Hilary Moore Hebert: Ode to the Amateur

fter waking up Monday morning, eyes crusted with leftover sunblock and muscles sore from yesterday's horse show, I thought about the days when I was "just" a professional trainer and got some Monday mornings off. Not so anymore, as the horses get a day off after the show but Dressage Today does not rest. For those of you who do not know, I am not only the senior editor at the magazine (full-time) but I am also a full-time dressage trainer and barn owner.
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After waking up Monday morning, eyes crusted with leftover sunblock and muscles sore from yesterday's horse show, I thought about the days when I was "just" a professional trainer and got some Monday mornings off. Not so anymore, as the horses get a day off after the show but Dressage Today does not rest. For those of you who do not know, I am not only the senior editor at the magazine (full-time) but I am also a full-time dressage trainer and barn owner. That means that I work from the first day of show season in April to the Friday after show season before I get a day off. For this reason, while I have professional status, I like to think that I am able to relate to to adult amateurs a bit more. Sure, trainers work hard and often work the Monday after a show. However, I have been a professional and I have been a professional with another job and I can tell you first-hand that nothing truly compares to Monday morning conference calls, deadlines and the surprise visit from the top boss - all while you are sporting a farmer sunburn, blisters in awkward places and a strong urge to lie down and take a nap under your desk. When I first tell people that I have a string of show horses, take care of my own barn chores, compete/coach/judge at horse shows AND work at the magazine they tell me I am crazy. I tend to agree with them, but I also tell them that every Adult Amateur on the show circuit has just as crazy of a schedule (more if they have kids!). In the end, whether you are a professional or amateur or Young Rider with school taking place of work, maybe the moral of the story is we are all working 7 days a week ... and maybe we are all just a little crazy for it. Happy riding and see you on vacation in November!

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