Tessa Ting balances her time in the saddle competing her two mounts, 10-year old OTTB Briyonce and 13 year-old Hanoverian X TB Lady Amalthea in the 1.0-1.10m jumpers and her full-time job as a respiratory therapist at a hospital. Tessa is on the front lines helping patients fight COVID-19 and is always on standby to head in to the hospital.
Learn how she balances work, riding and showing and what being #AdultAmmyStrong means to her.
Ting competing with her mare Lady Amalthea . Photo by Grand Pix Photography
What is your day job and how often are you at the barn?
I am respiratory therapist at the hospital we manage ventilators which is life support when you can't breathe on your own. I work three 12-hour shifts so usually at barn four days a week or five when the days are longer. Right now with COVID-19 I am on standby to come into the hospital whenever called upon due to this crisis.
How do you plan your horse's training and show schedule around your work schedule? How often do you show?
Because I do most of my own training, it can be rough and makes no day offs for me. During show season I try to trailer in once or twice a week for lesson. When I am out of town I send the horses to boot camp with a trainer. I try to show all the local shows as often as I can but depending what's going on in my life I do unfortunately have to miss out on showing. I try to do at least accomplish one or two rated shows a year depending on what's happening in my life and my crazy schedule.
What do you find you struggle with most as an adult amateur? And how do you overcome that?
The thing I struggle with most as an adult amateur is my budget. I wish I could afford full training on my horses because it would make life so much easier and help my show career progress. The hardest thing as adult amateur is feeling like you can't progress unless you have a large budget. I like hotter horses and end up buying mares that no one else wants because I can get along with them, but sometimes it can set me back.
What's been the best advice you've received and what advice would you give other adult amateurs?
My biggest advice for an adult amateur is remember why you started riding; remember being that little kid who loved ponies and not the ribbon you won. Once I became an amateur a lot of stress came off of me and now I just feel proud if I make it around a course well.
Another piece of advice is if you find a trainer who you don't mesh well with, find someone else! I have had trainers who made riding a chore and no longer fun, and that is not a what this sport is about. It's about you and your horse!
What does being #AdultAmmyStrong mean to you?
#AdultAmmyStrong means more of a family than just an individual. Being an amateur means accepting that it's not all about the ribbons and points, and we're all here to have fun with our horses. I truly feel the older I get the more I appreciate my horse and showing where as a junior I took advantage of the lifestyle.
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