What is your day job and how often are you at the barn?
I am a Customer Service Rep at a table top manufacturer. I work 8-5 Monday through Friday. My horses are boarded ten minutes from work which makes it pretty easy to see them after work. I go to the barn probably 4 days a week after work depending on weather, etc. I feed, clean stalls, turnout etc on Sundays so I spend a lot of time at the barn then and usually go out on Saturdays as well.
How do you plan your horse's training and show schedule around your work schedule? How often do you show?
I plan which shows I am going to attend at the beginning of the year. That way I can plan my budget and see if I can actually afford to go! I typically show 4-6 times a year at schooling shows. I try to go to an A show every couple of years.
What do you find you struggle with most as an adult amateur? And how do you overcome that?
The hardest part is, of course, time and money. I left a well paying job in Louisiana last year when I moved to Alabama after getting married. This past year has been a huge adjustment. In Louisiana, my horses were in my backyard. Now they are 30 minutes away and I have to pay board. The pay cut I took plus board has made showing more difficult. I am very lucky to have a supportive husband that helps me out when needed and more importantly understands that horses are my passion. I am also very lucky to have an amazing boarding situation. My horses are well cared for and spoiled. Chance loves it here so much that he came out of retirement and started showing in the 2'3" division. He was Reserve Champ at his last show! If I didn't have the support from my husband and the barn family I now have, I wouldn't be able to compete. I am very grateful for that. I help out at the barn as much as I can since they help me. I like to pull my own weight and be helpful. I don't sit still very much at shows or at the barn.
What's been the best advice you've received and what advice would you give other adult amateurs?
I'd have to say the best advice is to breathe! I still get nervous before going in the ring and have to take a few deep breaths. As a junior, I was caught up in winning. As I've gotten older, I became caught up in enjoying myself and having fun! It's tiring not getting home until 8:00 or later at night and having to do housework, etc but in the end it is worth it. I can't imagine my life without horses, even if I'm not competing. On the rough days, we just have to remember why we do this...because we love it.
What does being #AdultAmmyStrong mean to you?
Being #AdultAmmyStrong gives me pride. Riding is my hobby. Riding is my life. Having other adult ammies out there who understand the struggle is just another wonderful support system to get us through the ups and downs, the good and the bad.
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