I went through years of not being able to show as an older teenager through my senior year of college due to a) not having the money and b) being an eventer riding with a hunter/jumper trainer and thus never really happy with going around hunter courses (also because, funnily enough, I ride better the more complicated the course gets. Hard turns and weird lines = less mistakes on my part, probably because I don’t have time to think about it and just have time to do, so I’m actually more competitive in the jumper/eventing rings than I am in hunter land).
I’m now 100% an adult ammy and I’m actually getting back into showing and enjoying it, but on different terms than I was expected to previously (aka, not going to A shows that would cost a month’s salary for a weekend). I’m currently trainer-less (though that will change as I get more advanced), but I ride with my barn owner and we’re both in agreement that we just want to have fun, so we do. It’s not about being competitive for us, it’s just about getting to pack up together for a weekend and go hang out with the horses and enjoy ourselves at local/semi-local shows and mini trials. I’ve been riding her coming 5-year-old Quarter pony while she works with her very green OTTB, so we don’t expect much. It’s just fun to get them out and see something different (and not have to pay more than $300 for the weekend), but we don’t feel any pressure to do it either. Like Another-Bay said, I like to show, but I don’t need to.
If that wasn’t the case, if I still had the pressure on me to show that I did with my previous trainer, I don’t think I’d want to go anywhere. I’m lucky in that I have unlimited PTO (within reason) at my job, so I’m able to take off Fridays and Mondays here and there over the summer on top of my usual vacation without any issue, so for me it’s a great break from work. I also don’t have kids (other than my cats :lol:) and at this point my life is just work, friends, and horses, so it’s easier to justify taking that time for myself. It’s also so much cheaper for me to be an eventer than a hunter rider that I find it much easier to justify the expense to myself given that I spend as much on 4-5 reasonably local mini trials (read: within three hours from the barn) as I would on one weekend at an A show (both with and without trainer fees).
(But also… my eventing coach would charge $100 for coaching for an entire weekend (read: Friday/Saturday/Sunday) when we’d go away. I had to muck out/feed/water myself, but that’s never been a big deal to me. I’m sure her prices have gone up since then, 'cause it’s been a while, and I’ll find out what they are when I bring her back into the fold again, but I have little doubt that they’re still cheaper than my most recent trainer (the H/J one), who charged me $100 per day for coaching, even if she didn’t say three words to me the entire time and I schooled my horse myself. I do not miss that world one bit.)