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The Difference Between Being a Junior and an Adult Amateur

The Difference Between Being a Junior and an Adult Amateur

One of the best things I ever did for myself was take a step back from riding during college. It was a good thing for me, because I needed time to mature and figure out who I was and what I wanted to do with my life. I’m forever grateful for that time, because it allowed me to come back to horses on my own and be 110% committed to being an equestrian for the rest of my life. As a fresh college graduate, this is not always easy — there are a lot of demands on your time and finances, and the only way to include horses in the equation is to be dedicated to making it work. However, this time away from the horse world also had a huge impact on my riding… and it wasn’t for the better.

Visa at Chagrin 2007

The Time Crunch

Sure, I was busy in high school with homework, marching band and extracurricular activities… but it’s nothing compared to being an adult. Do you know how long it takes to do laundry, clean the house and cook three meals a day?! Not to mention working a full time job, making time to see other friends, take care of the dogs… the list goes on and on. I thought I had good time management skills in college, but it turned out I was just great at procrastinating. As an Adult Amateur, my time is more valuable than ever.

 Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems

I used to dream about how awesome it would be once I had steady income because then I could buy whatever I wanted! Show coats, helmets, saddle pads, boots… the list went on and on. Until the first bill came, and now they never stop. All that money I work so hard to accumulate quickly goes out the window to pay for the basic needs of myself, my family and precious ponykins. Now I have to wait three months to save up for that show coat. As an Adult Amateur I have a lot more money, but a lot more bills to go with it.

Miles Perfect Form at NV 2015


 Sense of Mortality

I used to never worry about getting hurt when I was junior. I had no fear jumping big jumps or cantering through the trails for the first time. Try something new? HELL YES. Now I find that my self-preservation instincts have kicked in, at high velocity. Jump 2’6″? Well… I guess we’ve done it before so I should be able to again. Canter on the trails? Only if the stars are aligned and Mercury is in retrograde. Jump 3′ natural obstacles in the field? Hahahahahaha, you’re hilarious!! As an Adult Amateur, fear is a real obstacle.

Ability to Say ‘No’

Growing up isn’t all bad though because now I can say ‘no’. No, I don’t want to do 20 laps of no stirrups. No, I don’t feel like jumping that jump today. No, I don’t want to ride your green broke stallion who spooks at his own shadow. Now, I only do what I want to do, when I want to do it. As an Adult Amateur, you answer only to yourself.

Moiya Jumping with Cute Knees

 Liquid Courage

It takes a few years passed becoming an Adult Amateur at 18, but once you get there, it’s miraculous. You know all that stress you carry to the barn from your job? Or the anxiety you feel heading into the show ring? Now you can combat that legally with some liquid courage. You can keep wine and beer in the fridge of your tack room, have a can opener hoof pick, and drink before you head into your class at a horse show (not too much… you don’t want to puke off the side of your horse). As an Adult Amateur, you can drink. ‘Nuff said.


Fly On Over is an equestrian lifestyle blog devoted to connecting horse lovers around the world. By providing equestrians with practical tips and tricks related to horse ownership, discussing training techniques for horse and rider, as well as covering industry news.

17 thoughts to “The Difference Between Being a Junior and an Adult Amateur”

  1. The ability to say no is something I’m just now learning to embrace and I love it. No, sorry, I don’t have time to exercise your poorly trained, spooky, mannerless horse just for funsies. Sorry not sorry.

  2. Lol. Here I am unable to think fast enough after a single drink to ride my horse to the level he demands from me. Plus side? Liquid therapy after a bad ride. Lol!

  3. I love the liquid courage LOL!!
    I have spent my entire life riding, which did mean I made some big sacrifices (never moving out of my dads house, working non-stop, having to go to a local college, etc.). I don’t regret it for once second; in fact I wish I did more! I do regret not taking the time to do a working student position, especially going to spain and riding PREs. Maybe one day? 🙂

  4. “When I have a steady stream of income…” HAHAHAHA. Past Liz thought that, too. Present Liz knows that more money just means more bills. “Oh, I’m getting a raise? I’ll get the truck I’ve been wanting, YAY MORE BILLS.” *waves bye bye to money*

    And yes to alcohol. So much wine. Please and thank you.

  5. I agree with most, except the stepping away from horses part. I had a couple of months in college when I was horse less, and it was awful. Riding through college helped me become an immensely better rider (I had much better instruction at school) and I actually moved up to the amateur jumpers during that time. Of course, the whole confidence thing has poked it’s nose in my riding business, so I’ll probably never head into that ring now! Maybe with a little liquid courage and the right horse?

  6. Gathering my thoughts after laughing about liquid courage and reading the hilarious replies. No joke – I recall taking an amateur’s horse on a much needed trail ride and not understanding what the issues was for the owner doing the same. I said to my friend, “He only bucked for the first half hour!” Now, I’m the one who doesn’t trail ride.

  7. Lol liquid courage is my favorite! I’m in this weird transition phase. I know my family hates I didn’t give up horses for college and now it’ll take me forever to graduate..oops

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