When I showed and groomed (to pay off my training fees) as a Jr in the hunters in the 90s, on the local circuit in Maine and NH, I was always envious of those who could afford to do the "A's" and travel south for the winter circut. I would read A Very Young Rider over and over, imagining how great it would be to participate at that level of riding and competition.
Since joining COTH I have had my eyes blown wide open to the reality of some of those who do the A circuit and am so glad I didn't know about it back then. If I had, it would have surely crushed everything I admired and longed for as a "young rider."
Today, it only makes me that much more grateful for my dusty show rings and uneven grass fields at the Acton Fairgrounds with my sometimes "very fresh" pony