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Rescue_Rider9
Apr. 11, 2011, 03:01 PM
I am 21 and still completely unsure exactly what I want to do with my life. Currently, I am working as a bank teller and I LOVE it. I always thought that I would want to train and teach as a full time job, but doing it just part time worries me. I worry if I will be able to pay the bills. I worry about my students quiting and I worry about being horse rich and financially poor.

I don't, however, ever want to stop competing. I worry that working a normal job will hinder me from moving up the levels. I remember a few years back a school teach ran rolex, but is that the norm? I will probably never make the US team, but I would at least like to be able to compete at 2 and 3* and possibly rolex while working a normal job... Is this possible or should I start reassessing what is important to me?

bornfreenowexpensive
Apr. 11, 2011, 03:11 PM
Absolutely possible to be competitive at the 2* level and working a non-horse job. And not all that unusual.

At the 3*+ level it is more uncommon but certainly not impossible or even unheard of. There is no reason you couldn't...and in fact one of the profiled Rolex riders this year works a normal job. It will all depend on the quality of your horse, your riding ability...and your drive.

I've personally known more than one rider who was competitive at the 3*+ level while NOT working in the horse world....and even more who competed at Advanced (and many many more who were perfectly capable but chose not too...to focus on other goals in their lives.)

NeverTime
Apr. 11, 2011, 03:21 PM
Where there's a will, there's a way. You'd probably be surprised by just how many people can and do do this. Some people do it with careers like nursing that have built-in chunks of time off that make competing easier, but you'd be surprised by how many intense people in high-powered careers are out there, working 60+ hours/week and doing very respectably at intermediate and advanced. And, those are the folks who make enough money to pay for their horses and equipment, take PAID time off to compete and generally "be" in the horse world without sacrificing so much else to do it.

Rescue_Rider9
Apr. 11, 2011, 03:30 PM
Thanks y'all! Y'all are really helping me not feel so down about being unsure about what to do with my future in the work force! Knowing I can still compete at the level I want and make money makes me VERY happy!!!

sarah88
Apr. 11, 2011, 03:34 PM
Ok so maybe you don;t have a 'string' of horses going... but you can focus on one or two, compete, and have the money for lessons, competitions, and the surprise veterinary expenses! Plus... chances are since you are in the 'real world' you will have some concept of fashion, thus preventing you from ever being on the rolex jogs 'worst dressed' list! haha

secretariat
Apr. 11, 2011, 03:36 PM
Review Amy Tryon's career if you want a great example of how to work a "real job" and still compete at the highest levels.

Rescue_Rider9
Apr. 11, 2011, 03:38 PM
Where can I find information on Amy? I didn't know she worked a real job

poltroon
Apr. 11, 2011, 03:42 PM
Amy Tryon and Kerry Milliken both had "real jobs" competing at the 3* + level. Reed Ayers who posts here has a very serious academic career while competing at the 2* level.

Being an amateur gives you some flexibility. You don't have to sell the horse you're riding to pay your bills. It's easier to love your sport when you don't have to do it because the mortgage is due. You can always turn pro later. That is, in fact, a path I'm seeing more and more from dressage and event riders: competing as an amateur for years and then turning pro in their 30's or 40's.

poltroon
Apr. 11, 2011, 03:43 PM
Where can I find information on Amy? I didn't know she worked a real job

She was a firefighter and her coworkers would adjust all their shifts around so that she could go to the World Equestrian Games.

http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/eventing-horseman-year-amy-tryon-0

She didn't quit her firefighting job until 2006.

Rescue_Rider9
Apr. 11, 2011, 03:50 PM
I just found her website! Thanks everyone for all the support and reassurance!

scubed
Apr. 11, 2011, 03:56 PM
Debi Crowley was still working as a software engineer when she won the Radnor CCI**

Kevin Baumgardner is a lawyer and made it to the Intermediate Leaderboard while he was also serving as president of the USEA.

Samantha Garbarino, also on the intermediate leaderboard in 2010 is an architect

It is completely doable.

NeverTime
Apr. 11, 2011, 03:56 PM
Somewhat off-topic, but: Being an amateur with a day job, trying to compete at the upper levels, I was always interested in Amy's story but never could quite add up how Amy switched so many shifts that she could come East for months at a time and still work full time back home.
That's the oft-told tale, and I do understand that firefighters work generally work 24 on/24 off then get several days off in a row, but once she started coming East for more than just a few weeks around an event, I never could quite understand how she could swap enough shifts to do that without having to go home and work 20 straight weeks of 24-hour shifts! Does anyone know whether that really was how she did it the whole time she served as a firefighter, or if that was how she started and maybe went to part-time later as the riding career heated up?

bornfreenowexpensive
Apr. 11, 2011, 04:04 PM
Somewhat off-topic, but: Being an amateur with a day job, trying to compete at the upper levels, I was always interested in Amy's story but never could quite add up how Amy switched so many shifts that she could come East for months at a time and still work full time back home.
That's the oft-told tale, and I do understand that firefighters work generally work 24 on/24 off then get several days off in a row, but once she started coming East for more than just a few weeks around an event, I never could quite understand how she could swap enough shifts to do that without having to go home and work 20 straight weeks of 24-hour shifts! Does anyone know whether that really was how she did it the whole time she served as a firefighter, or if that was how she started and maybe went to part-time later as the riding career heated up?

Don't know the story...but it I would think if you used all your vacation and sick time...and possibly took a short leave...it would be do able but difficult. It is why she probably had to leave that job.

I will say it also matters where you are located. Living in DC and now in SE PA....It is very easy for me to get to competitions. Given my career...I sometimes (but not always) have to hire a groom to help me get my horses show ready (i.e. manes pulled, braided etc) but often our events...even at the higher levels are day trips. If you have to travel and loose 3-4 days per event...then competiting is much harder.

So think about where you want to live...both for your career and the riding.

Ibex
Apr. 11, 2011, 04:13 PM
Hinrich Romeike (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinrich_Romeike) did ok despite the whole being a full time dentist thing... :D

wildlifer
Apr. 11, 2011, 04:57 PM
Sure you can do it. Just like anything else you want to really focus on, it takes dedication, good time management and planning skills, and a work ethic. I work full time +. But I only have one horse -- were he capable of climbing all the levels and did I have that drive, I would have time to do it. Now, I don't have time to do anything ELSE, but that's ok, there's nothing else I want to do, LOL.

eventer_mi
Apr. 11, 2011, 05:02 PM
Get denny's new book and read it - it discusses exactly what you are asking. it's about the choices you make now, and understanding how they lead to the results you have in the future. Good read, even if you aren't interested in competing at the top.

Divine Comedy
Apr. 11, 2011, 05:26 PM
I'm graduating with a mechanical engineering degree in May 2012 and I fully intend on becoming the upper level amateur. I'm planning to move to Newark (following my SO who will be working in NYC hospitals during med school), so eventing in Area II will be SO much closer for me and hopefully most of my events will be day trips.

I might have to take six months or so off from competing in order to accumulate vacation time, but my horse can have a nice break and be a horse for a while, then come back into work.

Oh, I just finished my first CIC**, I'm aimed for CCI**, and hoping to run Advanced sometime early next year if all goes well. I'd love to try for Rolex by 2013/2014 if all goes well. We'll see of course, you never know, but I have no intention of quitting when I graduate.

Rescue_Rider9
Apr. 11, 2011, 06:10 PM
Get denny's new book and read it - it discusses exactly what you are asking. it's about the choices you make now, and understanding how they lead to the results you have in the future. Good read, even if you aren't interested in competing at the top.

I read the exerpt from it in practical horseman and even made a post about it a while back. he says if you want to make it in the horse world, work in the horse world.

bornfreenowexpensive
Apr. 11, 2011, 06:18 PM
I read the exerpt from it in practical horseman and even made a post about it a while back. he says if you want to make it in the horse world, work in the horse world.


They also say if you want to make a million dollars with horses...start with two million.


I don't know the book...but of course it is easier to be a "better" rider if all you do is ride. But there is more to life than just horses. And just being a "better" rider doesn't mean you will be sucessful.

Your question was whether it was possible to ride at the UL and not work in the horse world. The answer to that is most certainly yes. There are pros and cons with each route.

deltawave
Apr. 11, 2011, 06:24 PM
"Making it" can be defined many ways. Yes, if you want to "make it" as a trainer/pro, that requires a different commitment. But you're talking about "making it" as an amateur, which is not what Denny's book really focuses on.

Blugal
Apr. 11, 2011, 06:28 PM
To follow bornfree's comment: as I recently said to someone, in reference to my goal of riding at the upper levels as an amateur,

"I don't want to be the top dog. I don't need to be one of the big dogs. But I'd like to be able to run with the pack."

Rescue_Rider9
Apr. 11, 2011, 06:33 PM
To follow bornfree's comment: as I recently said to someone, in reference to my goal of riding at the upper levels as an amateur,

"I don't want to be the top dog. I don't need to be one of the big dogs. But I'd like to be able to run with the pack."

I love it!!!!! May i put that on my facebook?

Blugal
Apr. 11, 2011, 06:40 PM
Go for it :)

subk
Apr. 11, 2011, 06:54 PM
To follow bornfree's comment: as I recently said to someone, in reference to my goal of riding at the upper levels as an amateur,

"I don't want to be the top dog. I don't need to be one of the big dogs. But I'd like to be able to run with the pack."

This is similar to what I said when I was an amateur riding at the CCI**. "I don't want to be a top dog, I just want to get off the porch and run with the big dogs."

Does being a full time mom to elementary age kids count as a "real job?"

Somedays I think the best bet of getting to the upper levels is as an amateur with a better bank account than a LL teaching pro has. It takes time and money. Most pros have the time and not the money. Amateurs with good jobs have the money but not the time. Figuring out how to work the time thing with a real job pay check seems more realistic than being a pro and trying to find the money.


Don't know the story...but it I would think if you used all your vacation and sick time...and possibly took a short leave...it would be do able but difficult. It is why she probably had to leave that job.
I heard that she work every holiday shift for a decade. A Christmas Day shift swap isn't a one for one swap. :wink:

bornfreenowexpensive
Apr. 11, 2011, 07:04 PM
I heard that she work every holiday shift for a decade. A Christmas Day shift swap isn't a one for one swap. :wink:


VERY true:D

And yes...being a mom counts as full time job.

What I haven't figured out how to do is ride and have a career...and have a social life (let alone start a family!!!!).

Now if only my horses would stop breaking....and I had a 36 hour day!

subk
Apr. 11, 2011, 07:17 PM
What I haven't figured out how to do is ride and have a career...and have a social life (let alone start a family!!!!).
See I have a theory: You can have it all, just maybe not all at the same time...

VicariousRider
Apr. 11, 2011, 07:23 PM
See I have a theory: You can have it all, just maybe not all at the same time...

THIS.

Also, a lot of pros have a really tough time finding the funds and/or sponsorship to make it possible to ride at the ULs. If they don't own the horse then they have to do it on someone else's terms.

I haven't had designs on being an ULR since I was about 15 but I know from experience that I want to ride on my OWN terms! Horses are not as fun for me as a job as they are as a hobby and as my pets.

GotSpots
Apr. 11, 2011, 08:17 PM
Particularly if you've got a professional job that gives you some decent flexibility in your schedule, it's absolutely possible to do, and to do well. Working full time and competing consistently at Prelim/CCI* is pretty easy to do - and lots of folks do it. Suspect that's in part because - with a good horse and some experience - it's doable even if you're not riding every day. I think it's harder when you move up to OI/CCI** (maybe because that particular jump has been staring me in the face for the past year, what with various injuries and coaching issues pushing it away), and of course beyond that, since you really need to be riding more consistently, and your conditioning time gets harder. You definitely need to have help - it's instrumental to have friends/and a coach who can help with some of your conditioning work, and you need to be ok with sometimes shorting yourself on sleep sometimes to make it all work. Just make sure you've got enough resources that you can bail yourself out of a tight spot - the day that you were planning to do trot sets but a crisis at work keeps you late, you need to be able to have someone you can call who can help you out. Likewise, you need coaches who get that sometimes you're really going to want that 7:15am lesson time and be ok with you meeting them at the show because you can't take the time to drive down three days earlier. And most importantly - buy/train/find/cherish the best jumping horse you can, if the upper levels is your goal. You want that horse who absolutely wants to take care of itself and gets its legs out of the way and who will take care of you - because if you're not riding six or eight horses a day, you're necessarily going to need a little more help from your partner.

piaffeprincess98
Apr. 11, 2011, 08:44 PM
I'm sort of in the same position as the OP. I'm 24 and still deciding what I want to do. I think the most logical choice is to find a good job that makes good money. I think I'd rather have that security then be worrying about money all the time, but I don't like sitting at a computer all day! I just end up thinking about riding instead!

I'd like to have a job that keeps me occupied enough during the day and challenges me a bit and makes money, but is also flexible because right now, my horses are the most important thing in my life. I compete a lot and train a lot. I also realize that at my age, sometimes you have to put the work in first before you can get the flexibility you want. That's why I'm having a hard time diving in right now!

My ideal job would be to work from home or work part-time somewhere for half the day and ride my horses or someone else's the other half. I can dream!

I have to say, I feel very lucky because I have a horse that doesn't actually need to jump/XC school a lot, which helps with my time management. If he has two days off, he's fine when I get back on and he's naturally very fit. Of course, I feel like I need to practice everyday, but it definitely helps to have a horse who's ready to go all the time and doesn't need to drill and practice a lot.

poltroon
Apr. 11, 2011, 08:58 PM
I think nursing, if that's a career option that appeals, may be an ideal one for an eventer. The skills are valuable anywhere you want to live (including rural areas with inexpensive land), you can work part time or full time, you can work crazy shifts that give you more daylight time, and the pay is pretty good.

And, if you end up turning pro, being a nurse is still pretty useful. ;)

wsmoak
Apr. 11, 2011, 09:12 PM
My ideal job would be to work from home or work part-time somewhere for half the day and ride my horses or someone else's the other half. I can dream!

These jobs exist, but you typically have to create them. And you don't get to do that until you have a sought after skill set so that you are enough in demand to be able to write your own ticket.

In general, it's going to take some dedication, which may mean putting horses on the back burner for a period of time.

For me, it happened when my newly purchased horse got very sick. I threw myself into some volunteer stuff I was involved in, and that turned into one of those work from home jobs you're talking about.

No matter what: do what you love. Everything else will follow.

Roxy SM
Apr. 12, 2011, 12:19 AM
No matter what: do what you love. Everything else will follow.

I so hope this is true! I would love to have a good paying job and then find the time to ride as an ammy at as high a level as I could manage (I feel the same as the others who say they don't need to be one of the top riders, but they want to be good enough to compete against them), but I think finding a good-paying job is harder than it seems. Especially as a recent college-grad in a weak economy. You often have to work nonstop for years to pay your dues before getting to the point where you are making great money and have the time to ride. Also, some jobs are definitely more secure financially than riding as a pro, such as being a school teacher, but do those kinds of jobs really pay enough to have a horse or 2 and compete?

wsmoak, I must say you have given me hope saying that something you were volunteering in became a job. I am currently volunteering doing something I would love to do as a job but can't because there simply aren't many of these positions out there. I love every minute of it and it is the highlight of my week, and I hope one day I can do it as a real job!

bornfreenowexpensive
Apr. 12, 2011, 07:16 AM
You often have to work nonstop for years to pay your dues before getting to the point where you are making great money and have the time to ride.


This has always and will always be true. There is no job that pays a lot of money and doesn't require you to work hard for it......

Vic_007
Apr. 12, 2011, 08:01 AM
At the end of the day, you need money to compete. Horses cost money, and for the average person, we arn't born with money.

I think for someone who is an amature and working up to the top level, having a job is perfectly fine. Just because you have a job, doesn't mean you can't change careers later in the game once things progress.

Amy Tryon is incredibly hardworking and I admire her very much :D

I have a young family, so im not competing right now. My kids are only going to be babies once in their life. I am still doing a limited amount of training, and alot of it is done out of my families farm, so my kids can come with me. I've changed my focus now to doing a bit of breeding and hopefully will have some good prospects in a couple years to get back into competing with. I'd also like to work on getting my own farm in the mean time.

Wee Dee Trrr
Apr. 12, 2011, 08:52 AM
This is a decision I made a couple of years ago... In the end I came to the conclusion that I would rather have a "normal" job and one horse that I can positively afford.

So what happened? I'm in school (still)!! But I'll come out with the potential to make enough money to comfortably keep my horse. And all the while I'm riding about 3 times a week. We're having fun being a backyard pair. :winkgrin:

I still have aspirations to do prelim/* on the horse I have, maybe intermediate if he's into it... but I figure I'm not trying to make a team so it doesn't matter if horsey does his first prelim at 5 or 15...

If things go as planned, when he does go prelim I'll be able to ENJOY it because I'm not constantly worried about paying bills! Also, I'm looking forward to my career, I think speech therapy is interesting and helpful to many people. (and I won't sit at a desk all day:))

Jazzy Lady
Apr. 12, 2011, 10:58 AM
I think the hardest part about not living in the horse world and competing UL is the money and time. If you have that, then why not?

I work FT. I could ride all 7 days a week if I wanted too, but I cannot afford to keep my horse going at the ULs of the sport. I did it while I was in school which is more of a time commitment than my job, but I had parental support which I no longer have. So my lovely UL horse is retired. We play around now and he's happy, but there will always be a part of me that is sad I never made it.

I wish I had the time to ride, but I don't now. Regular life has gotten so busy in general and a wedding coming up soon (YAY!) that it's just not feasible for me. Maybe when I'm older and we're more financially secure I can chase the dream again.

Like others have said, where there is a will, there is a way. If you want it that bad, you can try. It may take longer, and it will take a heck of a lot of money, but if you and your horse have the talent and the drive and the heart, it's possible.

poltroon
Apr. 12, 2011, 04:01 PM
No matter what: do what you love. Everything else will follow.

I think sometimes youngsters take that too literally, though. Perhaps a better way is to look at it as "find something in the world where you want to contribute."

It's best if you enjoy what you do. But there's a whole package to one's life that should not be ignored. It's hard to enjoy being an artist if you can't afford to buy supplies. It's hard to enjoy being an artist if people ask you to paint dreck day after day in colors that will match the sofa.

On the other hand, finding a career that complements and enhances the activities you love can work brilliantly. And the synergy isn't always obvious.

You don't want a job necessarily in the horse industry to have a job that complements your life goal of being around horses or competing. That's the trick, to figure out the ingredients that you need to compete, and to find different ways they can be fulfilled.

mugsgame
Apr. 12, 2011, 04:22 PM
This is a wonderful blog - though they are based in the UK its all about the trials and tribulations of someone competing at 2*/3* level and being a full time working amateur.
http://www.shoestringeventing.co.uk/

bornfreenowexpensive
Apr. 12, 2011, 04:44 PM
I think sometimes youngsters take that too literally, though. Perhaps a better way is to look at it as "find something in the world where you want to contribute."




I usually say find something that you don't hate.

Life is often about trade offs. And I agree... that younger people tend to buy into that you must love your work. Reality is, you must tollerate your work....not be unhappy in your work. Work is called work for a reason....many people, myself included would rather be doing something else besides WORK but I do not hate my job either.

If the work isn't terrible, if it pays well, if it allows me to be fullfilled in other ways....well then it is worth it. And then sometimes you have to take a longer view on things...knowing that you may need to work harder/longer than you want to get where you want to be....and earn your privileges.

It is finding that balance.....between work and play...and what pays for play;).

poltroon
Apr. 12, 2011, 04:55 PM
And that other part that you only learn the hard way: if your play becomes your work, then you stop having play.

SimplyIdle
Apr. 12, 2011, 08:13 PM
Wanted to chime in considering I was in your position only a few years ago.

I have always dreamed of having my own farm, having a bunch of critters and competing. I decided to go to pharmacy school and after 6 years, I am FINALLY graduating. I had several job offers before graduation with a cushy salary that will surely fund my horse habit. I accepted an offer, moving to Aiken, SC and buying an adorable 5 acre farmette! I could not be happier with my decision!

You can make it work!!!

Roxy SM
Apr. 12, 2011, 10:58 PM
I agree that having a good job outside of the horse industry and then riding as an amateur is often a better way to go. A lot of people on here are always advising people to get a job outside of horses so that riding will stay something enjoyable instead of "work." All of this makes sense, but it's not like all non-horse jobs pay better than all horse jobs, and I read on here all the time about ammies that have what sound like good, secure jobs, yet they still can't afford to do more than a few local shows a year at 3' with a green OTTB. I would be very happy to have a regular job and ride as an ammy, but not if I can't afford to have nice horses and move up the levels at my own pace (ie not being held back by lack of a capable horse). Also, not if I am so busy working that I can only ride a few times a week and barely be able to get away from work to go toshows until I have seniority when I am like 40 at which point I will probably ride terribly from lack of practice!

Trixie
Apr. 13, 2011, 02:56 PM
No matter what: do what you love. Everything else will follow.

But NOT, however, at the expense of practicality. I've seen too many folks in the horse industry that seem to subscribe to the theory of "but I'm working with horses!" and seem to forget that they need to eat, have health insurance, have a savings account, and retire someday.

When working in an industry where the median salary is fairly low, those that are making a "career" out of horses need to be very proactive about these things, NOT just wait for "everything else" to "follow."

If you can be practical and work in the industry, with a SOLID backup plan (like, what happens if you get hurt and can't do physical work anymore?). You are very correct that it takes a lot of dedication.

Rescue_Rider9
Apr. 13, 2011, 03:44 PM
Thank you all for the great advice. I think I want to continue to move up my banking ladder and see where that gets me. I'll never be an ammy because I still have a few up down kids that I just couldnt let go! I like them too much!

kkindley
Apr. 13, 2011, 09:49 PM
Great idea to keep your banking job, get to work p/t with your up downers, and earn enough to compete, have health insurance, savings, etc.

I did what I loved after high school. Galloped racehorses for a year, then worked at a large commercial dairy for 4 years. I wound up leasing out my forever horse due to $, had the leaser ruin him, and had to dispose of him quickly due to her dropping him back on me with no notice. I sold him for almost nothing, but he wound up in a good place. I had a vehicle repoed (got it back but still a black mark). I worked 6-7 days a week for $10 an hour. Sometimes pulling a double on saturdays. I did have health insurance, but that was it. I LOVED my job. BUT I had to work that much to afford to keep my horse, which left me no time to ride. I did not live at home, so I had rent, utilities, groceries, etc. So all that work left no time or energy to ride.

So I leased him out to a teen because he was too nice to sit, she lied and I had no time to go visit and supervise. In the end she dumped him back on me after telling the BO he was leaving, then telling me a week before the end of the month. So I lost my forever horse.

Fast forward a couple years. I finally realized I had to make $. The worry about bills (I would have $30 left and a 1/4 tank of gas, empty cubbards, and a week to payday) was literally making me sick. I have gone to the grocery store with $10 and added up every cent spent, buying a big box of rice, egg noodles, and other "filling" things to get me through the week. It's tough and I never want to experience that again. Now, I make decent money at a job that makes a difference. I don't always LOVE it, but most days I don't mind it, some days it's great, and I know each and every day I make a difference for our Warfighter. I'm back riding and competing again, and I am very happy. I have savings, and I can afford nice things. If I had a degree, I could do even better, and that's something I'm working towards now.

Sorry this is so long, but the advice of doing what you love, CAN be taken too literally. You do need to eat. :)

retreadeventer
Apr. 13, 2011, 10:44 PM
Everything you do in life is a crapshoot. Even in a real job bad luck can hit. And things you think you "love" when you are 20 sometimes don't look so wonderful at 40.
I think if you want to compete up to a level, say about preliminary or intermediate, you can do it while working a full time job but beyond that, I think an amateur needs to ride more than one horse a day and be in the barn more than a 40 hour a week job permits in this day and age. I do think work has changed in the last decade. I think people have longer commutes and more time spent on computers.
Those of us in Area II probably find this question easier, because of our proximity to training, schooling courses, instructors, competitions that make the lack of same harder in other parts of the nation.
I used to have to ship 4-6 hours for good instruction on the west coast and 10 hours to a competition. In the east it's 1 hour and at most 3 hours.

Rescue_Rider9
Apr. 14, 2011, 12:37 PM
Everything you do in life is a crapshoot. Even in a real job bad luck can hit. And things you think you "love" when you are 20 sometimes don't look so wonderful at 40.
I think if you want to compete up to a level, say about preliminary or intermediate, you can do it while working a full time job but beyond that, I think an amateur needs to ride more than one horse a day and be in the barn more than a 40 hour a week job permits in this day and age. I do think work has changed in the last decade. I think people have longer commutes and more time spent on computers.
Those of us in Area II probably find this question easier, because of our proximity to training, schooling courses, instructors, competitions that make the lack of same harder in other parts of the nation.
I used to have to ship 4-6 hours for good instruction on the west coast and 10 hours to a competition. In the east it's 1 hour and at most 3 hours.

Luckily, I am in the east. 3 hours from Lexington. And 45 mins from a really great instructor :) I am lucky to live where i am!