What is your day job and how often are you at the barn?
I am an orthopedic surgeon. I typically ride twice during the week and weekends so four days total.
How do you plan your horse's training and show schedule around your work schedule? How often do you show?
I have to plan about 4 months in advance for showing so I can block those days off in the office/surgery and request to not be on call those days. Week to week my trainer will ride the days I am not there and is flexible if I am late for a lesson or have to cancel. I am fortunate he understands what I do and that my schedule can change last minute if I have an emergency case. I show about twice a month and generally take a few months off at the end of the year to give my guys a break.
What do you find you struggle with most as an adult amateur? And how do you overcome that?
I think the biggest challenge for me is simply being an adult. When I was a kid and riding I would just get on and go. I had no fear and didn't second guess anything I did. It was more natural. I took 10 years off from riding after college to go to medical school and complete my residency and fellowship. So to get back into riding after such a long hiatus was a challenge. My mind would remember how to do things but my body would not react. I slowly got back into it starting with just lessons, then did a few local shows and then recognized shows. I have had some amazing trainers helping me along the way and have far exceeded any of my goals. I do my best now to try and not overthink any of it and just ride but it is truly a challenge. In my profession I might read about a new procedure or go to a course to learn something new. I will have it mastered in no time. Put me on a horse and months later I am still trying to be straight, and not pull on my left rein, and not rush my horse over the jump etc. It's almost comical but I think a lot of people can relate.
What's been the best advice you've received and what advice would you give other adult amateurs?
To just have fun. No matter what it has to be fun. When it stops being fun that is when I stop. No matter what happens at the horse show I still have to show up for work on Monday. My patients don't care if I was Grand Adult Champion that weekend or last in every class.
What does being #AdultAmmyStrong mean to you?
So many of us are trying to find that balance between riding, work, family and friends. I respect so many who make it look so easy, because it isn't!
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