I personally would choose it as a hobby. I still want it to be a huge part of my life, but I need to have a steady job so I can afford it. It would be my dream to turn pro and own my own farm, but so many people try and fail, so I would want to take the safe route. I would still want to be at the barn a lot, and own a horse and show, but I need more in my life than horses. But having a good job with a steady income, means I can do more as an adult amateur.
I see this question on a pro/con basis. For example...
If I was to work in the equine industry ‘when i was older’ aka full time:
-I might become a pro
-I might make it large
-I might be doing my dream and be wealthy from it
-I might not become a pro
-I could fail easily
-My body would age quickly due to how much physically the sport demands
-I would have a more worn out body in my old age
If I was to work a ‘regular job’ and keep horses as a passion ‘when i was older’ aka do horses in my free time:
-Id be financially stable w/ a career
-I wouldn’t be as stressed out
-My retirement would be better because my body wouldn’t be as beaten and worn down
-I would be able to retire sooner (possibly)
-I wouldn’t see my horses as much
-It would be harder to grow as a rider/horsewoman
-I would have to time aside to be with my horses and almost force them into my schedule
-My horses wouldn’t always be my priority, my job would have to come first (no pay, no pony)
Honestly, all this considered, I’d rather work a job and find time for my horses. It’s going to make me more stable for my life and allow me to grow mentally and with a family. Riding dreams are great, but life has to be something more than just horses, to me at least.