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Working student

When would be an appropriate time to start asking for working student positions? How early should the application process start? I am able to start in a year, is this too early to start asking around, contacting the barns/riders I am very interested in working for? (What should the email contain?)

I tried to find an answer by googling, but I couldn’t find anything. I checked Yard and Groom but many of those positions are starting from March or April, which is very sudden. But I read that some barns (well one or two) fill up the positions as early as a year in advance…

If you know of any eventing or jumper riders in Europe who take in working students, I would be very grateful to hear of them!

This would be a question to ask the trainers. I am looking for a position to start April 2019 when I graduate from college. Do you anticipate having openings and if so how far in advance should I apply to you?

I am sure the hiring cycle differs from barn to barn. Only the trainer can tell you.

As far as what else to ask, you could give a brief, as in one sentence, over view of your experience. Then ask if that would be adequate for consideration, and if not are there skills gaps you could fill in the next year that would make you more attractive candidate?

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Yup, what Scribbler said. It really depends on the trainer, and if they have an actual working student program, or if they just hire one when they need the help. Research the trainers you’d like to work with and then send them a quick email just asking what you’ve asked here, ie-

“Hi, trainer,
I’m graduating from college in May of 2019 and I’m planning on entering a working student program. How far in advance should I apply for your program? My experience is x and I’m planning on staying with the program for y amount of time.

I’ve only been a working student for dressage riders, so I don’t really know how it is in H/J or eventing land, but for me, I just emailed a bunch of trainers and found some that needed help right away. I was never in an actual working student program, so I can’t give much advice on that, but what I would do is just find some trainers you like, find out as much as you can about them (show records, talking to former WS if you can find them, etc) and them just email them a couple of months before you’ll be available. Most won’t know a year out if there’s going to be an opening for you.

Thank you Scribbler and JustTheTicket! I don’t come from an English speaking country so your advice on the emails has been useful!

I think I will wait until the summer to actually send out any emails, but in the meantime I will definitely do research on several riders/trainers.

I would look at groom positions for eventers and jumpers rather than looking for working student positions. Look for ones who specifically need a groom who can ride as well, but also don’t be afraid to ask and say you are looking for the opportunity to ride/lesson. I did the working student thing but I got more attention, more varied rides, some money, and generally better living conditions as a groom than as a working student.

I will say working for a single rider is a way way way better life than working for a rider with a facility or for a yard. I worked for less money than a lot of grooms, but I did work for one rider, with only three or four horses at a time, and I got lessons. I then worked for more money and less everything else for a couple other riders. The first job was significantly more productive for me personally, and I would still be there today if my rider hadn’t basically run out of money.

You’ll find there’s a lot of…mobility as a groom. Like, some riders have the same groom for years and years and years, but a lot of them who go through grooms like Kleenex, for one reason or another. But there’s always another job, and there’s always something to learn. Even when I worked for a terrible awful girl, her coach was a well-regarded and successful Olympian, and I got to set fences with him, he instructed me on how he wanted the horses worked by me before she got on them each day, and I got the benefit of listening to him teach and watching him ride.

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Bumped by spam that has been reported.

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:lol: I would create another account to play along but too much work.

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it is different. Will give the OP the benefit of the doubt. Sadly this might derail her thread