Tuesday, February 24, 2015

What Are You Doing For The Sport?

Once upon a time, I was a young professional with the whole world ahead of me. I worked for FEI trainers, Olympians, people who "mattered". Then it all came crashing down.

In the blink of an eye I was injured and diagnosed with a disabling disease. I was only 25, and my career was over. I was just another Adult Amateur.

I sulked for a little while. Who wouldn't? But sulking didn't make me feel better. So, I decided to suck it up and make a difference in another way. I may not be able to train and teach, but that doesn't mean I don't matter. As an Adult Amateur I'm a part of the biggest demographic in equestrian sports. I'm financing the Pros, the shows, the clinics... I'm the driving force behind the whole industry.

So, I joined my local USDF GMO. Now I run shows and clinics and sit on the Board of Directors. Me! I'm just another Adult Amateur, but here I am making a difference. I don't have to be a Big Name Trainer to influence the sport, I'm out there every day shaping the sport through my involvement with my local GMO.

I'm probably a bit overzealous in my involvement, but you can still make a difference by just joining and volunteering in your local organizations. Never underestimate how important you are. The AAs are the blood of the sport, our money and our horses make the FEI trainers and the Olympians. We are the people who "matter".

Some of us probably do not deserve this responsibility.


  1. you are correct that the amateurs are the base of the pyramid for horse sport. My pet peeve in Canada is that this does not seem appreciated by our national body. However, I have sat on the board of our local dressage association and been everything from show organizer to secretary to the person who fishes the dead rat out of the toilet before the show. Good for you for stepping up

  2. I wish the higher ups understood this more!

  3. nice post!! i'm new to my particular discipline and therefore see more value in volunteering than just 'furthering the sport' - i also see opportunities to learn and connect and broaden my own network. win win, right?


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