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Anyone ever turn pro with the intention of getting your ammy status back?

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  • Anyone ever turn pro with the intention of getting your ammy status back?

    I don't believe a topic like this has been discussed but forgive me if it has!
    The title pretty much sums it up. Has anyone ever gone from an ammy to a pro with the intention of getting your ammy status back at some point?
    A little background as to why I'm curious.
    I'm in my 20s and currently an ammy. I currently don't have a horse of my own but I have been riding some for a friend just to get some time in the saddle (unpaid). It's definitely turned into a friendship between me and the owner and I don't see myself asking to get paid by her. However, I am going to be going back to school to finish my bachelors in the fall. The area is MUCH horsier than where I live now so I'm assuming I will have many more options to ride. I will only be doing school part time and I'm planning on having a part time job. It would be nice if I could earn a little cash on the side by riding. I grew up doing hunters and more recently rode with a BNT doing the jumpers. I have a lot of experience with younger horses and really enjoy it as well. Yea, I could probably get away with keeping my ammy status and keep being paid on the hush hush, but I'm an ethical person (wow, do ethical and horses even go in the same sentence!?) and that would nag the hell out me. Depending on how the next 10 years go, I would like to have a real job and a family and a nice horse of my own. Hopefully by then I will be able to afford a horse and get back to showing. Since I will have obligations to my family, I would imagine I would want to return back to an ammy. Who knows, I could end up hating the real world and be happy with being a pro(assuming I marry rich, right). Any thoughts?
    Oh and I'm trying to do this the correct way so the pro/amateur/shamateur nazis feel free to leave your rude comments out!

  • #2
    I rode during college for a private hunt pack and exercised his steeplechasers... and I got paid. Obviously since that was done after my junior years I was therefore a pro, even though I had nothing to do with the H/J circuit. When I left that area I was horseless and looking for a way to keep riding. I started teaching lessons (primarily up-downers) a few days a week and riding a horse or two daily... and I got paid. Still a pro, obviously. Now was I on the same level to compete with other local pros, nope, the horses I rode weren't that nice and I wasn't that re-tuned from my time on hunters. But I still rode in the Pro division, yes, it sucked, I didn't always pin really high, but I was happy doing the rightthing. Oh yes, and I was working a full time job too. When I changed jobs though, teaching was harder and I bought my own horse. I kept two free lance students, but eventually they moved to a different barn and I no longer taught. I'm finishing up my year off and fully intend to compete as an amateur unless/until DH and I can afford for me to start a boarding/training business.

    Long story short though, I never had a clear roadmap of pro vs. ammy, but I'm pretty satisfied with the path I'm taking and definitely happy that I've done it ethically. Despite the fact that I doubt anyone would have ever known me well enough to protest a "shamateur" type situation. Hope this helps and best of luck to you!
    "Beware the hobby that eats."
    Benjamin Franklin


    • #3
      Yes. I went pro when I turned 18. I ran a small lesson/training barn out of my family's farm, aimed at beginner to 3'. Once the kids reached a certain level of proficiency, I would refer them to other trainers. It was the best decision I could have made -- I went to college three days a week, and rode and trained the rest of the time. I was able to pay for my own horse shows during college (I had a scholarship, so school expenses were minimal).

      At the same time, I helped a grand prix rider at shows, in exchange for a stall and lessons. I paid my entries, he paid the rest. I believe it is and was important to continue your education -- even the best pros need an eye on the ground, and I was far from the best.

      I also paid for most of my law school expenses and part of tuition with the money I made riding and teaching. I could not have afforded my own horses during those years without the income from my business. My final year of law school I stopped teaching and training and I haven't taken a penny since. As a lawyer, I just don't have time to ride or show my own horses, much less other people's.

      As soon as I get the chance to show I will reapply for my ammy status -- I haven't been a pro in USEF's eyes since Thanksgiving 2003. I am only waiting because I haven't actually been a USEF member since then.

      I have no regrets at all. I barely ride once every other week at this point in my life -- no one could begrudge me a return to the ammy ranks. If you need the money and don't mind waiting out the year when you go ammy again, go for it.


      • Original Poster

        Thanks for the replies. I guess another question I have is, is it ethical? If I were to turn pro it's not like I would be the next Beezie, rack up some gold medals, then come back to the ammys. I just want to do the right thing by turning pro so I can earn a few extra bucks while in school. It would be awesome if I got a chance to show some of the horses, even if it's on the local level, but I'm keeping my expectations low. Another thing is I don't really see myself teaching lessons. I have a very hard time explaining things to people and tend to get frustrated when they don't understand. I'm a very visual, hands on learner and I think thats why I do well with the younger horses. I think I could do some up down lessons but anything beyond that I may have trouble with. Don't get me wrong, I have the knowledge, just not the desire to explain things to people!lol
        Anyone else have thoughts on the subject?


        • #5
          In my opinion, there is absolutely nothing unethical about going back and forth as long as you follow the rules to a T.


          • #6
            If you follow the rules WRITTEN and do exactly as told, there should be no question of 'ethics'.......yeah some people may feel you shouldn't but thats only an opinion.

            If you do it right, you're not a rule breaker...aka: you will have done nothing wrong.
            Horse Drawings!