Working Student, Equestrian, PonyApp

When opportunity knocks – Top 3 Things to Remember as a Working Student

Keys to success from Double H Farm working student, Jacey Albaugh

What do you love most about being a working student?

My favorite part of being a working student is getting to be involved at all levels in the barn.

“I love seeing the horses I ride at home do well in the ring with their owners and know that my riding and care was part of their success“

It is also an amazing way to make new contacts. Especially being at a barn as well-known as Double H, I’ve gotten to meet and learn from so many riders that I have always looked up to.

What process have you gone through to get your working student positions in the past?

I rode with my first trainer from the time I started riding until I was 16 and we never had grooms so the older I got, the more I started to do around the barn. I wanted to spend more time with the horses, and she basically let me live with her in the summer and spend all day helping. After that, I moved to a barn that had grooms, but I still liked to help and do as much of my own work as possible. I never really asked to be a working student until Double H. I was looking for a place to work and bring my horse for WEF 2018, and I figured I might as well reach out to everyone who’s contact information I could find. I emailed Double H my resume and Quentin answered and said yes!

What are the top 3 things everyone needs to remember while in the role of working student?

1 The most important thing to remember for me is that you have to be grateful for every opportunity. The situation may not always be perfect, but there is a chance to learn from every experience and you have to be grateful for that.

2 The second thing is to put in your full effort every day. If the people you work for can see you are trying your best, the more likely they are to give you opportunities. The whole point of being a working student is to work in exchange for being taught, so it’s crucial to work hard enough to make the trainer want to teach you.

3 Finally, you have to learn from everything. I’ve learned so much, everything from feed and supplements, to grooming, shipping, veterinary care, and most importantly: riding. You’re guaranteed to learn something new every day as long as you’re paying attention and want to learn.

What are your goals in this position?

I am trying to figure that out right now! I’m currently a sophomore in business school at TCU and trying to decide if I want to make a professional career out of the horse industry or go into the business world. For now, my goal is to learn and ride as much as I can so that doors are open in the future to work for different people and hopefully get back into the show ring.

What is the best piece of advice you have learned from someone you’ve worked for?

Quentin has never explicitly said this to me, but he always hints to keep going and it will pay off. He grew up being a working student, so he’s great to work for because he understands where I am coming from and where I want to get to. He’ll say things like “one day when you have clients” or “when you’re jumping these classes,” so it feels great to know that he thinks I can get somewhere if I keep working at it. It’s just that little extra motivation that makes me want to do the best I can for him and the whole Double H team.

How has being a working student helped you in your transition of riding on a NCAA team at TCU?

Being a working student has been very helpful moving into the barn at TCU! It’s great because I know how to plait braid and I’ve been able to do a lot of that for meet days. Double H is huge on their horses being beautifully turned out so I try to bring that to school, especially for meets. Things can get pretty hectic during meets and the organization skills I’ve learned from show days transition really well into keeping things running smoothly at school.

What piece of advice would you give fellow working students?

My best advice for fellow working students is to make good impressions with as many people as possible. I find that very helpful because it’s opened a lot of doors and created connections for me. At the end of the day, if you spent it with a horse, it’s a good day so there’s never any reason to have a bad attitude or leave a bad impression. Trust me, it makes all the difference for the people you work for!

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