Sarah Enwright is an adult amateur jumper and equitation rider from Southern California who works 9-5 in the Pharma and Biotech industry and she is the founder and creative mind behind the new equestrian apparel brand Calverro. The brand has been live for a little while, but it officially launched May 25!
Learn more about how Sarah plans her horse's training schedule around work, what she struggles with as an adult amateur and what being #AdultAmmyStrong means to her.
Name: Sarah Enwright
Discipline & Division: Modified and Low AA jumpers and Adult Equitation
Horse's name & age: Bocelli, "Bo", 13
What is your day job and how often are you at the barn?
I'm a Quality Assurance consultant for clinical trials working for Pharma and Biotech companies and also the founder and designer of Calverro.
Calverro is a new equestrian apparel brand that I'm really excited about. I am at the barn as often as possible which usually works out to about three days per week.
How do you plan your horse's training and show schedule around your work schedule? How often do you show?
My consulting job often requires a lot of travel to doctors offices and vendors. The travel makes it tough to get the barn and makes it impossible to have a consistent schedule, which is a struggle when trying to plan and prepare for shows. I usually show about six times a year at a combination of county and A-rated shows. We have a nice county circuit in San Diego which is good prep for the 'A' shows and many are at the same venues.
I have to start the year with all the horse shows I might want to attend on my calendar and book my work travel around them as much as possible. Being a consultant it's hard to take time off for horse shows but it does allow me the flexibility to work from anywhere. You'll often see me sitting at our barn setup writing audit reports or taking meetings from my phone ringside. It's not ideal but we all know it's an expensive sport and we work hard to be able to afford to ride.
What do you find you struggle with most as an adult amateur? And how do you overcome that?
I think I struggle with the same things that most amateurs struggle with – trying to balance my work and home life with my barn life. Both of my jobs, consulting and Calverro, are pretty demanding and it's tough to get out to the barn and be relaxed and focused on my ride while I'm there. I have to put my phone in my tack trunk and try not think about the meetings I have coming up or the work I need to get home to. I try to block my calendar so that I can find a three-hour window for barn time, which involves a 35-minute commute, otherwise it'll just fill up with meetings.
I have to make the time and then dedicate my focus once I'm there, which is usually easier said than done. Other days, I have to say no to the barn to focus on work. It's also hard to consistently ride leading up to horse shows. There are always times I think I could have had a better show or moved up a division if I had more time to ride consistently throughout the week and before shows. I can't count the number of times I've landed from a work trip with a horse show the next day.
It's an ongoing struggle but one that's totally worth it! I need my barn time for mental stability. My significant other would agree with that. I'm lucky that he lets me spend as much time as I want at the barn on the weekends. He knows and has accepted that "I'm leaving soon" usually means I won't be home for another couple hours. I don't have kids but have a ton of respect for the moms who are able to balance kids on top of work and riding.
What's been the best advice you've received and what advice would you give other adult amateurs?
Be patient. Again, easier said than done. Be patient with yourself, be patient with your horse, and be patient on course. Usually when I'm not seeing the distance, if I'm patient and do nothing the distance will show up. If I panic and react, I usually miss or choose the wrong distance (my favorite distance is the long one!).
The other great advice that I try to follow is to set the pace that you need before the first jump. With the right canter which my trainer often calls a "bouncy canter," meaning my horse is using its back and hindquarters, the distances tend to show up and you have options to move up or add.
What does being #AdultAmmyStrong mean to you?
It's means supporting other Adult Amateurs both your barn mates and those you compete against. We're all facing the same struggles trying to balance it all, and we all just want to have a glass of wine at the end of a horse show day!!
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