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Possible to have a life and a horse life?
I don't know the ages of the average forum poster...I'm 28...but I wonder how possible it is to have a life and a horse life?
I didn't grow up on a farm, ranch, or even around horsey people. I was in the local 4-H club which did rodeo events...I was the social outcast as I attempted to perfect my "equitation." Still I only competed a few times a year because...well I'll just say it...my family was dirt poor. The fact that even had a horse and all his expenses really is a testament as to how much my parents loved me.
Anyway...one day I thought I'd be able to live my dreams of glory...riding across the final jump of the Rolex XC course when I was "older."
Well...now I'm older...only 28 mind you...but still older. I'm still far removed (2+ hours) from an eventing trainer and schooling course...I have a husband, a 2 year old daughter...and my budget is still tight...solid middle income...but with mortgage and bills...still a tight budget.
As I read stories about the competitors of the Rolex...many of them are younger than me...training under the elite of the elites!
And even if I said "chuck it all" drained my savings and IRA accounts and really went for it...I'd have to leave my husband and daughter for months at a time!
Is it possible to have a life and a really competitive horse life...sigh...
Just a little rant...I need chocolate...:wink:
Let me set it straight... I LOVE my life, my husband, my work (I'm a freelance photographer/author), and my horses...one an old fart...one a 15 hh rescue who can jump at BN level. But I do feel a bit envious when I read about these teenagers training under my horsey heroes.
What's that really terrible song..."I wanna be a billionaire...so freakin' bad..."
As it turns out I AM A WIMP! I just read an article from '08 that said Mary King rode in the Italy winning the European Team Gold...5 months pregnant with her now 14 year old daughter, Emily.
Okay. It's time for me to step it on up.
I think maybe you should set more realistic goals than being a world class level rider. There are many riders and not many get to that level.
Obviously it is good to have goals, but I think they should be realistic.
If you love riding and jumping then I say just take lessons and learn all you want casually so you still have time for your family. You don't need to go big to have the time of your life. :)
Agree with Alex about the realistic goals. I'd also like to suggest that you set a series of intermediate goals. Saying you want to go to Rolex when you're at you current level is a bit like saying you're going on to medical school at your grade school graduation. Make your next goal competing successfully at Training level, and see how you handle that committment in terms of time, training and family demands. If you achieve that goal, set the next one. You've picked an especially difficult sport to balance riding and family; the fitness demands of an event horse and rider are signifigant. A Training level horse needs to be worked 6 days a week according to a set training schedule, no exceptions. That means riding in all weather, including stuff your average show or pleasure rider would never consider going out in. You'll end up spending 3 - 4 hours/day at the barn on ONE training level horse unless you have lots of help. That takes the joy out of it for a lot of people; there's a reason why the vast majority of eventers are competing at Novice and below.
Anything is possible with the right motivation, but I would take some smaller steps towards your goal before cleaning out your bank accounts and leaving your husband and daughter.
hotreddun - I'm in a similar boat - except I did grow up with horses, lived out on the farm... had to leave my hobby in my midtwenties for a few years and am now getting back into horses and riding this past 6 months. I've come to realize how important it is to my happiness to have horses in my life, permanently. That said, I am keeping my horse life for fun so that I can maintain the rest of my life. It's important to keep balance. If you are reeaaally determined and dedicated, you can be a competitive, professional rider someday (even if its in 10 - 20 - 30 years!), but I think you should really consider if that is what you want to be doing. Are you dedicated enough to make it happen? Do you want to be competing in 20 years? Do you have other things in your life that you are passionate about? A goal like that is a BIG one - and while I refuse to say it is not realistic (with time and hard work anything can happen) - I think you just need to think about wether you are *that* dedicated to the goal. If not, consider changing the goal to be more in line with your other life goals. Experience with the horse people I know - most of them have lives outside of horses but recognize the importance of horses IN their lives.
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