Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You're responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the Forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it--details of personal disputes may be better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts, though are not legally obligated to do so, regardless of content.

Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting. Moderators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts unless they have been alerted and have determined that a post, thread or user has violated the Forums' policies. Moderators do not regularly independently monitor the Forums for such violations.

Profanity, outright vulgarity, blatant personal insults or otherwise inappropriate statements will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

Users may provide their positive or negative experiences with or opinions of companies, products, individuals, etc.; however, accounts involving allegations of criminal behavior against named individuals or companies MUST be first-hand accounts and may NOT be made anonymously.

If a situation has been reported upon by a reputable news source or addressed by law enforcement or the legal system it is open for discussion, but if an individual wants to make their own claims of criminal behavior against a named party in the course of that discussion, they too must identify themselves by first and last name and the account must be first-person.

Criminal allegations that do not satisfy these requirements, when brought to our attention, may be removed pending satisfaction of these criteria, and we reserve the right to err on the side of caution when making these determinations.

Credible threats of suicide will be reported to the police along with identifying user information at our disposal, in addition to referring the user to suicide helpline resources such as 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-273-TALK.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it's understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users' profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses -- Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it's related to a horse for sale, regardless of who's selling it, it doesn't belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions -- Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services -- Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products -- While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements -- Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be "bumped" excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues -- Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators' discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the �alert� button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your �Ignore� list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you'd rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user's membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 5/9/18)
See more
See less

I'm thinking about taking a break from horseback riding?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    I'm thinking about taking a break from horseback riding?

    My story is long and unique. I am 19 years old and I am the typical horse freak and have been ever since I was three years old. Unfortunately, my parents have never been able to afford my love for these large dogs despite all their efforts. I was finally able to begin taking lessons from a small hunter jumper trainer in 2011 and unfortunately after like 4 months of my parents paying for the lessons, they could not afford it anymore. Being the stubborn and persistent kid I was, I talked with my trainer to see what I could do to still take lessons from her. She told me that she would be willing to continue to give me lessons if I worked the weekends and did aol of the typical working student chores. So I did that for about 3 years, it was some of the most fun I've ever had. I made an amazing friend who helped me out on the weekends just because she was horse crazy too. This trainer began to fall out of love with the sport, she would be late to lessons and sometimes even not show up. Often times I did not receive lessons for my work and my parents pointed that out to me but I could not care less because at least I was still around horses. One day my trainer told my friend and I that she is liquidating her business and selling all her horses. I was devastated to say the least. There was NO way I would be able to afford taking lessons with any other trainer.

    My friend on the other hand actually owned her own horse and she was able to start taking lessons with the other trainer at our barn. I gained another sight of hope when I realized maybe I could train with her? I met with said trainer and asked if she needed help in exchange for lessons and she told me that she does not have lesson horses and all the people that train with her have their own horses. I went home and cried my eyes out in the bathroom. My friend told me that there was another trainer (not hers) on the property that had lesson horses and my parents said they would be willing to pay for me to take some. So that lasted about 5 months and I again asked this trainer if she would take my work in exchange for lessons. She said yes and I was ecstatic. I went on with this trainer for about 4 years, she consistently gave me lessons and was always very good at giving me everything I deserved. She really took me under her wing, I eventually became her most advanced student and began to outgrow the lesson horses very quickly. While I mounted the old 22 year old OTTB and went out to have my lessons, I would often see my friend mounting her brand new 5 year old novice/prelim eventer all dressed in new tack walk out and have their lesson. I was completely jealous, I would try to see the brighter side of things because at LEAST I was on a horse right? Things started to go downhill when my trainers most advanced lesson horse had to be retired because of Cushing's disease. I was sad, I had to go back on the even older guy who tried his heart out for me, but just couldn't advance me at all.

    My aunt has always been super supportive of my riding passion and she is the one who actually got me into it. She heard about what was happening and she actually offered to lease a horse for me. I told my trainer and she was excited and started looking for horses. She was in the market to buy a new horse right now anyways, so we decided to buy one that would work for us both. So we went horse hunting, found this awesome 10 year old OTTB who could jump the moon and decided to buy him. It was the most exciting thing, I felt like I had my own horse. Fast forward 4 months this guy went lame. During the four months my trainer actually bought another horse, she was a 9 year old Oldenburg who had been out of work for some time. I remember seeing her and thinking "wow that horse needs some work" She was definitely out of shape and needed some TLC but the bones were there. One lesson my trainer told me that we should start working with her and that I could lease her, and I was not too excited because I liked this little OTTB and wanted to ride him. But leasing her ended up being the best decision I ever made. She turned out to be an AMAZING horse, the first time I jumped her, she was knocking 2'3 jumps. But after almost a year and a half of leasing her I jumped the highest I've ever jumped which was 4'9 and we were consistently coursing 3'6. She was the best horse ever, I would walk up to her pasture and she would nicker when she saw me. I loved coming out to the barn again, I stopped working as much for my trainer because there was no need. For once, I was the girl coming to the barn, grabbing my horse, riding her and then going home.

    Fast forward to now. My family and I have had to move across the country and I have had to leave my beloved lease horse behind. In my new home I have found a barn where I am able to work for lessons again. But there is one problem, I've realized that I am sick of being the girl on the side lines. At this new barn it is a tight team, all the girls have their own horses and nice saddles. I am sick of working 10 hours a day for a lesson on a lesson horse. I've realized I only get excited for lessons anymore. I've been working at this barn for a total of 3 weeks and I have worked 5-6 days a week and have only gotten two genuine lessons after reminding the trainer. I love the way the trainer teaches, and I am so grateful to be able to ride the amazing and super nice horses that she has, but I am sick of working for it. I have to stay back when all the girls go and ride their fancy horses in lessons and shows.

    So that brings me to now. I think that I need to take a break from the horse world for a while, focus on my college and career and get a job that pays. The only thing that is holding me back is the fact that I know I will miss riding and the feeling I get when I am on a horse. But the thought of going to the barn and working does not bring me any excitement. I've never not ridden horses so I am scared about what will happen...

    Sorry it was so long, but any thoughts?? Should I take a break or stick it out and work for lessons?


    #2
    I had my own horse as a teen, a backyard sort of situation, lots of trail riding and very self directed.

    I stopped riding in college and basically retired her. Came back to horses after a long time, grad school plus tenure.

    Many young adults quit riding in their early 20s to concentrate on getting the building blocks of adult life in olace, college and career. To the extent that we've had more than one person in the 25 to 30 age range wondering where to find a h/j barn where the average age is neither 15 nor 50!

    Since the one thread in your long detailed story is that you have never had the cash to maintain a stable horse situation and your parents are not exactly flush the most sensible thing is for you to commit to a college program leading to a decent paying career, and then have an other look at horses when you are earning money.

    On the bright side you don't have to agonize over retiring or selling your beloved pony. You can just pick up again wherever you are when you get a good job.

    Comment


      #3
      Take a break. If you’re miserable without riding, then go back to this trainer (or another one) and work for lessons again. There will always be opportunities for a hard worker to find some riding time.

      Comment


        #4
        There’s nothing wrong with taking a break and many times it can be quite helpful in the long run. I’m 22, been riding since I was 10, and I’ve lost track of how many time I’ve had to take a break from riding due to financial reasons. I was grateful that my dad paid for my lessons when I was a kid, but once I got older it was up to me and for a long time i just couldn’t afford horses in my life.

        Id say to take some time off and focus on other aspects of your life. Find a paying career and do some soul searching. Horses will always be around and you’ll be able to actual enjoy them and advance the way you want once you’re in a secure financial state. Short term pain for long term gain, they say.

        Comment


          #5
          Really, your story is not all that different from many. I was in a similar situation where my parents could not afford to pay for me to ride. They *would* let me go to two weeks of summer Girl Scout riding camp, so for a few years that was all I could do. With the skills I learned there, I found a local barn that would let me work in exchange for riding. Not even lessons, just free riding time and trail riding. I was there for 10 years on and off. The biggest break was during college, when I only worked/rode a little bit on weekends in the summers in addition to having another full time job. Once I graduated and started working, after a few years I was finally able to afford to switch over to another barn and get lessons. Also, for all that time I wanted nothing more than to have my own horse. I never did get one, but I'm at a point in my life right now where I'm cool with that. There are some advantages to not owning such as having no vet bills, being able to ride a different horse if the usual one is lame, and building skills by riding many different horses. I also have a lot of other hobbies, so I don't always have time to ride 4 or 5 times a week like I would want or need to with an owned horse.

          Take a break, go to school, get a job that can support your riding in the way that you want. Don't be surprised if what you want ends up changing too. Waiting 4 years to ride as you want seems like a long time when you're young, but I promise you it will be over in a flash. (And then suddenly you'll be pushing 40 and wondering wtf happened.)

          I still sometimes do barn work for lessons when the opportunity arises to save a buck
          Flickr

          Comment


            #6
            Maybe you'd enjoy just popping on now and again, but not actively training? If you're in an affluent area, there are TONS of opportunities to catch ride. Make a video of yourself and send around to barns. I've had good luck posting for catch rides on Craigslist for example. There are tons of people who are too busy and would love to have someone talented to just exercise their horses. Make sure liability is figured out.

            Comment


              #7
              You want to ride but you're sick of working? Sorry to have to tell you this, but horses are expensive, and unless someone is willing to support you you're likely going to have to work if you want to ride. Whether you work at a non-horse related job or muck stalls to pay for your horse time, it costs.

              There are opportunities to ride without paying, but even that has it frustrations because it's somone else's horse, which means that they get to call the shots.

              And for sure if you're not enjoying the opportunities you have then take a break and spend youur resources trying to find a situation you like better.

              Comment


                #8
                There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a break to get your professional life going.

                I had my horse all through college, but I bought her for 100 bucks as a 3 year old, did all the training myself, rarely took lessons, had cheap tack and boarded at cheap places where I would often feed/do barn chores a couple days a week to knock a bit off board. Worked part time jobs as well. At a few points I had more than one horse for a bit.

                I ended up getting a degree in aerospace engineering so that I would be able to afford it better. Even with that, and having two horses now (I just recently got my 100 dollar mare back), it is still tight and I'm having to contemplate selling one as I can't afford both at the barn I'm at, but am also not willing to move from this barn since I know the places I could go don't have that great of care.

                If I were you, I would take a break. Focus on college, find a major you enjoy that will pay enough to support horses later on, and don't be afraid to look into ones you never would have thought of. I'm the absolute last person I ever thought would be an engineer, but I'm great at math so I decided to try it and loved it. And if you have time, get a part time job and you can save up for lessons if you get the urge to at least get to ride.

                Often, if you are a decent rider, you can even find gigs riding for money. I exercised some polo horses a few times, and I know I've considered having decent riders come out to just walk/trot/canter my horses for fitness on days I couldn't come out. If you can't afford lessons or a fancy horse, it doesn't necessarily mean you need to totally stop riding.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Something to consider, if there are any horse rescues or therapy barns, you may want to see if they need schooling riders. Our local Programs use solid wtc riders to keep the horses fit and tuned up.

                  Comment

                    Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by kande04 View Post
                    You want to ride but you're sick of working? Sorry to have to tell you this, but horses are expensive, and unless someone is willing to support you you're likely going to have to work if you want to ride. Whether you work at a non-horse related job or muck stalls to pay for your horse time, it costs.

                    There are opportunities to ride without paying, but even that has it frustrations because it's somone else's horse, which means that they get to call the shots.

                    And for sure if you're not enjoying the opportunities you have then take a break and spend youur resources trying to find a situation you like better.
                    By all means, I know that horses cost. And I have always been willing to put in the work to ride, for almost 8-9 years now, I've worked weekends, summers, weekdays when I started having a free schedule, and I would not have traded it for the world. I loved the opportunities that I got from the doors I opened. I guess I should have re-worded what I said. I mean that I am sick of working at barns and it not paying off. I have dedicated my whole life to working for horses and at this point there is no point. I do not see my self having the means to show or go anywhere with riding as of right now. I plan on becoming a veterinarian later after years and years of school & money.

                    I have decided to find myself a part Time job while I am here in community college until I transfer to my four year. And if I have the means to pay for a couple lessons when I need my fix I am willing to do so.

                    Thank you for your insight!!

                    Comment

                      Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by RainWeasley View Post
                      There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a break to get your professional life going.

                      I had my horse all through college, but I bought her for 100 bucks as a 3 year old, did all the training myself, rarely took lessons, had cheap tack and boarded at cheap places where I would often feed/do barn chores a couple days a week to knock a bit off board. Worked part time jobs as well. At a few points I had more than one horse for a bit.

                      I ended up getting a degree in aerospace engineering so that I would be able to afford it better. Even with that, and having two horses now (I just recently got my 100 dollar mare back), it is still tight and I'm having to contemplate selling one as I can't afford both at the barn I'm at, but am also not willing to move from this barn since I know the places I could go don't have that great of care.

                      If I were you, I would take a break. Focus on college, find a major you enjoy that will pay enough to support horses later on, and don't be afraid to look into ones you never would have thought of. I'm the absolute last person I ever thought would be an engineer, but I'm great at math so I decided to try it and loved it. And if you have time, get a part time job and you can save up for lessons if you get the urge to at least get to ride.

                      Often, if you are a decent rider, you can even find gigs riding for money. I exercised some polo horses a few times, and I know I've considered having decent riders come out to just walk/trot/canter my horses for fitness on days I couldn't come out. If you can't afford lessons or a fancy horse, it doesn't necessarily mean you need to totally stop riding.
                      I like the approach you have on this. Also, I'm glad that you have your mare back, that's awesome.

                      All my life I have wanted to become a vet, I've struggled with this BECAUSE of horses. I know that veterinarians are underpaid and have a crap ton of student loan debt. But I literally could not imagine myself doing anything else. I am willing to see if I have any other interests and I have been researching other careers just to make sure that this is the path I want to go down. Hearing your story about engineering is eye opening to me.

                      So I think that I knew that this break was coming, I just needed some outsider opinions to seal the deal. I know that horses will always be there when I am financially ready to come back.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Echo the others. Leave the horse world for now and focus on your education and career. Look for careers that are conducive to horse ownership. I took three years off and became a teacher --summers off ---and with careful planning, could afford a horse, although not what you are talking about (showing, training, eventing etc). But one learns a lot owning a horse on a shoe string. A moderately priced horse, used tack, sewing my own clothes, and riding where it was free (fields, roads, parks) gave me an appreciation for all things horse. FYI there will always be people with more/better than you (or you think so). I fox hunt weekly with some heavy hitters (own their own planes, jets, homes that could swallow my little farm -- do I envy them? Sometimes --would be nice to hunt in SC on Wednesday and then fly to MI to hunt on Sunday ---but I go out to my little barn every day, feed my QH/fox hunters, and ride, ride, ride. No indoor, but even if I had it, I wouldn't use it as much as I use the 3000 acres of fields around me (neighbor's property with permission). I may not have the most expensive horse on the hunt field, but he's solid and well behaved and turned out beautifully.

                        So teaching worked for me, law worked for my kid to keep in the game financially (but she wishes she had more time). Other people are in the medical field in some aspect (flexible hours).

                        So sure, let it go for now --get the education --then get the job--then the horse --at least, that's what worked for me.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          We all have a story.

                          You could get a job to cover the cost of lessons and/or look for people who need their horse exercised by an experienced rider.

                          Comment

                            Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Foxglove View Post
                            Echo the others. Leave the horse world for now and focus on your education and career. Look for careers that are conducive to horse ownership. I took three years off and became a teacher --summers off ---and with careful planning, could afford a horse, although not what you are talking about (showing, training, eventing etc). But one learns a lot owning a horse on a shoe string. A moderately priced horse, used tack, sewing my own clothes, and riding where it was free (fields, roads, parks) gave me an appreciation for all things horse. FYI there will always be people with more/better than you (or you think so). I fox hunt weekly with some heavy hitters (own their own planes, jets, homes that could swallow my little farm -- do I envy them? Sometimes --would be nice to hunt in SC on Wednesday and then fly to MI to hunt on Sunday ---but I go out to my little barn every day, feed my QH/fox hunters, and ride, ride, ride. No indoor, but even if I had it, I wouldn't use it as much as I use the 3000 acres of fields around me (neighbor's property with permission). I may not have the most expensive horse on the hunt field, but he's solid and well behaved and turned out beautifully.

                            So teaching worked for me, law worked for my kid to keep in the game financially (but she wishes she had more time). Other people are in the medical field in some aspect (flexible hours).

                            So sure, let it go for now --get the education --then get the job--then the horse --at least, that's what worked for me.
                            I am not proud of it, but I've always silently envied the people who have their fancy horses and tack handed to them, and I think I always will. But I also have learned great lessons, the most important in which is that you have to work for what you want.. and work hard. I've realized (after years of unrealistic expectations) that l will never be the girl with the fancy horse and tack unless I work for it.

                            I enjoyed reading your story and I am glad that you were able to make horses work... I am hoping to do the same.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I think you have a typical story. If you want to ride in college make it happen but do not get so caught up that you skirt your college education that ish is expensive whether you pass or fail you still have the debt. I wish I had taken a gap year to know that I did not want to be a vet. I took 3 years of pre vet and then decided it wasn't for me and took a 2 year break as a pro groom. I also got burnt out on that. Working 12-16 hour days for other people left me no time for my own horse but I wouldn't trade the experience for anything it allowed me to become the horsewoman I am today. OCD about my horses care lol. I got to travel to high end shows and got paid for it. Saw the top level competitors and was able to chat with them and figure out how they got to the top. You'd be surprised at how many of them were in your shoes at 19, 20, hell even 30 year olds.

                              I went back to school really focused got a full time job and catch rode for 3 years until I graduated and was able to decide what I wanted to do. Your life is not over, take a break if you want, study hard, horses are always there I know I know they aren't the horses we see and envy and want right now but they will always be there. Keep in mind the ages of some of the top riders in our sport 50s and even 60s and still winning grand prixs! I would suggest you listen to some of the podcasts like Major League Eventing or other pro riders. Be willing to work hard and say yes to the right opportunities. I can no longer groom or do super heavy labor as I have many creaky things in my body but I have a full time job and I house/farm/animal sit to pay my horses bills. If you want it go get it, but do not whine about what you have or have not been offered. Call up or even drive over to a farm you like and make an offer to the trainer. They know a good working students value and if they don't not worth your time.

                              Best of luck to you OP
                              when the world turns on you your horse will be there.
                              -ariah

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Originally posted by hmb.equestrian View Post

                                I am not proud of it, but I've always silently envied the people who have their fancy horses and tack handed to them, and I think I always will. But I also have learned great lessons, the most important in which is that you have to work for what you want.. and work hard. I've realized (after years of unrealistic expectations) that l will never be the girl with the fancy horse and tack unless I work for it.

                                I enjoyed reading your story and I am glad that you were able to make horses work... I am hoping to do the same.
                                There will ALWAYS be people in life who have more than you, and conversely, there will ALWAYS be someone who wishes for the life that you have.

                                I'd say take a break until you've decide if you want to put in the work and if horses mean enough to you to hustle.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Nothing wrong with taking a break! I had parents that were...partially supportive of horses as I was growing up. They would pay for lessons and short-term leases (only on set monthly rates...no lease at the nicer local show barn where you had to pay an up-front free plus partial expenses month to month), and for the occasional show. Their reasons had less to do with inability to pay and more with just not being willing to fork over the money it costs to ride seriously and show consistently, especially in the hj world. It was a hard pill to swallow at the time, but I do understand it, especially now. By the time I was in my late teens I was teaching lessons and otherwise working for my then-trainer (who was also wonderful and supportive) to get in as much ride time and (local) showing as possible. I kept that up through college, but had to step back when I hit the "real" world and realized there was no way I could even pay for consistent lessons. And, like you, I was tired of being stuck on the sidelines having to take whatever ride was available (and I'm a bit of a weenie, so I often wasn't willing to jump on whatever "problem child" horse a trainer wanted ridden, which makes it even tougher, since beggars can't be choosers, as they saying goes), and also just more limited in my spare time, as working 9-5 and commuting really cuts down on the number of hours available to basically work a second job at a barn.

                                  I finally came back to riding after a 9 year hiatus. I wish it hadn't been quite so long, but I have to say, the horse world is much more fun now that I can pay my own way. I 100% get being "over" being the girl stuck on the sidelines who can't afford the nice horse or nice tack. I'm not all the way there now (my current horse is older so limited in what he can do, and I don't have the stomach for the bills on 2 horses yet, haha), but it is very freeing being able to make my own decisions about what I do with my riding, being able to pay for what I want in terms of a barn/trainer/horse, etc.

                                  You'll get there eventually--it's hard to see from where you stand, but patience will pay off. There's no shame in taking a break and coming back to the sport when you have more funds to participate how you want.

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Jo View Post

                                    There will ALWAYS be people in life who have more than you, and conversely, there will ALWAYS be someone who wishes for the life that you have.

                                    I'd say take a break until you've decide if you want to put in the work and if horses mean enough to you to hustle.
                                    Yup, totally agree with this.
                                    "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

                                    "You're just a very desperate troll, and not even a good one. You're like middle-school troll at best. Like a goblin, not even a troll." et_fig

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      I was able to keep my horses at home when I was a kid, but couldn’t afford to keep one at college. So the horse stayed home. I took freshmen year off and then got a car at school and called around to local barns. I got a job teaching horse back riding lessons. So I was getting paid but also had access to a weekly lesson. Once I became established, people paid me to rise their horses when they were on vacation or I pet/barn sat. My horse died when I was a senior in college and I didn’t own another one until I was 27. I rode intermittently during those years when I could, either paying for lessons when I could or finding a free horse for a while (someone else paid bills).

                                      just shared the story to show a lot of people go through it and also, if you’re good enough, you might be able to find a way to make a few bucks, enjoy horses until you can afford one of your own
                                      Read my adventures with my 4 year old OTTB, Scott's Truluck at: Scottie's Journey, Rehabbing and Retraining a Louisiana-bred OTTB http://scottieottb.blogspot.com/

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a break. I for one was almost in the exact same situation as you; my parents paid for lessons once every 2 weeks when I was young (< age 10), and that finally moved to every week, but that's it, on lesson horses that were less than sub par.

                                        I was finally granted a working lease opportunity in my early years of high school, and it was like a dream come true. The horse owner, however, could use some work and was very hard to please. She was the spoiled kind who didn't have to lift a finger because mom and dad paid for EVERYTING - or I did it to cover my lease. I dealt with it anyway because I wanted to ride. This was where I was granted my first opportunity to show the provincial 'B' circuit. I did this for almost the entirety of my high school career. I, too, had friends with the fancy warmbloods, who showed the 'A' circuit, received 2+ lessons a week, had the full support of their parents and acted like it was no big deal. It was very hard to be around and the envy showed. I always had "one day, that will be me" in the back of my head. I convinced myself that I would appreciate it more if I managed to get myself there, without my parents (who, quite frankly, didn't care for my riding and often told me I should just quit altogether). It sucked, but that's life I suppose!

                                        High school came to an end and I was faced with having to pay for my own post secondary education. My parents helped a little, but it was mainly my responsibility. I knew at this time I couldn't afford riding on my own, and my working lease demanded too much time. I said goodbye to said lease and riding for almost 4 years and unfortunately didn't leave the lease on the greatest of terms.

                                        Fast forward to today, I spent 4 years working my ass off for a bachelor's degree in engineering and graduated with honors. I was fortunate enough to land myself a very well-paying gig right out of school. I saved for an additional year (I was lucky enough that I lived at home and didn't have many bills to pay), and bought my first warmblood filly a month before my 23rd birthday; AND I got the fancy saddle that I never had. Prior to this, I managed to land myself a 6-month lease on another mare at the show barn I was at, so I could get back into the show ring and regain my confidence. It was literally a dream come true. Fast forward another year, I'm out of my parents hair and into my own home.

                                        Looking back, I don't think I would have had it any other way. I appreciate everything so much more, and ironically, the spoiled brats from the past were forced to sell their fancy warmbloods (parents were exhausted of paying), and because they had no work ethic, were late in getting an education and are struggling to find jobs that barely pay any more than minimum wage.

                                        Sometimes, taking a break is the best thing you can do for yourself! It'll always be worth it.

                                        Comment

                                        Working...
                                        X