I confess, my most recent issue of Dressage Today sat at my house for over a week before I ever had a chance to sit down and thumb through its pages. (Honestly, I still haven’t finished it – so much is going on at the moment!) Ironically, though, the day I finally had the opportunity to give it a preliminary skim was also the day that I had lunch with an equine accountant – so imagine my delight when I found the article by Lindsay Brown entitled Think Outside the Arena: How to Work at What You Love in the Horse Industry!
For several years now, I’ve preached to my students the perks of having a job in the horse industry that isn’t that of a trainer, stable manager, veterinarian, or groom. Don’t get me wrong – many of my closest friends are trainers, stable managers, vets, and grooms! But not everyone is cut out for those particular careers because it takes a certain type of person to thrive in the type of job that entails 24-hour days, seven day weeks, and rarely offers generous vacation packages and salary increases.
Those of us who love horses, however, would love to find some way (any way) to make them a part of our careers, so having lists of those types of options can definitely benefit high school students who are beginning to consider their career options.
Like numbers? Good at puzzles? Then perhaps becoming an accountant who works with professional horse people would be a good job for you. After all, a lot of people can be accountants with enough training, but understanding the intricacies of the equine industry is a unique skill set that you can bring to the table and allow you to create your own niche market.
Dressage Today also lists a marketing firm dedicating to helping equine professionals promote their businesses, information about being an equine photographer and journalist, an equine retail business that helps supply stables and farms with equipment, and (in my opinion) the Holy Grail of all equine entrepreneurship stories: the creation of SmartPak, a very simple idea that’s now a very big name in equine products. (Be honest – don’t you wish you’d come up with it?)
If students know they want to work within some facet of the horse industry, I always suggest that they keep an open mind and attend an equestrian trade fair or exposition in their area – Equine Affaire is my personal favorite for its sheer size. Look around at all of the different types of equine companies represented and ask the people staffing the booths what their jobs entail and how they got there. You might just discover the perfect job for you!
Already have an idea of what you’d like to do and want help finding the college that can get you there? I’m happy to help!