Rants

It’s so hard being fortunate enough to ride

Seriously, this is what people complain about?

“NOT SHOWING IS NOT THE END OF THE [HORSE] WORLD” by Sarah Mahoney, HJU

“Blurred Lines in the Horse World: What it’s Like to Not be a Wealthy Equestrian”, HorseHack
On the face of it, it’s kind of hilarious. Boo hoo, poor me, I have a horse but I don’t have the time or money to show! But I do remember feeling similarly to these writers when I was in high school. I definitely felt “less than” sometimes when I would see the girls whose parents bought them $60,000 Warmbloods tittering about something funny that happened at the weekend’s A-rated show, or casually hanging their show team jackets on a jump standard, or rifling for fly spray in their lovely wooden tack trunks.

Of course I wished I had the means to ride more, but I think these girls never even knew what they had.  Now that I’ve seen the light of foxhunting, I feel very sad for kids who think that just because they can’t afford to spend $300+ to ride for 10 minutes in the show ring, they’re somehow less of a rider.  I felt that way too, since I didn’t know there was a world beyond the cliquish, snobby hunter-jumpers. I was extremely shy, so I tried to reason with myself that I was at the barn to ride, not to make friends. I looked for excuses to hang around the horses–cleaning tack, mucking stalls, or just watching lessons. Eventually, I did make a friend who wasn’t part of the show clique either. We raced our horses in the pasture and jumped rickety piles of wood we definitely weren’t allowed to jump.

Now I’m still doing the same thing–with more friends who have an equal level of horse insanity, a more cantankerous gelding, and even more questionable jumps, one of which I affectionately call “The Pile of Crap.”

My masterpiece

I say this with love, because I’ve been there–but if you are feeling sooo sad for yourself because  you can’t show, quit whining and start riding! There is so much more out there to enjoy–and at much less cost. Go gallop around a corn field. Race around an empty pasture. Leg yield down the driveway. Jump a course in the arena (or do your best impression of it, like I do as I careen haphazardly near, around, on, and–rarely–over the jumps). Volunteer at a rescue, ride green horses, ride the geriatric pasture puffs owned by little old ladies–whatever it takes to get hours in the saddle. It can be done without spending a fortune, and without ever trying to squeeze your butt in an expensive pair of Tailored Sportsmans. In my opinion it’s a lot more fun that way!

A discovery on the trail

3 thoughts on “It’s so hard being fortunate enough to ride”

  1. If still like to be rich bc that'd be awesome, but I make do with what I have. We make our own jumps, clean our own stalls, and most of all have fun. I also really want to try fox hunting someday.

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  2. Wow! I am amazed people still read this podunk little blog. Thanks for your comments and I am glad to see fellow fun loving trail riders! Olivia, check out the MFHA map of hunts across the country to see if there is one near you. Call the master or hunt secretary and ask if you can try it out! Foxhunters love new people because that is what keeps our sport going and if there's a will, they will help you find a way to ride. I started with no horse and no saddle and somehow I managed to get out at least 20 times on borrowed horses my first year. http://www.mfha.com/hunts-map.html

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