Other than the difference in the classes you can show, the biggest change you will experience is making your hobby (or passion or whatever, something you do just cause you enjoy it) into a responsibility... something you MUST do because it's your job. The plus side is that you can really truly LOVE your job, the minus side is that if/when it becomes stressful or frustrating, you don't even have your hobby to go to at the end of the day to unwind and relax and get away from it all. Also, as an amateur, you can ride as you please, take a break when you want it, and not worry about what anybody thinks about your horse. As a professional, you have a reputation and a business to build (or destroy... hopefully not though!!) so there's a little more pressure to do well and be successful with your own horses or with clients, and to show in bigger shows or tougher classes and whatnot. It certainly doesn't mean you have to, but it's no longer just about you and it is something you have to take into consideration when you make decisions.
I guess it depends a little what the opportunity you are taking is... are you riding other people's horses? Teaching lessons? Opening a boarding barn of your own? It makes a difference how physically demanding it is compared to what you are used to, and the hours you will have to commit compared to what you are used to, and the number of people you will have to deal with. All of those can go well and you might enjoy the change, or they could be difficult adjustments for you, it just depends. Whatever you are doing, good luck, and I hope you enjoy it!!!
Gallant Gesture "Liam" 1995 chestnut ottb gelding
Mr. Painter "Remy" 2006 chestnut ottb gelding
My Training Blog: www.dressagefundamentals.com
Thanks - I am switching from life as a nurse (which I am seriously hating right now) to being the barn manager/riding instructor/trainer of a small time barn. The barn is so nice and has a really good "vibe" lol.
I have had horses nearly my whole life one way I have a lot of experience. I took lessons for years and mentored into giving lessons. Have started horses, catch ridden difficult ones, and given lessons unofficially for years now. So I am just expanding on that a bit I guess and making it official and making it my career.
This has always been a dream of mine.
Lucky for me the barn has a pretty good support staff, tons of nice clients etc. I am excited to start this - am bumming a bit as I loose the A/O status - as I always wanted to ride a few of those classes in some rated shows. (when I was ready to go "A" rated money and a lame horse got in the way - then college)
This job has tons of little perks that mean the world to me. I will be living in the country again, doing physical work, hopefully shaping up and slimming down. Plus I think it is tons of fun to work with the kids.
there are about 60 horses on the farm most are pasture boarded and "low maintenance" - but still a huge responsibility. I am a little nervous to start out but at the same time so excited.
Thanks for the well wishes
If you decide it's not going to work out, there is a waiting period before you can re-amateur-ize (used to be two years, I think). And your reception back into the amateur ranks might be a less than an enthusiastic welcome.