As I’m sitting in bed with a migraine typing on COTH after my corp. job. Just be patient.
Or, before you jump ship, sit down with what you really want to do. Is it be in the barn, teach kiddos, just being around the horses all day? Or, to compete at a higher-level, or compete regularly? Neither are wrong.
I did the WS in college, really wanted/had the plans to go pro after I graduated and took the semi-paid riding job after college. It did not bring in enough to compete at the FEI-level and I did not have the contacts or funds from family to buy horses. Now, maybe I could get lucky and convince a future client I hadn’t met yet to buy me a horse, those are 1/1000 and you’re depending on someone else to make your dream come true. To me, I couldn’t have it all: social life, upper-level horses, and full-time barn. I had to drop two. And admittedly, not everyone has to do that. That was the hardest decision to face and swallow, but once I sat down and said ok what does this look like for me, it was easier to progress and put blinders on to how it worked for everyone else.
So, I went corp. Rode mornings/evenings, was dumped a few times because I chose the barn at night or was a little tight on funds. But, I was able to scrape by and compete while I moved up in my career. I was never going to be the 25 or 28 yo 5**** rider, but will I be at 33/35? Let’s hope so, I’m funding my first international horse-shopping trip this weekend!
My hunch was that while the progress for my upper-level goals would be slower than the rider with initially more means who rode full-time, the progress could be made consistent enough that I could catch up a few years later.
And as of right now, it seems to be panning out. I make 155% more than my first corp. job 7 years ago, have good benefits, PTO, and I have a few clients. I’m so grateful that I stuck it out because I’m getting to go buy my dream horse now, and having that corp job in my 20s allowed me to barely, but enough to scrape by with my little OTTB mare to some big events.