what all of this means."


Where I schooled you had rotations in the large animal clinic, the breeding barn, the rider assisted therapy program, training classes and working everything from cleaning stalls and feeding to working the school cattle on horseback. There were nutrition classes, basic care classes, physiology classes, anatomy classes, business management... It takes all of that and more to be well rounded (so a love of book learning and willingness to put time in with the books is a good thing). College isn't all spending time with a horse though. This is whether you are at a recognized and accredited university/college that offers equine studies or a specialized equine college. You get experience both places but that experience isn't going to make a name for you. A name is what you need to have the paycheck that covers your bills.



Good that you have time to put in hands on and get dirty before you get to the point where it is time to head off. You'll find though even coming out of school with a degree you'll still start near the bottom and have to work your way up unless you have the money to start your own facility. You still have to have clientele and the only way to get people to pay you is to have proven yourself. That is something you won't do in college. Those I know with degrees from exclusive equine colleges never got where they wanted to be. I'm sure there are those that do, eventually but the degree can actually be a liability when the prospective owner is looking at a BTDT with proven horses and ability vs someone that went to school just for that.



Go to school. Get a degree in something that pays. Go to a school that has classes in equine studies and double major or make that your minor. Teaching music is something that can pay the bills and in the school system comes with benefits (insurance is mighty handy when it comes to horse related injuries) and plenty of free time or at least time that can be scheduled based on what you want to prioritize. It'll also pay the bills. Skipping college and putting in 2 to 4 years in the school of hard knocks isn't going to get you that job that pays for what you are looking to do. You're young. This is a good place to start and many with varied experience that can help you out along the way. I hope you get all that you dream of.
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post #10 of 19 Old 07-05-2019, 06:05 PM
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You will have much more freedom, in the long run of life, if you have a career that makes enough money that you are not working, slaving, and just scraping by , with NO time to enjoy horses.


You'll be better off to try for a career that makes a steady income, and use your extra time and money to enjoy your horse (s).


But, if you insist on working in horses, you might consider studying farriery. There is a never ending need for farriers. It's very hard work, though.
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