There is no shortcut to becoming an equestrian. You cannot even call it a career or sport. It’s all and none of the above. Being an equestrian is a way of life. It’s a lifestyle. You live and breathe through the arena and the barn. You care about horses more than anything and sometimes, anyone, in this world. And yes, you go through that with no assurance that it’s going to be a successful way to earn a decent living. In this field, nothing is for sure.
But as an equestrian, you have to know a lot of things—from attaching horse bits, instinctively knowing when a horse is ill, jumping over high fences, to dealing with horse owners and bidders. Most of the time, there are too many things you have to deal with that you forget why you’re even here in the first place. If you are truly passionate about becoming an equestrian, here are some things that you should know:
Becoming an Apprentice
You need to find an apprenticeship—someone who’s going to take you under their wing. From being an apprentice, you will learn how to take care of the horses and the barn. You will learn the basics of being a rider, as well as assisting a rider. Riding will actually be a very small part of your apprenticeship. Most of what you’re going to do will be focused on the maintenance of the barn. You’ll look after the horses, too, and that’s a critical part of your training.
Learning All Roles
People are so used to instant gratification these days that they go from being completely clueless to becoming an equestrian in weeks. They don’t want to start from the bottom. They don’t think that being a groom has to do with becoming a great rider in the future. Have you ever heard about a golfer named Tiger Woods? Before he became the greatest golfer of all time, he had first assisted his father and his friends on the golf course. He was, as they called it, a range picker.
Shortly after he had learned the ropes of the sports, he took it up and became so good at it that he started earning achievements before he turned 10 years old. Like all athletes, you need to learn the sports from inside and out, from bottom to top. What’s wrong with becoming a groom or following a veterinarian around the barn? You’ll learn a lot from these professionals.
Getting Financially Ready
Another thing that you have to know about being an equestrian is that it’s not a profitable career or profession. Many people believe that this sport is for the rich and famous. While in some way that is true, many have earned the trust of a horse owner enough to have a horse to practice with. But you need to find a way to earn some money for yourself. Although you can expect a small amount of money from working in a barn or ranch, this will not be enough to tide you over. You have to find a way to earn money and work on your equestrian skills at the same time.
As with many things in life, you have to work hard to fulfill your dreams in this industry. What is wrong with that anyway? The best things in life, after all, are those you have worked hard for.