Prepare for a career in the horse world with a specialized equine program.

Breaking into a career in the horse world can happen several ways. If you grew up riding and surrounded by an equine community, it may be an easier path to a job in this world. But if you lack the background, experience or connections, selecting a course or program to give you the education you need to pursue your dream job can be helpful. Western Horseman has gathered a collection of programs designed to help you chase your goals for a job in the equine industry.

Making an Internship Work

One element of an education that has proved vital in finding a career in the equine world is an internship. Some equine businesses recruit from colleges, programs and universities that prep students for a future in this industry.

Cara Brewer is a cutting horse trainer located in northeast Oklahoma. She’s accepted interns from the equine program at Black Hawk College in Illinois. She was originally located in Illinois and found interns from the program ideal for her training operation. Now that she’s in Oklahoma, she still occasionally recruits interns from the college.

Brewer shares some advice for folks aspiring to intern at a performance horse trainer.

Value character over experience. Brewer is not a stickler for years of riding time being a requirement for her interns. She’s more interested in an intern’s character traits.

“We can teach them anything, and we’re going to teach somebody how we want them to ride anyway and
to properly prepare and care for the horses,” Brewer says. “The most important thing that I look for is people who are ready to go to work, that want to learn and that want to come here.”

Work ethic is paramount. Being willing to work and working well with others is what Brewer most values in an intern.

“We have long hours, we travel a lot and we have to work with other people, so they have to have a good personality to work with other people and to work with customers,” Brewer says.

A positive attitude is important. The right mindset will carry you far, Brewer says.

“A positive attitude is what’s most important for us,” Brewer says.

Riding experience is helpful.

Being brand-new to the saddle means a huge learning curve, Brewer says. And some trainers prefer their interns to have more experience than others. She is willing to teach her interns if they have the right attitude.

“We all start somewhere,” Brewer says.

Find your gumption. If you’re interested in interning at a training program like Brewer’s, she suggests seeking out a program that is a good fit for you — even if it’s in a location further than you’d prefer.

“If you have to move or go the extra mile to find the right program for you, just do it,” Brewer says. “And if one program doesn’t work, that doesn’t mean the next one won’t. If you find somewhere where you enjoy the people and the horses, then stay there, and stick it out. The longer you stay, the more opportunities we give.”

Interns that stay with her program are often able to receive lessons on cutting and how to work a horse and may progress to showing horses on the weekend.

“We notice the people who give extra, and we notice the people who have a good attitude — they are positive and enjoyable to work with,” Brewer says. “If somebody has a bad attitude, it just makes everybody miserable, and that never works. So, the positive attitude is very important.”

Prepare for a career in the horse world with a specialized equine college program and as interns in the field.

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