By: Ambassador Alexis Martin
At the end of one year and beginning of the next we all start to think about the shows we will be going to -- what circuit, what area, what dates. All of that is so exciting to just think about not to mention actually going for it, whether it's points, qualifying, moving up a division, or gaining invaluable experience in the show ring.
As an Adult Amateur and working college student there are a lot more details that go into the planning of my show schedule than there used to be.
I now not only need to keep in mind my school attendance and grades but also my jobs, the care and maintenance of my horse, and the budget that comes along with my adult life. Yes, back when I was a junior it was all so easy. Pick and choose shows as I go just keep up the good grades and hard work. Well now that I'm an adult so much more goes into making the decision of what shows I can attend, how many I can go to, how am I going to keep my points up, etc.
I'm still learning how to balance my schedule between classes, studying, working, riding, and showing. As I attempt to figure out this entire 'adulting' thing I have realized that Tuesday-Thursday classes are the classes to be in. That gives me Monday, Wednesday, and Friday-Sunday to do school work, ride, work, and go to shows with out the nerves of missing my classes and falling behind. School is a huge priority to me especially if I plan to have my horses in my life for the long run. When it comes down to picking what show, what date, how often etc., everyone at the farm talks about it and we all begin to pick and choose shows that tends to work for all of our schedules. Obviously sometimes people have to stay behind, or leave behind others but everyone is always rooting for those away showing. I work as many hours as possible to help pay for all of the expenses that come along with showing. Although it can get exhausting, it's completely worth it. Working as much as I can and learning how to balance work with riding and school I feel has made me appreciate every opportunity I have in my life even more. I have also learned more than I ever wanted to about the scary word 'budget.' Although I may not get to show as often, and it's not as easy as it was back then, I have found that I am more appreciative for the opportunities that I do get now.
Figuring out when to show and putting all of my work into action is something I have started to become really good at and I hope to continue getting better at balancing my busy life and show schedule.
If I have learned anything from moving from a junior to an Adult Amateur title, it is that now when I get to the show ring I have played a much different and in many ways a larger part in getting myself there. Not only am I responsible from the standpoint of my riding and horse's care but an overall and perhaps one of the most important parts the of getting to the show...I am now responsible for balancing life and finances with horse showing. Although it often seems like an impossible task it is one that I gladly take on for the incredible honor and love of participating in this sport.