There was an article in the latest issue of Practical Horseman called “How Do Good Riders Get Good?” By “good” they meant professonial, international competitors. To sum the article up, if you want to ride at the international level, you’re going to have to make some sacrifices. If you’re a woman, you may not be able to have children at all, or not until you’re in your late 30’s because your prime riding years will most likely be in your 20’s and 30’s.
Lucky for me, I have zero interest in riding at that level. Even if I did, the reality is that it’s probably too late for me. I’m 32, married to a non-horsey husband and have two small children. The article did get me thinking about my goals though. What do I hope to gain from horse ownership? What is the purpose of spending all this money?
After some thought, this is what I came up with:
- To show at the local schooling level and win! I am not interested in getting to the A circuit. It’s too expensive. I want to show my horse for fun and take home some pretty colored ribbons.
- To provide a permanent home for a racetrack reject. I have fallen in love with Thoroughbreds and I want to do my part to make sure they have new homes and new careers if they don’t make it at the track.
- I want my kids to grow up around horses. They may get bitten by the horse bug; they may not. If they do, I will provide every opportunity for them to ride, show and hang out with horses. Maybe someday when my daughter is older and Baron is a senior citizen, he can be the first horse, not pony, she takes into the show ring.
- I want Baron to be versatile. I’d like to be able to show him in hunter flat classes, low jumping classes and lower level dressage.
- I want to become my version of a “good” rider. I have zero interest in A circuit shows or high level competition. I simply want to keep improving and keep progressing with my horse.
And finally, HAVE FUN!