The majority of riders don’t have dreams of pursuing a career in the saddle. This means that a lot of us work in jobs away from the yard in the week to fund our equestrian dreams.
Here are six things most riders who work full-time to finance their horses probably experience…
1. You live two completely different lives
You might be a horsey nut, who can tack up in 30 seconds and carry four hay nets at once while at the stables, but you’re all business when it comes to bringing home the bacon to pay for your four-legged friend. Your weekday nine-to-five is a world away from your weekends, which you either spend poo picking and mucking out or, while not in lockdown, trekking up and down the country to compete at shows. And you always have at least two changes of clothes in your car, so you can transform from yard scivy to the ultimate professional in under two minutes.
2. You’re known as the horsey one at work
We’ve been given nicknames since our school days, so it didn’t take long until you became referred to as ‘the horsey one’ at your place of work. While your fellow colleagues’ desks are laden with family photos and children’s artwork, your desk is dedicated solely to your horse and is covered in professional photos (which take up a substantial amount of your salary) and rosettes. You drink tea out of a mug you got from Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) and you spend lunch breaks browsing the latest rug sales online.
3. You book the same days as holiday each year
You can let your boss know when you’ll be off as soon as the competition dates are released at the start of the year. You’ll pretty much need the same days off from May until September every single year and if you’re informed that there is a life or death meeting scheduled during championship week, you wish your colleagues well and look forward to hearing how it went when you get back…
4. Your pay packet never lasts long
Monthly salary in one day – livery, feed delivery, farrier’s bill, show entries and vets bills out the next…
Aside from industrial strength coffee, a reliable alarm clock and military organisation, how can amateur riders manage to juggle full-time
5. You plan each hour of your day
Even if you consider yourself to be a disorganised person, if you own a horse and work, you’ve probably got your life a lot more together than you think. Your mornings and evenings are carefully coordinated to fit around your work shifts, as well as the light, so you can get a ride in before or after.
6. You sometimes wonder how the hell you afford a horse
As ignorance is definitely bliss, you don’t bother to work out how much you actually spend on your horse (it’s too scary), but somehow you manage to pay all your bills — both horsey and human — and you’ve survived another month as a (semi) successful working rider. Good job!
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