1) You’re at dinner with work colleagues. How do you introduce yourself?
I am lucky that my job doesn't really require face to face contact with customers, because lets be honest I'm not a big people person and I'm not very good at hiding how I feel about things (the "omg I'm so bored, kill me now" face might not go over well). But if I DID find myself forced into a work dinner, I'd probably just keep the chit chat limited to work related things and say as little as possible until I found the right moment to run away.
|I do not know this horse|
2) But what you really meant to say was this:
"OMG I'm so bored, kill me now"? or "Unless you like horses you're of no interest to me"?
3) Tell us about your horse and how you met him.
Henry is a coming 8yo TB gelding that I found on facebook and purchased sight unseen in Dec 2013. I got really lucky, he's fantastic and such a good boy. He's also a total goof with TONS of character... there's never any question as to what his opinion is about anything.
4) What do you do with your horse?
We started off in the jumpers but after a spur of the moment XC schooling adventure he seemed to be really into it, so now we're eventing.
5) Where are you going together?
I'm hoping to qualify for AEC's this year. If not we'll move up a level and just do more schooling events to save some money but keep putting miles under his girth. He's still pretty green, all things considered.
6) What does success with horses look like for you?
For me, a horse that has become better since I acquired it is a "win" in and of itself, because I always buy green ore remedial ones. I think it's really fun to bring them along and see what they turn into. At the end of the day though, as long as I'm having fun with whatever I'm doing, and as long as the horse is happy, I'd consider it a success.
|off to the lotto!|
Sadly (and boringly) I have a "real job", I'm in charge of managing the repair and return department of a company that makes monitoring equipment for gas and oil pipelines. It pays the bills and my schedule allows me to get out of work early enough to ride, plus I get a fair amount of vacation days since I've been there for a decade, so I can't complain that much. I am really keeping my options open though for something horse related... I've worked in tack shops and was a barn manager for a while when I was younger. Eventually the right thing will come along at the right time. Or I'll win the lottery. Until then, it's the "real job".
8) What does your support team look like?
My fiance is pretty supportive from a distance, in that he doesn't complain nearly as much as he rightfully could and once or twice a year I can talk him into going to the barn with me. I'm totally ok with that. Otherwise I have a really great group of friends that are really enthusiastic, supportive, and helpful. Very grateful for every one of them.
9) What are your horse keeping arrangements?
I board at a small barn owned by my boss's boss - his wife is also an eventer. Small world. There's just a handful of boarders (which I love) and it's nothing super fancy but the care is second to none, the people are great, the price is great, and it has everything I need. Absolutely no complaints.
|this is not Henry|
When it's not raining ALL WINTER LONG (sorry, sensitive subject), 5 days a week is my average. It's hard to squeeze in a normal work day, fairly regular overtime, the horse, the gym, regular life stuff, and a relationship, but I do the best I can. Sometimes something has to give (ok, usually something has to give) and I'm perpetually borderline exhausted but that's ok. I think that's really just the way of life of the working amateur rider, and something all of us have to figure out how to deal with.
|aside from being kickass|
My support group. Honestly, there's just NO WAY I could do any of this even semi-successfully without them. That and I'm hella stubborn, borderline crazy, and really love a challenge, so I think this sport suits my personality really well.
|get that trahkener|
Welcome to your new obsession. We're all mad here. ;) Honestly though, don't be afraid to ask questions. I think sometimes people are intimidated by this sport and it's people because because we can be so intense. But we all had to start somewhere and if there's one sure thing it's that horses will make fools out of even the best of us - they're a great equalizer. I would also try to say yes to as many opportunities as you possibly can. This is very much a sport where you learn by doing, and one little thing can lead to another little thing, which eventually leads to big things. Another really important point - team up with a professional that you really trust. I see so many people get the wool pulled completely over their eyes and taken advantage of by unscrupulously opportunistic trainers. Be smart and trust your gut, never allow yourself to be led around blindly.
|requisite adorable picture|
I can't imagine my life without horses and riding. They've taught me so much about life, relationships (both human and equine), compromise, hard work, dedication, discipline, courage, humility, failure and success. They've shaped my entire character as a person. No doubt there has been a lot of blood, sweat, and tears along the way, but a million more smiles and laughs and warm fuzzies. There's just something about it that makes me feel whole. It's not an easy sport by any means, and being a working amateur in some ways makes it even harder, but it's worth it.
Many thanks to Amanda for participating. If you don't follow her already, run right over to the 900facebookpony and hob on that bandwagon STAT.
Want to be a part of Ammy Hour? Know someone who should be interviewed? Contact me and let's chat!