Friday, February 27, 2015

Ammy Hour: Meet Amanda!

Here we go with another round of Ammy Hour! I really do this series for myself--I love learning about the hardworking people like me behind the blogs I read.  This week I'm talking to the voice behind the 900facebookpony. Without further ado, here's the tack-ho-est of them all!

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
Sooo I guess my introduction would be "Hi, I'm Amanda." and hope that they were a good talker because unless it's about horses I've got pretty much nothing to say after that. Normal people are really confusing. Socially awkward? Me? Never. The only exception to that would be if it was a horse related work thing or if I knew the person was into horses - that's an entirely different ballgame. I can, and happily will, talk about horse stuff all day. And probably sell them something in the process, because I love stuff. This is why I need a horse related job...

so classy

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.

um yes.

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!
7) How do you finance the addiction?
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
10) How often do you ride?
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
11) What’s the single biggest thing that helps you achieve your goals?
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
12) 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?
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
13) Bottom Line:
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!


  1. Replies
    1. Ha, I like how we both said "we're all mad here".

    2. It's true. Horse people are NUTS.

  2. Totally interesting! I like seeing who has a career they LOVE and who has a career they tolerate, for the horses. So fun! :)

  3. Love Amanda's blog and who can resist Henry?

  4. Love her blog and Henry! Great post! (:

  5. Thanks for profiling someone I get to meet in a few hours! Very helpful!

  6. another great interview! and an exciting pair to watch too :)

  7. Did not know your barn was your boss's boss's barn, Amanda. Very small world, indeed.

    1. Yep, and she used to ride with Mark too!

  8. YAY! Love Amanda, love $900FBP :)

  9. I like how her "barely riding" or average amount is 5 days a week. Hahah I wish I could get that much riding time in. Those of you who have real jobs, still work out, do other things, have a relationship AND ride that often are my heros. Props!

  10. Yay Amanda and Henry! And she has such a great writing style - always love reading her blog!!

  11. Love Amanda and Henry!! I'm partial to his name ;)

  12. I really, really enjoyed this one! Thanks so much for putting all of this together Aimee!!


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