I was lucky enough to gain a stablehand position a few years back at Blinkbonnie Equestrian Centre and learn a lot about running a riding school business, as well as riding horses! The proprietor Christine Mogensen has kindly answered some questions about running a riding school for Equus!
How much of your day/week is related to horses?
Most of the time is related to horses, this is about 50+ hours per week. Often is it organising things, ie bookings, staffing, finances rather than working with them directly.
In this field of work, is it possible for someone to be a full time professional, earning a livable income?
Yes, it is possible but the “living” is marginal.
What are the general steps taken to be employed in such a role?
Save lots of money, ride lots and get lots of lessons, learn about horse keeping, facilities management, client management and staff management, learn about coaching, start small grow larger. Listen to advice from others.
Any advice for those interested in pursuing this line of work?
Its hard work, but rewarding. Try working as a riding instructor first to see if you really like it. Make sure that you like people and teaching them not just horses!
Is there anything else with horses you’d love to learn about or try?
Lots of things, its just time and money which are a problem! I would like, in no particular order to : ride the Bicentennial Trail, ride and train high school dressage movements, try hunting, learn to work cattle on a horse, try polocrosse.
Favourite horse memory?
Too many favorite memories! Recent ones include seeing my first foal just after he was born and thinking he was a possum, hearing my favorite horse nicker to me as I dismount as if to say “hi, where have you been?” Getting a Christmas card from client saying how much they have enjoyed my lessons this year!
Ride better and know more.
Best thing about your sport/profession?
The horses. Especially when they blow in your ear.
“A horse is an animal not a machine and is only as good as it’s rider.”