On Being an Adult Amateur

Before eventing, the term Adult Amateur meant nothing to me.I didn’t feel I need to characterize myself as an adult. Or as an amateur. I was just someone who enjoyed participating in lots of different activities and didn’t consider myself to be a professional by any means.

But now, every year, I need to check a little box when registering with the USEA that states I am an amateur eventer, and that I am in no way a professional to whom people pay  money to train them or their horses. I get placed in a category with thousands of other people just like me.

In being an amateur I will continue to have a job that I go to everyday and log 45-55 hrs a week. When I am tired/grumpy/overwhelmed after work, I will think to myself “Should I just go home? Or should I go to the barn?” And more often than not, I will go to the barn. Because I know that no matter how tired/grumpy/overwhelmed I am, I need to work on keeping my hands up and together. On keeping my thumbs on top of the reins. Bringing my shoulders back and down. And countless other things. And I need to go now, after work, or I will miss a day of working on it. No matter how badly I just want to go home and sit down and start drinking/eating/mindlessly watching television.



And then the weekend comes! My beloved days off where I can go to the barn and not feel rushed. But somehow, I still feel rushed. I can get all the things done I didn’t have the time or desire to do after my weekday rides. After spending time bathing/grooming/organizing my horse and gear, I realize I will barely have time to get to the grocery store, go for a hike, clean the chicken coop and maybe, just maybe, get some work done that I neglected during the week. And if I want to do something with non horsey friends that involves getting out of town, I feel the guilt of missing a day where I could have been at the barn getting so much done.

So, for me, being an adult amateur, and checking that box off every year with my USEA registration means that I am going to make time to be an eventer. It means I am going to take my money and throw it into lessons so I can get better, and maybe be better than mediocre. It means that my happy place will be the barn (most days). Being an adult amateur means this will always be a hobby. No matter how seriously I take it, or how hard I work to get better at it. It will be a hobby.


I know, I know. This picture makes you seriously doubt I am not a pro….

I watch professional riders and how hard they work. I in no way mean that I have it worse than people who ride for a living. If you want to be good at this sport, either as a pro or an amateur you have to log a lot of hours at the barn and in the saddle. And for me, being an amateur is a great thing. It fits my life. I get to go to the same events and ride in the same classes that the pros do, and get to watch how well they ride the test I just turned into a hack job. And while I bitch about being tired after work, I know they feel the same way after riding the 3rd/4th/5th horse of the day. Or telling their student the same thing lesson after lesson.


I imagine there are days they’d like to just be an adult amateur and go to a job for 8 hours and ride their horse after work.

I’ll continue to check that box and I’ll continue to call myself an adult amateur with pride. Getting to this point in eventing while still having a job I love, but can take over my life, is a serious feat. And on days when I am tired/grumpy/overwhelmed I’ll remember how lucky I am to have a horse and barn to go to.


Tagged , , , ,

3 thoughts on “On Being an Adult Amateur

  1. KateRose says:

    This post is so awesome! (not just because of the fabulous princess pic) I am proudly an adult amateur too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. emma` says:

    great perspective! this is a hobby for me too, and one for which i make many sacrifices. but right now, i wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Hope's Promise

The blog of a dressage dream come(ing) true


An amateur eventer's adventures

Zen and the Art of Baby Horse Management

An inquiry into values and survival in a life with baby horses

the everything pony

who would really much rather eat all day

DIY Horse Ownership

on Mules, Horses, and DIY

OTTBs and Oxers

Eventing. Hunters. Horsemanship.

Horse Glam

Equestrian. Life. Style.

The Frugal Foxhunter

More bang for your buck than showing

The Printable Pony

An amateur eventer's adventures

The Roaming Rider

"Don't live the same year 75 times and call it a life." - Robin Sharma

Urban Thoroughbred

West and East Coast adventures with OTTBs

Eventer in Progress

Laughing at oneself is best done as a group activity

Clover Ledge Farm

An amateur eventer's adventures

Eventing Saddlebred Style

An amateur eventer's adventures

The Repurposed Horse

An amateur eventer's adventures


An amateur eventer's adventures

Poor Woman Showing

An amateur eventer's adventures

Live Your Adventure

Tara - Horse lover, horse rider, horse enthusiast

SmartPak Blog

An amateur eventer's adventures

In Omnia Paratus

An amateur eventer's adventures

The Blog of Travel

Motorbikes, dogs and a lot of traveling.

Simple Changes

An off the track thoroughbred and his girl.

Hunky Hanoverian

An amateur eventer's adventures


An amateur eventer's adventures

Cob Jockey

An amateur eventer's adventures

She Moved to Texas

An amateur eventer's adventures

Guinness on Tap

An amateur eventer's adventures

Equestrian At Hart

adventures in riding & life

 Clover Ledge Farm

An amateur eventer's adventures

Viva Carlos

An amateur eventer's adventures

Horsemanship 101

Leprechaun Lane Training Center's Guide to Horsemanship


Horse humor and the musings of a weenie adult eventer

May As Well Event

Here's To Not Following Your Own Advice

A Yankee in Paris

No animals were harmed in the making of this blog...

Horse Listening

Horses. Riding. Life.


Becoming a student of horsemanship.

Chronicles of a "Mini-Pro"

Celebrating the incurable addiction which is being an equestrian

A Horse For Elinor

Dressage On A Dime

Charley's Angel Eventing

Just a High Schooler Living for Jesus & Ponies

Midnight Calico Farm

One Family's Journey into Farm Life

%d bloggers like this: