Sometimes things aren't what you're hoping for, but still work out pretty awesomely.
I had my meeting with the equine director of a local youth home this morning. She's awesomely nice and really fun. We spent an hour just chatting about our experiences and ideas and the program's needs (because we were there for business, after all.). It sounds like we're going to be able to help each other out and we're both excited about the possibilities.
Since the previous director apparently left rather suddenly, they didn't really have time to go searching for another candidate. The woman I talked to worked for one of their other campuses in the state and transferred up here to fill the need. She used to be a certified instructor, but let it lapse since she wasn't teaching anymore. Their other instructor is having knee surgery, so she won't be able to mentor her, which is where I come in.
She is looking to hire me on a temporary basis to get her teaching hours in. She'll be paying me for my supervisory skills as well as my expertise and feedback as she gets back into the swing of teaching. She's looking to get certified at the end of March, so she's going to have to boogie. If she didn't have the horse background that she does, and if she hadn't been an instructor before and was used to working with the disabled population, I wouldn't agree to mentor someone in that short amount of time. Yes, you can get your 25 hours of supervised instruction, but there's a lot that you need to learn and absorb before you're ready to teach solo, and as your mentor, I'm the one who has to sign off on it and say "Yeah, you're totally ready for this". I'm not going to do that until I know that a candidate is totally and completely prepared.
So that's the not what I was hoping part. I was really hoping that I could mentor her for now, and then they would hire me on as an instructor part time for the summer, but they don't have the funds to pay for more personnel than their director, everyone else is volunteer. Since the ranch is a large non-profit organization, that's not surprising. She did encourage me, if I wanted to, to come out and volunteer after she gets certified. I'm thinking I probably will if I have time, because it's good to stay in the industry, even if I'm not actually employed. And you never know, funds might appear at some point in the future...
The best part though? (I mean, besides the OMG I have a job in the horse world again thing, which is pretty amazingly awesome) She's a dressage rider. A classical one at that. There is hope out here. She used to breed Swedish Warmbloods and is a certified equine massage therapist (always wanted to do that!). On top of that, she's really nice and seems like a lot of fun.
Overall, I am so incredibly excited for this endeavor!