Amateur Hour: Amy Nelson
What is your day job and how often are you at the barn?
I am the Director of Outpatient Services for a company in the mental health field. I own my own barn so I am there everyday morning and evening and sometimes in between.
How do you plan your horse's training and show schedule around your work schedule? How often do you show?
I ride almost everyday when I get home from work. I try to plan out my week and what I want to work on with each horse, who is getting ridden which days, etc. I like to keep them in a program and adjust it according to lessons learned at each show and prepping for the next one. I have taken a brief hiatus from showing over the past several months due to personal reasons but am working to get the horses back in shape and ready for the 2016 show season.
Typically I like to be in the show ring once a month. Sometimes more if there is a local circuit going on. It can be challenging to plan out shows between what shows my trainer has chosen and fitting those into my work schedule. If I plan enough in advance work is typically not an issue and I am able to take off. There were times when I would be at Winter Series for 4 -5 weeks and need every Friday off and work is understanding. Now-a-days with laptops and smart phones I can be accessable at the show if needed.
What do you find you struggle with most as an adult amateur? And how do you overcome that?
Showing in classes that are during the week. I've been at shows where I have shown during the week and been done on Saturday. It's not reasonable to expect that all amateurs are not working or can take the time off. Traveling long distances to show can be challenging too. When I have to add in travel time and then showing on weekdays I end up having to take the entire week off which can be hard. I call those my "showcations." Those are fine once in while but I can't do that on a regular basis.
What's been the best advice you've received and what advice would you give other adult amateurs?
That this is supposed to be fun. As long as juggling work, riding, and showing is fun it is worth it. When it starts to get stressful or is no longer fun it is time to step back and re-evaluate.
What does being #AdultAmmyStrong mean to you?
To me it is about the determination and grit that is takes to reach a goal. There are days that I am exhausted coming home from work but I have horses that need to be ridden and taken care of. Even though I may feel like relaxing on the couch and watching TV I go out to the barn and I ride anyway. And I am always glad I did. I'm not going to reach my goals without putting the hard work into it. I feel fortunate to have my horses at home. Taking care of them myself allows me to forge a stronger bond with them. When I do well at a show it makes all those hours spent in the barn after a long day at work completely worth it.
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