I have had many types of jobs and careers during my working lifetime so far and I can fully say that the one career choice that involved animals is by far the most rewarding. I absolutely hate retail and those jobs were very short lived. Manufacturing pays well but is as boring as heck. I like working with computers and even thought of pursuing a career as an IT professional and looked into getting an IT degree, but in the long run I know I would not be happy doing it, I like working with animals.
The one career that I really loved was being a professional horseback riding instructor. I didn’t get involved in the horse training aspect since I didn’t want to get involved in boarding horses. I loved showing people how to properly ride so that they could avoid developing bad habits in their horses. It is my sincerest belief that 90% of all problem horses have a bad rider as the main cause of their problem. The other 10% can be attributed to conformation of the horse, pain in the horse, ill fitting equipment or the wrong equipment and the personality of the horse and horse owner just don’t match.
My clients not only loved how I helped them, they referred more clients to me. There was one Christmas that I received beautiful gift baskets from my very thankful clients that had become friends.
So why did I stop doing that career? It was a sad day when I gave up being a horseback riding instructor. The decision was made because the area we lived in was being re-zoned. Several boarding stables had to close and I was no longer allowed to conduct my business on my own ranch. I was allowed to go to my clients ranches and do a sort of “house calls” type of business. It was OK in the beginning but the cost of transport (I took my lesson horses with me) and the amount of travel time was taking its toll on my business. The clients that did not have a ranch and relied on coming to my place for lessons dropped my services. The re-zoning killed my business in less than 6 months. With the encroaching city now within 4 miles of our ranch and the industrial warehouses now seen from our back porch, we decided to move.
While we live in an area where I could start another riding lesson business, I have not even tried to start one. I would love to try it again but something in the back of my mind holds me back.