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So Im currently in high school.. but im at the point where i need to start thinking seriously about college and my future career.. Everyone asks me "what do you want to do with your life" etc; the usual questions. But the only answer i have is "horses". I know, it probably sounds like a typical horse-crazy high schooler, not thinking about the later consequences (both positive and negative) of choosing horses as a full-time career. However, I honestly cant find anything else that interests me.. my parents want me to be super successful in life, choosing a profession as a doctor, or an anesthisiologist (sp..?) But I cant even begin to imagine waking up every day to work with/on people, and besides.. blood makes me almost pass out :? Im not exactly a people person.. I hate school, and count down the hours until i can escape to the barn. For the past almost three years, I was in training as a working student with a well-known trainer in my local horse community. In those three years, SO many different horses passed through the barn. We were faced with so many different problems (training and medical). I learned so much, found it so interesting, and devoted myself willingly to do the best for each horse. She took horses in for training and bought projects to train and resell. Thats how she made her living, and she was so happy doing it. THATS what I want to do. Ive thought long and hard about it. I probably seem incredibly naive.. but Im serious. Ive done some research on different colleges with equine teams/study programs. Id love to double major in horse training/instruction and buisness/farm management. Not worried about the amount of money ill make..just want to be able to do something that will make me happy. But id still like some input and advice..on if Im making a reasonable choice, and on the best colleges. Also on any other horse-related careers where I could have plenty of time to ride? I want to be able to take my own horse and compete in jumpers while Im at college. So far Ive looked at Lake Erie, U of Findlay, and Sweet Briar.. but not exactly what ive been looking for.. any help would be super appreciated :D please understand im serious about this decision!
 

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United States Equestrian Colleges Directory - O Horse! ---- heres a good tool to help find good equine/equestrian colleges...

all you really gotta do nowadays is google horse college and itll bring up lists of colleges and what kind of majors they have to offer....i personally am going to go to West Texas A&M because they have a really good breeding, and vet program. plus they have rodeo, show, and eventing teams so its a major plus for me. and its located in a good place for me to get a job on a ranch and i can afford to have both my horses there.....but thats also 3 yrs down the line when my contract with the army is up so i may change my mind!

but yeah theres that site and really just put horse college in and theres all kinds of them
 

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If you're going for not as expensive yet a down to earth program you might look into Murray State in Kentucky. If price isnt a concern I would say Midway Women's College. Don't count it out just because it's an all women's college. The campus is beautiful, if older, and the equine program is top notch from my understanding. I've toured the campus and looked into the college countless time. I would go if I could afford it. Depending on your personality you can also look into Stephen's Women's Colllege in Columbia, Mo. A lot of people, fun parties, and the barn girls are all pretty fun. Be prepared to work hard in the arena. But you have the opportunity to ride English, Western, Saddle Seat, and do Driving. Close to Stephen's is William Woods in Fulton, Mo. Smaller than Columbia but probably the better program of those two schools. Your dream isn't at all out there or silly or anything else that anyone could call it. I have had the same dream for years. I would be on my way to Murray this fall but I just had my dream job fall into my lap being a glorified stablehand, getting to ride world champion horses every day. I couldn't turn it down. Good luck to you! I hope you find the perfect college for you, don't be drawn in by programs that look good. Really see how much time the riders spend in the barn and how much they actually do in the barn. You don't want a barn that doesn't let you do anything for yourself. While that can sound fun after a hard day of classes you lose out of building any kind of bond with your school horse if you don't take your own with you.
 

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Take a look at Earlham College. They don't have an equine major but they have an incredible equestrian program with by far the most opportunity for hands on barn work of any college. The barn is entirely run by students and it looks great on a future resume. You get a lot of experience riding, teaching, working with horses, doing barn work and their team H/J is pretty good.
 

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Well I am currently a student at William Woods here in Fulton MO. I am majoring in Equine General Studies with a concentration in Therapeutic riding. Here is a link to the site that explains all that is offered here- WWU | Equestrian Studies

There are over 150 horses here between the three barns. There are 4 seats you can ride here- Dressage, Hunter/ Jumper, Western, and Saddle Seat. There are riding classes, horsemanship classes, Barn management classes... You name it they have it here. It is a rather small campus which is really nice. The equine program here is one of the best in the country. If you have any questions feel free to ask me. But remember do your research and see what looks good to you.
 

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Take a look into doing an internship or apprenticeship with a trainer. I took a year off after graduating high school and decided to try it out. I wanted to see if I'd get burned out with horses. I found a barn that focused on my passion, which is dressage and jumped right in as an intern. Now I've been here almost two years and I don't want to leave! It's living, breathing horses all day, every day. They do training, breeding, selling, boarding, general horse care, camps/clinics, showing, farm management and the business side of things and I get to learn them all. It's a great start into the horse community and network, as my name is beginning to get out there, especially with the showing.

I have not experienced the other hand of going to college and taking horse-related classes, but the interning is very hands-on and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I found this farm using Google, but Equestrian Jobs and Staff, Horses and Horseboxes/Trailers for Sale and Equestrian Dating is one of the best places to look.
 

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horses are a hobby and the first thing to get kicked to the curb when things get rough. The job market is extremely small and tends to go to family members that already own land. Youd be much better served by getting into a lucrative job field with high demand. Then you can enjoy your off time and have money to spend on your own horse. Look real hard at transportation, medical, and IT, maybe advanced service. Nothing wrong with hating people and being in the medical field. From my experiences most medical people do hate people , or you would think they do by the way they treat you. But there are other things than medical. Take a hard look at future job growth, expected salaries and best bang for the buck in education.
 

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I go to Stephens in Columbia, mo. I do the equine assisted therapy major. I love it here! It's like becoming a member of an amazing family. The teachers really care about you, class sizes are small. Like an earlier post said before, be prepared to work in the arena! I wouldn't want to go to any other college in the world!
 

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I'm at CSU :) maybe you could look into it too? I'm not an equine science major but they do give them a lot of opportunities. I want to take the colt training class they offer, they get colts and fillies donated from ranches like the four sixes, pitchfork, etc to train for the semester and then sell at the "legends of ranching" sale. :) I'm an animal science major and I love it! I came here for that stuff though, I'm originally from AZ. Good luck!
 

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horses are a hobby and the first thing to get kicked to the curb when things get rough. The job market is extremely small and tends to go to family members that already own land. Youd be much better served by getting into a lucrative job field with high demand. Then you can enjoy your off time and have money to spend on your own horse. Look real hard at transportation, medical, and IT, maybe advanced service. Nothing wrong with hating people and being in the medical field. From my experiences most medical people do hate people , or you would think they do by the way they treat you. But there are other things than medical. Take a hard look at future job growth, expected salaries and best bang for the buck in education.
This exactly why I wanted to do animal science!! Nobody wants to get rid of their food! But horses? Yeah :/
 

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just like you thats all i could say then i crunched the numbers and id be living check to check and thats no way to live so I'm now going into the family business which is owning a bar so i will be able to live comfortably
 

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No to Midway. Program is a joke, to be honest. Went there (not for equine) and observed what students they graduated. Ehh. Less than impressed. Needless to say, I transferred.
 

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I totally understand wanting to make horses a career. BUT as someone who makes her living with horses, I'd strongly suggest a backup plan. I have Mgmt & Finance degrees as well as investment rep (stock broker) licenses to fall back on should I ever need it. I worked for several years at a wall street based firm and trained horses part time. After my daughter came along I gladly left the corporate grind and went to horses full time to allow me to be a stay at home mom. Best decision ever. The money, not even comparable but I make more than enough to cover overhead on a pretty nice farm and a little extra in my pocket. Doesn't hurt that my hubby has a good job as well and he funds our retirement, vacations & mad money :) I could get by fine on my own without his income but I would be making do with a lot less. There are still some days that I think it would sure be nice to have those big paychecks again but then I remember that I'd have to wear a suit everyday, so I gladly pull on my boots and get to work :wink:

Just do your research and decide what you can & can't live without. Being on your own doing the horse thing, you will more than likely be giving up quite a bit until you get established. It's all about what sacrifices you are willing to accept to follow your dream.
 

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It's all about what sacrifices you are willing to accept to follow your dream.
That is so true. I commend you for following your dream. I definitely say get the college degree...double major in something non-horsey if possible; business, psychology, biology would all help you with horses/horse training, but have applications outside the horse industry as well. Tough world out there, and if your backup plan allows you do stay afloat financially, at least you can continue your horsey habit. It would be sad if you didn't make it with a horse career, and were then too poor to have a horse. You'd be horseless AND broke. Get the degree, go for your dreams, and have a backup plan that will pay for your horses!
 

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Check out Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, PA!!! If you're serious about turning your love of horses into a career, then I swear that's the place to go. Good luck! :)
 

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Not sure where you are located..but there is a college in Alberta called "olds" I've heard good things about their horse program there
 

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I totally understand wanting to make horses a career. BUT as someone who makes her living with horses, I'd strongly suggest a backup plan. I have Mgmt & Finance degrees as well as investment rep (stock broker) licenses to fall back on should I ever need it. I worked for several years at a wall street based firm and trained horses part time. After my daughter came along I gladly left the corporate grind and went to horses full time to allow me to be a stay at home mom. Best decision ever. The money, not even comparable but I make more than enough to cover overhead on a pretty nice farm and a little extra in my pocket. Doesn't hurt that my hubby has a good job as well and he funds our retirement, vacations & mad money :) I could get by fine on my own without his income but I would be making do with a lot less. There are still some days that I think it would sure be nice to have those big paychecks again but then I remember that I'd have to wear a suit everyday, so I gladly pull on my boots and get to work :wink:

Just do your research and decide what you can & can't live without. Being on your own doing the horse thing, you will more than likely be giving up quite a bit until you get established. It's all about what sacrifices you are willing to accept to follow your dream.
This is what I was told when I wanted to do the horse-thing full-time as a career. You need to have a back-up plan, something to fall back on - especially because it can be tough starting out. If you don't have a spouce to help you, are you going to bring in enough to put away for retirement? Vacation? Supporting children?

I ended up going to school for 3 years to become a veterinary technician. That was my back-up plan. I don't plan to continue with training horses but I do want to do trimming.
 

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The one thing I like about stephens college is our pet program. You can board your horse on campus, plus we have pet dorms so you can have a dog, cat, rabbit, etc on campus with you. Plus there is now a scholarship for fostering pets for 3000. Its a really neat program.
 

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I went to Findlay for a year and rode at both barns. The western barn is amazing! I would stay away from their English barn. It is bad news. You won't learn anything at the English barn. I know you are pretty set on working in horses for a career but you will be eating cat for dinner. :p.
 
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