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Something I have been thinking a lot about lately is how important it is to get an education beyond high school. This might not be university, but it is important to train in something. It is tempting to think that you can do horses your entire life, and maybe you can, but we all need a back up plan! Things don't always work out and on top of that- horses aren’t a cheap game to play.

I understand in writing and posting this that there will be people who don't agree with me or might feel attacked because they didn't further their education, but this isn't about making anyone feel small! It is just about empowering others who might be thinking about their future. I left school after year 12 and I went and worked in horses for a couple of years and I did learn a lot but it was never going to be a long term game for me simply because without financial backing, you are going to struggle. I knew at some point I was going to have to train in something else because at the very least I needed a back up plan in case I became injured and could no longer pursue my riding dreams. I also didn't want to be in a position like I had been where I was relying on other people to get rides on good horses. I wanted to be able to get those horses, own them and have that security that I could run a small team well.

I know some of you will be thinking as you read this that my next stop was university to “get an education”. But no. I went and trained in airline customer service, then went to Victoria University for a year before getting a job offer as a flight attendant. Which had always been a dream of mine. After my first year of uni, I went and started flying, knowing I could return to study. Which I did! I flew for a year and then continued my education with Massey University while I was flying. It was really hard work to hold down a full time, rostered job and uni, but it was super important that I finished my degree.

I am so glad that I did that, and in reflection, my journalism and arts degree has really given me an advantage in my life now. No, i don’t write for a mainstream news organisation or work on the TV as a journalist, but the things I learnt from my five years of study have really helped me forge ahead in my now life.

Education is so important. It doesn’t have to be a degree but train in something. If you don’t know what, then do what I did and train in something that you have burning passion to be part of. You don’t have to have your whole life mapped out, you don’t need to know where exactly you are going but give yourself something else you can hustle towards. Don’t leave it to chance or other people, you go and get it!


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