23-year-old California native trains horses for a living

When it comes to her job of working with horses, Elena Rose wears many hats. She’s a professional groomer, a horseback riding trainer and a horse trainer — all at the age of 23.

Rose grew up taking riding lessons and cites the 2002 animated movie, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, as the beginning of her passion for horses.

“I’m on the autism spectrum, so usually when my mom and dad took me to the movies, I didn’t have any way to deal with sensory overload, so I’d cry and they’d take me out,” Rose told In The Know. “But then I saw the horses on the screen and I was mesmerized.”

Rose works at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center at a barn in the back of the property — the same place where she learned to ride as a kid. It was an effortless transition for her because she was already so familiar with the people and horses there.

As a groomer, Rose feeds the horses, gives them supplements and gets them ready for lessons. As an instructor, she teaches just about anyone who wants to learn how to ride.

“I love teaching,” she explained. “It can be really gratifying and exciting.”

Rose teaches over 30 lessons each week — catering each lesson with both the student and horse in mind.

“What might surprise other people is just how much physical activity I have to do each day,” she said. “Lots of people don’t get that this is a physical sport, that’s part of the reason why horseback riding is in the Olympics. It requires a lot of time, effort, patience and training.”

Despite the exhaustion, Rose overall considers her job to be a very rewarding and fulfilling thing to do.

“I expect that horses will always be part of my life, no matter what,” she said. “Being with horses my whole life … has gotten me a lot that I wouldn’t have gotten any other way.”

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