Here’s the situation: you follow a sport obsessively. You know every big competitor and watch highlights online and read every publication. You practice this sport every chance you are able. The problem is that this sport requires significantly more money per year than the average American salary.
There are plenty of riders in the same situation: they’ve wanted to ride and own their own horse their whole lives. Maybe they were lucky enough to have some sort of financial backing as a junior/young rider, maybe they never rode before and want to now, or maybe there’s something else keeping them out of the saddle. December 1st the year we turn eighteen, though, marks a turning point from which we cannot return. We’re officially adults in the eyes of equestrian leadership. Gone are the days of Young Rider or Indoors dreams. Gone are the discounts that come with the blissful state of junior status.
Some riders go professional at this point. They have horses or the connections and ability to train equestrians and equines for a profit. They are able to get sponsorships of any kind. Other riders are adult amateurs who may have parents or spouses that support their lifestyle. Or they may have been prudent in their career choice and were able to earn a living lucrative enough to support themselves and a horse (or several horses). As important as these riders are to the horseback riding community, that is not who this blog is for. The Poor Amateur’s Almanac exists for the rest of us.
We are the horse lovers that live paycheck to paycheck and scrape together board payments or lesson fees. We are the ones who live vicariously through our friends more fortunate to afford the opportunities to compete. We spend our evenings and weekends waiting for USEF Network to show live grand prix streams or watch endless hours of YouTube videos of dressage tests and Rolex cross country highlights. Though we have great passion in our hearts, we lack the expendable cash to invest ourselves in this sport the way we want to.
Join us in our adventures. Our blog is about connecting our community to each other, to make the poor amateurs’ voices heard. We may not be as large an impact in the profits of this sport, but we are the viewership, the social media contributions, the cheering crowd through thick and thin. In this, the sport of the rich and famous, we are the little people who line the barricades at the red carpet. Don’t forget about us.
Since December 28, 2014, this blog has been run by amateur equestrians. We may not be as famous as your idols, but we have the same drive to succeed. Each one of us here has our own story, but we want to hear yours too. Never be afraid to keep going because we’ll be your cheering crowd. We may be poor in wallet, but we are rich in passion and friendship.