This tongue-in-cheek piece written by Ashley Francese and originally posted on our sister site, Horse Nation, is #sodangtrue that it isn’t even funny, and we knew we had to share.
Horse professionals aren’t in it for the money, which is probably a good thing. Long hours, demanding clients, testy horses and little pay — it’s all part of the job. Here is a tongue-in-cheek look at some folks who likely make more than horse professionals.
Working in the horse industry is not for the faint of heart. It means early mornings and late evenings. Little sleep and lots of coffee. Tending to high maintenance, angsty, anxiety-riddled creatures everyday — and that’s not even counting their horses.
You come in from the barn covered in hay and you perpetually smell vaguely of soiled bedding. And to top it all off, the pay is pretty dismal.
For people who have horses in their blood, none of these things deter them from living their best lives. Horse professionals will eat ramen for days on end to make sure that their horses have access to the best hay.
At this time of year, when everyone else is buying Christmas presents, and I am wrapping myself in some old newspaper and making a bow out of an old rag and giving the gift of myself yet again this year, the poverty that comes along with being a horse professional is an especially bitter pill to swallow.
So in honor of all the horse professionals out there, scrambling to scrape two pennies to rub together, I have come up with a list of 10 people (and I use the term loosely) who make more than I do in a year.
1. A child with a lemonade stand
It’s warm wherever they are. And the kids get to literally make lemonade with what life has handed them. Most people find children adorable, so I am sure they will be paid extra, like a cuteness bonus. I tend to find children sticky, so the idea of a child surrounded by large amounts of lemonade, an inherently sticky beverage, has always kind of freaked me out, but, even without my business, I bet these kids are making bank.
2. My Standardbred while he was racing
So I have this Standardbred who retired after timing out when he turned 15. I knew he’d been a good racehorse and was a warhorse, but until recently I had never looked up his stats. 374 races and $388,281.00 in lifetime earnings. In his worst year, he made over $10,000. In his best years (yes, more than one!), he made over $50,000. SERIOUSLY???? I am in the wrong business! Hitch me to a cart!
3. A waiter (even a clumsy one)
I am pretty sure that Larry, your waiter, from A Series of Unfortunate Events, who *spoiler alert* isn’t even really a waiter, makes more than I do. I have always thought I was too clumsy to be a waiter, since I literally fall anytime I am not on a horse, but I am starting to rethink my career choices.
4. A part-time retail worker
Seasonal employment is looking really good right about now. Put some reindeer antlers on my head, call me Rudolph and I will soon be checking you out at Home Goods.
5. Whoever came up with the idea for Baby Yoda
I am pretty sure that Baby Yoda, a fictional entity, is making more than I am right now. But whoever created him is seriously rolling in the dough. The idea of unleashing Baby Yoda on the universe…GENIUS!
6. A pet influencer on Instagram
Admittedly, I didn’t even know this was a thing. But guess what? There are pet influencers on Instagram and they make money showing off high-quality images of their pets. I’m getting a camera! Now my horses just need to get a lot more photogenic!
7. A dog walker
I am not mad at this one. They too have to work in the cold. They too have to deal with spoiled, high-maintenance creatures for a living…and their little dogs too!
8. A tween working as a babysitter
Again, I am not mad at this one, because of the aforementioned sticky child thing.
9. Stand-up comedians
If you have seen the “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” you know that there’s a running joke about prostitution paying better than Stand Up. Well, even when Midge is doing radio commercials in exchange for feminine products and maple syrup, she’s doing better than most of us. I could get a good price for a lifetime supply of maple syrup on the black market.
10. Low-level crack dealers
And I am not even talking exclusively about drug dealers here, because let’s face it, they probably make A LOT more than we do. But literally a person on the street selling a crack in the sidewalk probably makes more than your average professional equestrian.
So, be sure to treat your barn managers, horse trainers and riding instructors kindly this winter. If they’re anything like me they’d appreciate a gift card for coffee more than you would imagine.
When I lived in Berkeley, there was this homeless man that would stand outside of a coffee shop with a tin can saying, “Spare a quarter for coffee?” I always loved him. He wasn’t asking for you to buy him lunch or to clothe his wife and family. He just wanted coffee. At this point in my life, I feel that deeply in my soul. I should probably be starting a GoFundMe account to feed my ramen habit. But all I really want is coffee.
So, here’s to all the professional equestrians out there, doing what they love despite being broke, cold and dirty!