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Competing and not working as a trainer, but having a "real" job

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  • Competing and not working as a trainer, but having a "real" job

    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?
    *Paige*
    ~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
    R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor

  • #2
    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.)
    ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

    Comment


    • #3
      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.
      I evented just for the Halibut.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        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!!!
        *Paige*
        ~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
        R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor

        Comment


        • #5
          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

          Comment


          • #6
            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.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Where can I find information on Amy? I didn't know she worked a real job
              *Paige*
              ~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
              R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor

              Comment


              • #8
                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.
                If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Rescue_Rider9 View Post
                  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/...ar-amy-tryon-0

                  She didn't quit her firefighting job until 2006.
                  If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    I just found her website! Thanks everyone for all the support and reassurance!
                    *Paige*
                    ~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
                    R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      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.
                      OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        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?
                        I evented just for the Halibut.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by NeverTime View Post
                          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.
                          ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hinrich Romeike did ok despite the whole being a full time dentist thing...
                            "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."

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                            • #15
                              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.
                              Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                              Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                              We Are Flying Solo

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                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.
                                "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

                                So, the Zen Buddhist says to the hotdog vendor, "Make me one with everything."

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  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.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by eventer_mi View Post
                                    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.
                                    *Paige*
                                    ~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
                                    R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Rescue_Rider9 View Post
                                      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.
                                      ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        "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.
                                        Click here before you buy.

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