Being The Poor Kid At The Rodeo - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 37 Old 05-01-2019, 09:48 AM
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If you are a high schooler competing with other high schoolers, I wouldn't worry about the trailers, tack etc. that the other kids have. They only have it because of their parent's money. It's fine and good that their parents help them if they can, and that's also not to say that they haven't worked hard with their horses. As a few have mentioned, some of those kids with the expensive trailers and tack could even eventually come to be your friends, they probably aren't paying as much attention to your gear as you think they are, and the ones who are paying attention and judging you in any way for it aren't people worth knowing in the first place.

Your uncle sounds like a toxic person if that's what he's telling a teenager. And he's wrong. Rodeo is a big sport now but all those skills on horseback originated from a working-class world in the beginning. The "rich" people weren't the one using horses to work with cattle, out riding ranches, etc.

I am not interested in participating in competition of any kind, I'm a little late to the game for that as I didn't start riding until I was an adult. But I definitely feel the wage divide in horse circles and in all other aspects of life here in Kentucky. I was from a family that didn't have much but we always had what we needed. Mom actually gave up keeping horses on our land for a long time because she simply didn't have the financial means nor the time to do so. My dad is still in debt and if anything that has taught me never to spend above my means if I can help it. I do have some student loan debt but without it I wouldn't have the career I do now. Rather than be ashamed of my lack of money I'm pretty proud of my budgeting skills and household management. I just acquired my first decent-paying full time job a few months ago and at 26 years old I don't have enough money to my name to even think about buying a horse trailer let-alone a vehicle that would haul one. But my bills are all getting paid, I'm bringing down my student loan balance, and am able to save money back in my savings every month while being able to afford the care for my horse and the training I need for myself. All my tack is hand-me downs and the horse was a give-away by someone who was moving and couldn't keep her, and that person got her from the pound (so I will be paying for my lack of experience and her training.)

Having to work for what you have now and having to think about how you will manage your resources may seem stressful now, but it will be beneficial to you in the future I think. You'll know how to manage your money when you get out of highschool in a way that some of the other high schoolers you compete with may not.
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post #32 of 37 Old 05-01-2019, 01:12 PM
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You are rich and don't know it. You have 2 horses, who probably think you walk on water, a trailer, a truck and tack to ride in. Go give that tack a good going over with some saddle soap and oil it to keep it in good working shape and see how much it cleans up. You won't recognize it. You may not have money but you obviously have a HUGE work ethic and aren't afraid to get dirty to get where you want to be. These are all things that will stick with you no matter where you are and what the future brings. No one can take your knowledge, your love of horses, your work ethic and your hard won accomplishments away from you. Don't give away your joy to those who have glitter and gold, that stuff can all be gone in an instant.

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post #33 of 37 Old 05-01-2019, 01:25 PM
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On the flip side....

I will say that I do know what you mean by they have all the money to win. It IS true that some people can pay a trainer to do all the work, buy the fancy tack, and pay for the already trained horse and then continue to pay the trainer to maintain it. Those people do win. I mean, they win ribbons, but what do they really win? Put them on a "normal" horse where they actually have to ride it and it's a whole new ball game....
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post #34 of 37 Old 05-01-2019, 07:37 PM
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Honey, I understand. I've been in this business for a long time and have competed at a national level for years. And let me tell you, it's not what you pull up in that matters, it's the horse you back off that trailer.

When I was 13 years old, I wrote an essay to a contest and won a fat, wormy 18 year old gelding. He had been retired for years but in a former life had been US National top ten many times. In a barn full of high caliber show horses, he was what I had and I wanted to show so show I did. Turns out, that horse was talented as heck. I cleaned stalls, tacked and warmed up horses for the local trainer so I could afford to ride and show, and I rode that horse6 days a week to get him back in show shape. The first show I took him to was a complete catastrophe. I rode in a borrowed suit, a $200 saddle I found at a yard sale and a bridle I had bought with my Christmas money, and we crashed and burned. We went home and spent another year working it all out. The following year, he and I went back to the same show I had won him at and WE WON EVERY DANG CLASS WE ENTERED. EVERY ONE. He was third place highpoint against horses who showed in twice as many classes as he did and won me a little scholarship for college. The now 21 year old free horse ridden by the green as grass kid who cleaned stalls, borrowed show clothes and hung on the rails at clinics for years to learn how to be successful with him. We qualified for regionals and nationals that year. He went off to college with me and we spent 11 years together before he died fat and happy just shy of his 30th birthday.

Point being, I've noticed this trend toward feelings of discouragement like yours and it has admittedly really gotten to me; more and more horsemen, especially young ones who are maybe a little newer to the horse world, are becoming discouraged by not having the flashy bred horse to haul around in a fancy rig. I remember that feeling well and was lucky enough to have my mom to always remind me of why I do this. When you start to feel like this, remember that you didn't get involved with these animals because you dreamed of buying a $50,000 horse trailer. You do this because you truly love everything that the horse is. There's a certain charm to being the kid driving the old truck pulling a rusty little bumper pull and working your tail off with the horse you bought with your graduation money. The reward is in the journey. Hold your head high and ride your butt off. That's what matters.
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post #35 of 37 Old 05-01-2019, 10:32 PM
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As a teen who has that nice shiny trailer, expensive custom tack, expensive professionally bred horses, it was never easy. I worked. HARD. Every single day, every single second I had to spare. I went to rodeos in a banged up trailer, a backyard accident nag, crappy tack that was broken, and I pushed myself. Harder and harder every rodeo until I got where I wanted. I started winning money and checks and started saving it. I put it towards everything I wanted and eventually, I got to the point where I am now. All you have to do is have determination and you can get anywhere you want to go!
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post #36 of 37 Old 05-01-2019, 11:07 PM
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As a teen who has that nice shiny trailer, expensive custom tack, expensive professionally bred horses, it was never easy. I worked. HARD. Every single day, every single second I had to spare. I went to rodeos in a banged up trailer, a backyard accident nag, crappy tack that was broken, and I pushed myself. Harder and harder every rodeo until I got where I wanted. I started winning money and checks and started saving it. I put it towards everything I wanted and eventually, I got to the point where I am now. All you have to do is have determination and you can get anywhere you want to go!
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post #37 of 37 Old 05-02-2019, 03:37 AM
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Enjoy what you have, don't envy what others do.

I am not here to promote anythingNo, that's not true, I am here to promote everything equestrian and everyone enjoying horses!
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