How to tell if your new horse job is AWESOME!
A few weeks ago I posted a list of supremely horrible horse job situations - like giant red flag, run away screaming and don’t look back horse job situations. Now, we get to take a peek at some jobs that have been the total, polar opposite. The GREAT horse jobs. They exist. Pay special attention to the feelings involved - the words used to express gratitude, love, pride, joy that comes with having a job that is wonderful.
So let’s roll with your stories about the best jobs:
“Now I am 20 and work full time as a groom, stable manager and whatever else I can do!. I have been in this job full time for 3 years now for the same person, and yes, I find it hard some days and wonder why I do this, but then every other day it’s the best and most rewarding job in the world. I get to be outside all day with horses doing the breaking and the training; I feel like I accomplish something when I work the "breakers", I love watching them improve every day. My boss is great when I need a hand all I have to do is ask and he will help me, I am a small chick that can’t always do everything. I also help him with his jumping horses and managing them as well as the breakers. I have gotten to watch the jumpers change and improve over the years and that really drives me to work harder. The joy of them coming home from competition with ribbons or even without ribbons and being told what they did, how they have improved and what the plan is for them. I tend to be left at home these days to look after the horses and keep the breakers ticking over (unless my boss takes more than 4 horses to a show), being left at home is a big deal, it shows responsibility and trust. That is a great feeling!!
Well I could go on and on and on about this job. I am proud to be a groom and wouldn’t want it any other way.”
“I worked as a polo groom for a equine Vet. I learned a ton about horse health and how to treat basically anything. He had great horses. He respected my opinions. He gave helpful feed back on what I could do to improve the horses. Always paid me on time!!! His wife was a Chef and would cook for me. To this day they are some of my closest friends. If he still played polo I would still work for him. And he is still my Vet!”
“Wherever I worked as a groom it was awesome, because everywhere I could learn many new things. It’s the best possibility to improve my skills because I can work with awesome trainers (at home and at the shows), several great Vets and really professional Farriers. And they are always willing to explain me everything and give me a lot of responsibility. And the best feeling is when you figure out, that you are on the right way and get a feedback from customers, Farrier, Vet and your boss for sure. To me - couldn't be a better place. I’m more than thankful for that!”
“The best horse job I ever had was at Weaver Quarter Horses in MT, I worked there during the summer a couple of years ago. A beautiful place, great horses, and amazing family!! It was a grueling job, but I had the once-in-a-lifetime chance to be a real cowgirl!! (This may not be a big deal to some, but I'm from a country where American cowboys are exotic XD) We sometimes had to get up at 3 am to chase rogue cows up and down the mountains, ride not-so-broke horses (I got bucked off 3 times in a day...), fix fences, break colts, brand, chute-work and general ranching. I learned a lot about ranch, horse and cattle work, and there I got hooked into starting colts as well! The Weavers are an amazing folk, they welcomed me into their family right away and are amazingly generous. They let me borrow a colt to train for my college classes (drove it 5 hours to my barn at no cost, too) and also invited me as an English-Spanish translator for their yearly sale once. We keep in touch once in a while, and I still have very, very fond memories about that place. If you work for the right people and are treated fairly, you're always highly motivated, no matter how hard the work is!”
“Working at a girl scout camp in my early 20's. Love the horses and helping new scouts learn about horses!! The reason I have stayed an instructor!!”
“Cleaning all the stalls each day in a large show barn. In exchange I received lessons and board for my Morab. That was my very first job ever, I thought I was on top of the world! Not only did I have my beautiful, dapple grey Morab in a lovely show barn, where they trusted me so much, I was often left alone to do my job. I felt so grown up and I loved everything.... the hard work, smells, sounds, all the learning that occurred! That was definitely a pivotal moment in my little life, making me even more passionate about horses and animals in general.”
“My business, while I don't actually take care of others' horses except my own, I work in a horse business. www.horsehollowpress.com Spend time thinking of crazy horse sayings, what is going on in the horse world that I can turn into something funny or put it on a greeting card. Fun!”
“I work as a polo groom now too. Very hard work (when is it not when you work with horses) but very rewarding, as I see all the hard work I put into conditioning them translating into good performance out during a match. Also, I'm learning so much about horse care and get to work with some pretty awesome horses as my coworkers.”
“Cleaning stalls...it gives me time to reflect and gives me peace...times 10!”
“My story starts with college (the incredible Sweet Briar what was just saved by the historic action of the alumnae and friends). While at college I had the opportunity to clinic with several Olympians (Lendon Grey and Joe Fargis). I also had the opportunity to clinic with Scot Evans. I was amazed at how much could be learned in two days with these incredible riders and teachers. I graduated college (BS in Biology) and entered the working world, as a stable manager at a different college. The years went by and I had several different jobs in the horse industry (I had 5 part time jobs at one point). During one day while I was on rounds with my Vet (as her Tech) I came across Scot at a barn, in charge of horses, in my home town! I was elated to have found him, having last known he was out of NY.
I believe it was the same day when I "found" him again that I took him aside for a moment and told him that whatever he was doing here, I wanted to be a part of it. It truly didnt matter to me, I knew that I had to be involved. He slowly allowed me to do more and more. I finally became his groom on the road for a very special child rider and was blessed to take care of some incredible horses. My favorite horse was able to give me some incredible experiences as a groom. I got to go to indoors with him, be a part of some fun derby and finals classes, and was privileged enough to be the groom for the 2013 WCHR Children's National Champion. Never in my wildest dreams!!! It was a team effort and I got to be part of that team. I credit the skills that I have honed over the years, the patience of all those who taught me (human AND horse), and my bold move of "demanding" to be involved with my trainer.
I got to go from a backyard rider to the groom for a national champion working for an international trainer. I am fortunate enough to get to learn from the best and be constantly pressed to improve and be better. I am grateful and excited every day I drive into the farm. That is the mark of being in a very good place in my opinion!”
In a nutshell - I’ll add a few simple words. No job is perfect, but the really good jobs will get you out of bed in the morning. The good jobs give you something more than a paycheck, teach you something, help you along to a higher goal. When you work with someone who wants you to succeed more then they have, it’s a good sign. Surround yourself with positive, supportive people and you can thrive, even on the days where nothing goes right and you are on your feet for what feels like an eternity.
Don’t settle for anything less, life is too short to not be happy in your work. Period.