I've said it before, but it bears repeating: adult amateurs are the backbone of all equestrian sports. I'm forever in awe of the people who balance life, family, and horses and somehow still come out on top. We all know what the challenges are, but here's Karley from All In to explain a little about how she makes it work.
1) You’re at dinner with work colleagues. How do you introduce yourself?
Hi I am Karley- Project Manager by day but a mom/wife/equestrian by
night. Yeah I ride horses, the kind where you jump things and "paint a
pretty picture" for the judge. No I am not a cowgirl though I have
carried flags in multiple rodeo grand entries- you know those people who
carry a flag on horseback and go really fast. Yes my daughter has
ridden a horse and she will have a pony, no my husband is not a horse
2) But what you really meant to say was this:
One day hubby and I hope to own property and have a barn. I don't want
to be a trainer but I would love to manage the property. Work that you
love really isn't work right?! I am enjoying being a Project Manger but
my real passion is in horses.
3) Tell us about your horse:
My Henry... Henry (JC name House of Fortuny, show name All In) is a 6
year old, 16.2 hand, chestnut OTTB. In a year and a half we have gone
from super greeenie beanie boy to jumping 2'9consistantly (and 3'9 in a
trainer ride), almost having consistent lead changes and a rock solid
boy with a level head at horse shows. He was born and raised in CA (http://www.magalifarms.com/).
His claim to fame is that his great grandpa is Secretariat...
thankfully he wasn't fast enough and needed another job, in steps me!
4) How did you meet him/her?
Henry and I met when I was in the LONG process of finding my next horse.
I was determined not to fall in love with anything I looked at as I
told my trainer to be really really picky for me. I was out of shape
after just having my daughter - went to see him and fell in love (of
course) and bought him (without trying him) after my trainer agreed that
he was a nice mover and good prospect. See I stuck to my plan-
thankfully she liked him! HA!
5) What have you done together?
Henry and I have jumped 3 ft (but normally stay around 2'6 - 2'9),
attended 4 schooling shows last season and have become a team. I can
honestly say that I am confident when riding him... big deal for me to
stay this- if you have read our blog, you know that post baby I thought I
was going to die every ride ha! Henry is my sanity after work and in
the middle of being mom/wife. The barn is a place where I really know
who I am and what I am capable of... love my horse and having him in my
6) Where are you going together?
This next year the plan is to ride with George Morris, attend more shows
and continue to build Henry and my relationship. I think that 2'6/ 2'9
classes will be in our future despite that scaring the crap out of me...
but I can do it! Being that I work full time, am a mom and my hubby is
starting a new career I am going to have to be flexible but I hope that
we will be able to attain some of the above.
7) How do you finance the addiction?
Financing the addiction... haha I am independently wealthy, aren't you
all!? But for real it's tough... I work a big girl job, don't eat out,
haven't bought clothes or taken a vacation in forever. Henry is more
important then those things to me. I am grateful that my hubby is ok
with all extra money from my paychecks going to my sanity aka Henry.
8) How often do you ride?
I ride 4-5 days a week. Henry is fit and needs the time out of his
stall to keep sane. A typical week looks like: Turn out Sunday, hack
Monday, lesson Tuesday, off Wednesday, lesson Thursday, trainer ride
Friday, lesson/hack Saturday.
9) What’s the single biggest thing that helps you achieve your goals?
My husband.. there are days that he doesn't get it and isn't as willing
but MOST days he is behind me 100% and I can't thank him enough. He has
been successfully taught to lead, pick feet, turn out, put on splint
boots and bell boots and feed/grain. My grandma is right up there with
my husband. She is the one who financed my riding from the age 8-18...
she really is the reason I was able to pursue this love.
If there was one thing you could say to people getting ready to join
the ranks of riding (or re-riding) adults, what would it be?
Be realistic with yourself and your riding goals, competitive riding
isn't for the faint of heart and it takes a lot- ok all of your free
time. I (and my family) have committed to Henry and the level of riding
that I hold myself to. Once you have been bitten by the horse bug- you
are screwed! I mean for Christmas I got 1 thing that was for me, the
rest was for Henry ha!
11) Bottom line:
Riding is my life(outside of my family) and where I am at home. I love
it and wouldn't take back a day of it. It's hard work and I am glad that
I have and continue to push through the sweat, pain and fear to
accomplish things. How many people can say that they have done what I
have done, trained what and with whom I have trained, ridden at the
level I have ridden and done it all while still holding down a " normal
life" outside of it all. I am beyond blessed and so thankful for all the
things I have and opportunities God has given me!
her blog to keep up with her and Henry.
I'm definitely inspired by the people I'm interacting with putting this series
together. There are so many cool ways to connect with horses and the effort to
stay engaged when the parental paycheck is gone is fun to explore. Want to be a
part of the series? Know someone who should be? Contact me either by email (on
the contact us page) or through the comments.